Interaction with change variable, scale change and hide/show not working

Hello all, I’m having trouble with an interaction where I want a link block to scale from zero y axis to full height, and change text colour using a variable on mouse hover.

2 Problems:

  1. If I don’t hide the element to start, it shows full size on page load, which I don’t want. If I set it to hide, and show on the interaction, I can’t get it to apply the progressive scaling on initial hover: it just shows immediately, regardless of how I time the show/hide and scale interaction. The scaling then works on subsequent hovers.

  2. The text colour change using variables doesn’t work. First time I’m working with variables, probably missing something fundamental here…?

Any insights much appreciated. Here’s a link: Webflow - Alastair's scrolling text site

Here is my public share link: LINK
(how to access public share link)