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Satisfying tasks completed during my week off:

• Sharpened a pencil with a Stanley Knife

• Drank a cup of tea in the garden and threw the dregs onto the ground like a Viking lord honouring the dead

• Excavated several difficult tree stumps

• Communed with my ancient druid ancestors by sniffing a piece of freshly cut green wood

• Started digging a large pit

• Squatted down in my freshly dug pit to see what the world looks like at worm-eye level

• Remembered that worms are sightless

• Unearthed a penny from 1977 and managed to work into a conversation with Debbie about recent archaeological discoveries at the Mayan city of Tikal

• Achieved some moderately successful construction-based banter at the local builders’ merchants

• Expertly speared the garden trowel into the turf with the deadly precision of a ninja

• Held conversations with a large bee, a sleeping newt and about half a dozen assorted birds and neighbourhood cats (not all at once – although that would have been amazing)

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