I'm taking a measure of the atmosphere, and the result demands a light note on which to end the week.
We are to move house, to not very far from where we are now. Until a week or so ago, I'd asked both Emma and Alex to not go broadcasting this information - keen as I was for the move to seem more definite before any public notice - as I say, that was until a week ago.
About a fortnight ago, collecting Alex from school, a rush of his classmates spill out into the area where their parents and so on gather to collect them. Immediately, a huddle of boys gather about me.
Boy1: Hi Shane.
Shane: Hello Boy1.
Boy2: Can Alex come round mine on Thursday?
Shane: Thursday, Boy2? Hmmm, I don't know about Thursday - I'll have to check whether we've got anything else on. He'll be able to let you know himself tomorrow.
Boy3: Thursday - Alex can't on Thursday - he's going to an estate agents'.
Shane: Is he? (There was never a plan to go to any estate agent on Thursday.)
Boy3: Yeah. He told us.
Shane: Who's us?
Boy3: The class. You're moving to Canal Road.
Shane: Oh, right. So it's sorted then?
As per usual, Alex is one of the last to leave the building - quite unwilling to be hurried. He passes his bag to me.
Alex: I made everyone laugh today.
Shane: How did you do that?
Alex: I told them that we won't even need to get a lorry when we move house - we can just carry our stuff to Canal Road. I said, 'We'll be like an army of ants - ants carrying pants'. They all laughed.
Shane: Mm. Didn't we say that we'd not tell people about this for a little while?
Alex: Did we?
Alex: I wasn't listening.
Shane: Ah. That'll be it.
We walk home, glancing left down Canal Road as we pass it.