6 a.m. Cat whinges at kitchen door. Writer goes down to feed it. Also two more cats, and two dogs. Writer watches the sun rise over the mountain, and thinks.
7.30 a.m. Artist awakens. Writer brings her a cup of tea. Senior cat, waiting outside the bedroom door, goes in for a cuddle.
8 a.m. Computer on. Writer goes over the picture book he's been working on for the previous two days. Changes ‘said’ to ‘asked’. Removes ‘and’ at the start of a sentence. Then smiles. Brings Tea Two to artist.
9 a.m. Writer lets out ducks and one-eyed rooster. Two eggs. Artist appears downstairs, in dressing gown.
10 a.m Writer takes story up to the booley hut to read it out loud. Changes ‘And you!’ to ‘You are too!’ Changes ‘way down’ to ‘deep down’. Realises the story is a distillation, in a strange sort of way, of his first published picture book and of three recent near-misses. So he's actually been working on it for eighteen years...
10.30 a.m. Writer takes three runner bean plants from the nursery on the balcony, and adds them to the teepee. He adds two courgette plants to the raised bed where the surviving purple-sprouting broccoli live. (The snails love this bed, so he is not very hopeful of success, but neither he nor artist can be bothered digging a new patch).
11.a m. Writer changes ‘they’ to ‘the bears’. He adds ‘It’s hot out there!’ It is. Hotter, for longer, than it has been in the six years he's lived on the island.
11.30 a.m. Artist is off to her print workshop. Writer and dogs cadge a lift to the mountain. No mud on the bog as they start their walk. Amazing.
12.30 a.m. There's cloud at the top. The only cloud in the sky. Writer doesn't mind. He knows the view so well - down over the lake, out to the islands - that he can see it in his mind. Hatches a plan to climb this mountain every birthday until he can no more. Good plan.
1 p.m. Mobile phone punctures his reverie. (Writer was under strict instruction to keep it on, which he would never normally do on a walk) Artist is heading home early. Someone is coming to view her paintings. Writer abandons plan to climb second hill.
2.45 p.m The someone admires house and paintings. Leaves with one (painting, not house). Artist is happy. Writer is happy because artist is happy. Dogs are happy chewing a shoe.
3 p.m. Artist, writer and dogs walk to the beach. They swim. The water is surprisingly warm.
4 p.m. Artist and writer have siesta in writing hut. Writing hut has many uses.
5.30 p.m. Writer changes ‘asked’ back to ‘said’. Writer is now content.
6 p.m. Writer waters flowers and vegetables. Most years the salt wind makes growing anything difficult, but this is a special year. A very special year.
7 p.m. Writer adds an illustration guide to the top of the story, and decides it's ready. Story wings its way to agent. Writer smiles. Artist also smiles.
8 p.m. Writer and artist watch three episodes of The West Wing. Writer and artist have never watched The West Wing before. Aren't they the lucky couple?
11 p.m. As the light fades over the sea, writer takes dogs for nightwalk. Writer remembers something. He has a blog to write for the Picture Book Den. It is due to be published the following morning...