‘Look, Mama, the fairy tree is frozen! I don’t care that it’s not the 21st yet, winter has officially started and Jack Frost has been dancing up a storm. Do you think the fairies are playing in the ground with the root children?’ asks my youngest as we cycle through the park. The Root children, by Sybille von Olfers, is her favourite book at the moment. We’ve read it so many times I know it by heart. There is something lovely about the idea of bulbs resting in the earth, sewing their new dresses as they wait for spring to come so they can dance and play in the forest in a burst of bright rainbow colour once again.
‘Mama, when are we going ice skating?’ asks my eldest, impatiently, not at all interested in the potential magic happening right in front of her. Her eyes peek out accusingly from the layers of wool I’ve bundled her up in.
‘Now, darling, that’s where we are going.’
‘I love ice skating,’ she tells me when we arrive at the ice skating rink, ‘I want to go ice skating every day.’ She whizzes off around the rink, the chair she’d been using for balance long forgotten. We do not see her again until it is time for hot chocolate.