Returning to our flat after another Christmas with the family, we hear the hard, intermittent bleep of the smoke alarm needing a replacement battery. One borrowed ladder, new battery and “how do to replace a smoke detector battery” youtube video later, I’ve re-established my patriarchal eminence. During the entire coach journey, the reverent snow on the passing hills was counterbalanced by some loud, rich teenagers repeatedly using the word “peng”. My eldest daughter gazed out the window, asked if we’d be able to build a snowman when we get home and then vomited into a bright pink nappy bag. We are lucky that, for us, the word “home” is no precursor to trauma but is the heat signature of our four bodies, whatever path we choose to take. Right now, the pilot flame blushes within the boiler, the radiators groan low and we laugh about the woman who gave us the sink-eye as she parked in her driveway, not knowing her semi-detached was once a crack den.

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