The fire in the Brown Cow is cooking your leg, and there are four fresh pints of Landlord on the table. It’s your dad, your uncle, your brother and you. Your Grandad’s also there, as the fondly-told stories about him are brought out. The annual trip to Appleby to buy horses from the gypsies, a fortnight there and back in a covered wagon with a train of ponies tied to the back. The time he was sent to Skipton to buy a lorry for the family firm, riding there on his horse and teaching himself to drive on the way home. Playing the harmonica as he led a group of mates to Bingley to see Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer. The dog that dug him out of a deep moorland snowdrift – and thank God it did or none of us would be here to savour this special, rare evening.
On Christmas Eve you’ll take a picture of your three-year-old son sat in his great-great-great-grandad’s ash and elm chair. Made within a couple of miles of where your family still live, the wood polished smooth by the hands of time.