Nearing the end of our run this morning, the first enormous skein of geese we’d seen announced their approach with their characteristic carolling. Drawn in squiggles across a Poussin sky, just after a classic egg-yoke sunrise, hundreds of wonderful and welcome winter visitors moved high overhead. Beyond the harbour, towards Beadnell they persevered, coming to rest in some cabbage field or other, some newly-harvested patch where the grain pickings are good – according to their trusty scouts. I love to see them arriving and, as they do, all our minds go to the little housemartins from the nest at the front of our house whom we hope are now far, far to the South – a different kind of South from ours, though, which these pioneer geese have successfully attained. It all depends what makes one happy, doesn’t it; home being where the food bowl is, as we spaniels always say.