We don’t get a lot of snow in Australia. And only at higher elevations. Years ago I went skiing. It rained. Cold icy horrible rain. My misery made worse by a friend who didn’t seem to mind. He was ENJOYING himself. Afterwards, he scraped the frozen layer off the car’s windscreen with his bare hands. While I looked on shivering.

Nevertheless, I spend winters here fantasising about visiting the snow…but not quite getting there. When Lila entered our lives, the incentive grew stronger. I felt that, as a Labrador, she needed snow. She has snow genes. So I started investigating snowy places that would allow dogs. The options were few. And eventually spring started to feel like summer and I’d pretty much given up.

But then a miracle happened: Mother Nature took a freakish turn and dumped about six inches of the white stuff on nearby hills. No one could believe it. This much snow isn’t supposed to happen around here. Not at any time of year. I rang a hilltop pub to confirm the rumour. An awestruck publican said yes it was true, but warned that the roads were closed. Undaunted, I packed up Lila, picked up my adventurous friend Helen and her seven-year-old border collie-kelpie cross Wilkie, and made plans to sneak up to the snow.