The dog ate my daughter’s birthday cake.

If this makes less sense than usual, it is because I’m writing it during my daughter’s birthday party. (Everyone else is off trampolining and I’m minding people’s valuables, so it isn’t quite as bad parenting as it sounds.)

I would usually write this on Saturday, but I’m travelling north to see family tomorrow. As I get older, I realise it isn’t normal for family gatherings to be arranged in a few days, not when you’re one of eight children. But what we lack in forethought, we make up for in flexibility. My sister is on a flying visit with her husband and son. The latter was born last June, but COVID means this is the first time he’s been to the UK. Apparently, he’s a massive extravert, which will come in useful given the number of aunts and uncles he’s meeting this weekend.

A few minutes ago, it was mayhem in here. The cafe was loud and crammed full of children. I narrowed my hopes to a chair, so I could balance my laptop on my knees. Suddenly, as I came to the head of the drinks queue, most people left. I am sitting alone at my own clean table, my complimentary mocha by my side. Good times!

We are going to have to go to the supermarket with some of the guests on the way home. The dog ate the original cake- my first attempt at a sugarcraft model.

For the writers among you, Rachel and I have just invested in Atticus, new software that’s an all singing, all dancing amalgamation of Word, Scrivener, and Vellum. Importantly, we’ll be able to collaborate online. I’ll let you know how we get on with it.

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