In these endless days of leaden skies and steady downpours, we have to make do with small mercies which we'd better grab with both hands.
Initially grey and rainy, it looked as if it was about to clear up in the early afternoon of December's first Sunday. This was duly confirmed by our weather app, which claimed that the rainclouds would be taking a breather for a couple of hours.
Tired of being cooped up inside the house, we grabbed our coats and stepped outside, where all that unaccustomed fresh air instantly rushed to our heads.
However, with only a small and all but perfectly formed park within walking distance, any cobweb clearing outings involve a short drive at the very least. So, our first task was to pick up our car from our rented garage about 400 metres or so from Dove Cottage.