The stream has overflowed on to the road. Frozen water coats the surface. Gingerly I cross, digging each step into the iron hard ground. Heavy clouds hover over the valley, silver light reflecting from the estuary. The first flakes of snow spiral down, dancing around me as I walk. Despite hat and gloves, the wind nips at my nose, and toes and fingers start to freeze. I turn for home, hoping to arrive before the storm begins in earnest.