The wind roars through the beech trees, buffeting and tossing everything in its path. Those trees, those old, old trees sway like ancient dancers at a primeval feast.
In the early morning darkness, only the lights of the housing association houses and a smattering of others - including ours - are on, as I make my way around the field with two dogs and a torch before getting ready for work. Elsewhere, the newly-retired and long-retired slumber in their beds.
A solitary figure in a dressing gown tiptoes out of a door, looking left and right before the clattering of bottles put out for the recycling is heard across the street. It is Mrs Bancroft, and she's going back to bed.
My two reluctant spaniels perk up when they pick up the scent of a short-sighted badger which snuffles and snorts across the field and bangs into a fence post as it makes its getaway.
On the road, there might be trees fallen down and plenty of surface water as white van man and commuters like me make for the bright lights of Dorchester.
Tonight I will play host to Book Club where seven of us will sit around the dinner table with stuffed peppers and trifle left over from new year's eve to discuss To The End of the Land, a very long tome put forward by the delightful Mr Mabel Lucie Attwell. My ladies will wax lyrical and leave me behind as I still haven't finished it.
Meanwhile, the men will pursue their own pursuits, with supper at a nearby pub where, if they've booked, they might have a community haircut at the same time. That's the kind of pub I like.
It seems an age ago since we celebrated new year's eve, dressed to kill. Mr Grigg went as Wyatt Earp, his Movember moustache put to good use. There was the fragrant Mrs Putter as the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, complete with Chrissie Hynde wig and nose ring and Mr Putter following closely behind dressed as 007.
There were the Sheepwashes as The Avengers, Mrs Champagne-Charlie in a safari outfit and Mr Champagne-Charlie as himself, complete with tweed plus fours and live ammunition.
I had wanted to go as Medusa, with snakes in my hair and an icy stare, but Mr Grigg forced me to go as a suicide bomber instead, strapping cardboard tubes from the turkey foil, wire and my alarm clock around my waist.
At midnight, we went into The Enchanted Village square to meet revellers from a wig-wearing party at the village hall, gathering to kiss each other and do Auld Lang Syne. The numbers in the square were depleted because the pub is closed. Which is probably just as well because at midnight my alarm went off.
That's about it.
Love Maddie x
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