John William and a slightly reluctant Boo the dog are out on the sledge as snow arrives at the farm on the M62

After what felt like an interminable spell of driving wind and rain, we have finally been blessed with cold, dry air blowing in from the North-East.

John William was sledging with Boo the dog.
John William was sledging with Boo the dog.

The snow arrived last week, much to the little guy’s immense delight, not so for his dad!

After feeding the sheep out on the hill, the sledge was flung down from the loft floor and vanished down the lane, amid shrieks of joy. The steep motorway embankment below the farm, makes for a fast and terrifying hurtle down towards the trees edging the reservoir and it was inevitable John-William would head in that direction.

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I declined the offer of having a turn and instead watched on as the red plastic rocket sledge flew past me in a blur, sheep sent scattering in all directions. After countless near limb-snapping descents I finally persuaded him to call it a day. “Just one more go mum,” he yelled as he plodded up towards the highway fence.

I was instructed to video his last downhill plunge as it was in his words going to be epic. Dutifully, I held my phone up and pressed record just in time to see the passenger held fast between John-William’s legs.

It was too late for me to stop him, but I spotted the hairy face, the eyes bulging and the resigned look seen so often on Boo’s face when she is dragged into one of his mad adventures.

She gave me a final withering glare as the pair shot past me, disappearing into a flurry of big, fluffy snowflakes and “yee-has”.

Thankfully, both were unscathed and before any injuries were incurred, we headed indoors. The loyalty, patience and generosity of a dog never fails to amaze me. Boo’s sly and on numerous occasions, savage persona extends to all bar John-William.

Fiercely devoted to protecting him and our home, I am in no doubt she would defend us to her death. She has endured hours of train-track building, Bakugan battles, quad bike rides and being strapped into various trailers usually to be towed behind a bicycle. Queen ratter, barker, biter and muncher of lamb cleansing, she is irreplaceable to us.

After her snow escapades with her partner in crime, she was treated to a chicken tea and spent the rest of the day asleep in front of the log burner with her daughter, Wilma.

The news of another national lockdown was met with great joy in our house. No school for the little guy, an extra pair of hands at home for Paul.

The morning following the announcement was the same as countless others before, busy as ever, cars and wagons thundering past. I have immense sympathy for those who face financial, not to mention emotional and mental ruin.

Despite being told I live in one of the worst locations in the country, I am grateful we have acres of open space. Our firm belief here is that not all learning is done in school, education extends far beyond the confines of a classroom. With that in mind, we set the little guy to mucking some pens out this morning.