The wind howled through holes in the cracked windows and rattled the branches of the dead trees against brick and glass. An unexpected hailstone wave tapped along the broken roof tiles and caused the drivers of cars on the motorway opposite to turn on their windscreen wipers and slow down. To them and any other travellers, all they saw a farmhouse and a collection of farm buildings which seemed long abandoned. Moss, ivy and other plants clung desperately to the walls and roofs, finding their way inside through gaps of all sizes. Rats and mice scuttled through the crumbling structures, forever fearful of the starving feral cats. Cobwebs flapped in the many corners with spiders’ exoskeletons and the remains of flies still clinging on. The bones of a black bird were scattered on the driveway and inside the front room Mavis lay slowly decaying.