On my walk this morning, I met no one. Sam was nervous, pausing often to glance over his shoulder at the long narrow road on which we traveled. There were houses, either tumbledown or relatively new, and trees bending away from the road, and a shed with a horseshoe nailed on its door, propped shut with the pointy end of a fence post. An old-fashioned pram lay in front of it, upside down. Further down, I passed bales of hay, wrapped in mint-green plastic, and lambs, the first of the year, crying for their mothers. I walked on and on, past the houses, into a quiet land of fields, and it felt like I was the only person in the world. Flecks drifted in the air, not quite sticking, bits of the sky undone, hints of the ‘Beast from the East’ to come.