On Saturday morning after the snowfall, the stillness, starkness and whiteness of the countryside seemed impenetrable. I was glad it was over. We had been lucky. Everything looked so clean and the glare almost made me put on sunglasses.

The snow had drifted and lodged in various places. There is a weeping holly tree just out from the kitchen window. The snow had fallen on it and there was a distinct shape of a big bird – two black eyes, a big beak and a body. Every time I looked out it was staring back at me.