After breakfast we drove across to the orthodontist, then to Sainsburys for brufen and a bottle of mineral water, then up to school for just after nine. And all the time the blue, blue skies were calling to us to abandon our day and stay out in the sunshine and play. Even the girl at the checkout hoped the weather would hold until the end of her shift.
Driving home over the mountains, I called in at the farm and bought a bag of potatoes. All week I've been thinking of baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, roast potatoes. I've driven past this farm for nearly a decade on the school run, and each spring the snowdrops appear, lining the dry stone walls that mark out Derbyshire as the most beautiful county in England. Potatoes bought and stowed in the boot, I told the farmer this, and we realised our children are at the same school. Rather cheekily I asked if I could buy a clump of his snowdrops, to bring home to my garden a permanent reminder of the school run. And here they are, a permanent reminder of clear blue skies; of overnight frosts; of the absolute joy of children and parenthood; and the relentless passage of time, as winter makes way for spring, and the new year is underway.