Every year The Rags and I start our Christmas celebrations with an afternoon of ice-skating.
In recent years I have not skated, my role has been as banker, chauffeuse, photographer and cheer-leader as my offspring took to the ice at Hampton Court Palace - one too many skiing-accidents has wrecked my knees and kept me off the ice and snow, very sensibly, uncharacteristically sensibly for me!
But last Christmas I was feeling reckless. Something to do with the realisation that there may not be that many Christmases left and that the potential risk to my body was not as important as the positive benefit to my spirit, and so I booked tickets for all three of us to skate at an outdoor rink in London.
It was unseasonably mild.
The ice-rink was a paddling pool.
Happily we were outside one of our favourite place, The Natural History Museum, so we did that which we always do when Life throws a spanner in the works of our plans, we used it to cobble together another adventure and that took the form of a new exhibition that could have been constructed just for me.
It is no secret that I am fascinated by our evolution as a species.
Or that I am rather passionate about our cousins, the Neanderthals.
So this was serendipity at her finest.
I am fortunate to have two Rags who are patient with me and who are content to follow with amused smiles as I do my impersonation of a little kid let loose in a sweet shop.
There were many cries of, "Look at the distinctive skull, look at the ridges over the brows, you can't see it but there's an impression round the back caused by their strong neck muscles ..."
and, "Did you know that they buried their dead? You can tell by the placing of the skeleton and there's even a suggestion that they covered them with flowers..."
and, "Of course we know that they made stone tools for killing their prey and cutting up the meat"
and, "Look at that face and then tell me he was a savage, non-human!"
Of course then there were dinosaurs...
I defy anyone to visit The Natural History Museum and ignore the dinosaurs.
We have never failed to find the time to admire the dinosaurs, not in what must be around a hundred trips to the museum.
See, it really isn't about weathering the storm, or in this case the melted ice, it's about having fun splashing in the puddles.