I AM a bit of a wimp when the weather gets really cold. So although I had multiple layers of thermal vests, cashmere (of course ) socks, gloves, a bank robber’s balaclava to keep my ears toasty and windproof/waterproof jacket, I was frozen out on the field at this week’s shoot.

After weeks of mild autumn weather, it came as a bit of a shock to wake up to a hard frost outside and fields white over. I had been used to leaving my jacket hanging up in the shoot wagon when out beating.

Not so yesterday. A bitter wind added to sub zero temperatures. Wouldn’t it be a better idea to stay at home and stock up the freezer with some Christmas delicacies rather than spend the day emulating a frozen turkey? Apparently not.

Three of the other wives on the shoot were not coming and that might mean it fell to the fellas themselves to organise lunch time refreshments. Not unheard of, but not completely desirable. There was the honour of the shoot to uphold.

Guests to be catered for with hot soup, sausage rolls, pork pies, home made cakes and sloe gin. Not a bad lunch time snack offering. And it meant I could faff about in the shoot truck organising it all so that a tempting spread was laid out for the guns as they staggered in from the snow.

The drop in temperature foreshadowed the demise of my two geese. This was the subject of much heated debate. I wanted to keep the pair, a goose and gander till next year to provide us with, hopefully, a gaggle of geese.

But John, ever practical, feels we have been lucky to avoid them falling prey to foxes, even in daytime, and pre-empted my plan to launch a Save the Geese campaign. He joined our friend Jerry in a goose armageddon, and came home covered in goose down and a complete lack of remorse.

Jerry has amassed over the years, enough equipment to equip a fully functioning butchers shop, and this includes an old tin bath and water heater that could well have been used for illicit pig scalding in the second world war. But it also means the geese will present really well on the Christmas table.

These are the ethical dilemmas I am so hopeless at reconciling. I wanted to keep the geese as I enjoyed their comical ways and the domesticity they had acquired. They particularly loved apple peelings; but sadly this will have only added to their succulence at the festive feast. Roast goose and apple sauce. Yum.