It’s essentially still night when Little Owl and I leave the house in the mornings at the moment. The moon sails high in the sky and our headlights glint back at us from the cat’s eyes. Icy sleet batters the windscreen as we head up to the snow gates then down towards the orange glow of toun. Coming home tonight the same stretch of road was like a blizzard, with snow blasting the car at a horizontal. When we’re safe in the farmyard my jaw and arms are locked. I have been gritting my teeth and gripping the steering wheel so tightly.

Tonight was Wrapping Night. This is the night we gather in all the presents, work out which child is getting what, wrap them all up, and deposit them in giant green sacks for Santa to give out on Saturday at the village kids’ Christmas party. Don’t tell Little Owl, she’s getting a tractor!

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