1. The swans. There used to be four, now there are three. One is the offspring of the other two, because I remember when s/he was a cygnet. I think s/he is going to have some siblings soon, as the female swan has created a nest/lair amid the bushes on the island in the middle of the lake. Every so often her head will just pop up amusingly from behind her shelter. I await the new generation with excitement.
2. The new ducklings. Oh! So cute. The other day as I was approaching the lake I noticed that people walking around it kept pausing and looking at something in it, and when I got close enough I realised it was the three ducklings, making their debut and making everyone smile.
3. Chippie the dog. Mere words cannot describe how cute and cool Chippie is. I see him almost every day with his owner, an elderly man who always carries a tennis racket. Why does he carry the racket? Because Chippie's favourite way of spending an afternoon is to chase after balls hit by the racket and catch them in mid-air! He is amazing! His owner wacks the balls into the air and Chippie races off at the speed of light and somersaults into the air to catch them, and then races back to his owner looking very proud. Today I was on my way to the park and found Chippie's owner throwing the ball into the stream beside the park, and Chippie in a state of near ecstasy as he ran in and splashed around to retrieve it. Apparently he loves the water and when the tide is out he particularly likes doing his ball-fielding in the sea.
All this is cute enough, but the other day I discovered that Chippie lives in the cute little Victorian house built onto the train station by the park. He lives in the (former) station master's house! He's like something out of The Railway Children! I love him.
So yes, even during a hideously stressful week in boring suburbia there are things that can cheer me up.