Old houses can be creepy places at night.
They can invoke the memories of shrieks and howling, the fluttering of night creatures, wings brushing against sleeping cheeks and the transition from deepest sleep to deepest terror.
A howl emanates from Rosie's room and suddenly everyone is awake and lights are switched on.
The Farmer gets dressed.
It always amuses me why he does this and I think it is an automatic response to all emergencies - best tackle them fully clad, including socks, rather than waft about with dressing gown aflap or bare feet.
The bats are back and flitting through the house. They stop when the lights go on and rest on the first object, here, the bathroom curtain.
I admire their tenacity and their ability to survive the harsh winter. They live up an old chimney, a few up in the attic where you can sometimes hear them shuffling about when Spring comes.
We cannot touch them so have to draw back curtains and open the windows then hope they will fly out. Sometimes they go out but occasionally they continue to fly around the house.
The Farmer does all the window opening and I stand there like The Evil Dead, contributing nothing much at all.
Rosie gets really cross and decides to move her quilt and sleep downstairs.
The little one has crept into our bed while we were dealing with the bats. He is sprawled out. His fingers are splayed and look like two small starfish.
Eventually, the house settles back to silence and I lie awake hoping the bats fly outside.....
The following day there is an almighty storm outside and at one point, the secondary glazing begins to bulge. There is a gap in the window which means it never shuts properly and the wind finds the gap and screams through it. The noise is awful.
There are thumps and moans, bumps and more screaming winds. A window breaks at the back.
We are all gathered in the living room but the children are really scared. I am too but have to pretend that everything is fine and that the storm will soon pass.
The little bat has sought shelter just outside the bathroom window and she clings upside down to the window sill.
Night falls and we manage to get the children to settle and sleep. The following morning, it is still very windy but nothing like the day before.
The very spine of the roof has been torn off and moves menacingly like a huge snake, spitting pieces of broken slate on to the ground below.
It had whipped around and broken the back window.
The guttering and downpipes lay broken and some fascia had been blown into the field.
The plaster in the bedroom finally gives up the ghost after the rain pours in through the roof.
It is all a bit of a mess.
Rosie eyes the situation and begins to huff.
"Oh great, now the bats can just march in through the roof".....