We stop and sniff every tree and every lamp post.
At the village pond our pace picks up a little and we head off after a vole. The vole escapes.
There is a considerable pause while we stop and glare at the chickens .
The sky is cloudless. Angus frets about clear skies, freezing temperatures and the water pipes in a large rickety old farmhouse without a functioning boiler. Sophie is told about the Alabama Senatorial results but is distracted by a wood pigeon that coos audaciously at her.
We head off to a hotel in the little market town. The Christmas decorations have gone up. This year a large bauble covered in lights sits in the middle of the square. It presumably looks better when lit.
Angus asks the stern lady behind the hotels reception desk if we can have a room for an hour. She looks at us suspiciously. I explain the situation with the broken furnace and why we just want to shower and go. The ' I've heard it all before ' look remains in place. It's still there when I hand back the room key.
The Old Farmer wants to buy the Belgian lady a present. He has to sell two bottles of Cognac to pay for it. '' M'Ongoose do you know anyone who might be interested ? They're almost full ". So it is we end up with two bottles of Napoleon Cognac that have only had the smallest 'tasting' taken out of them . ' The Font ' wonders how much Cognac can go into a Christmas Pudding.