My first gun, waiting lean-to behind the scullery door. Or was it the pantry, that cold, quiet room of bright refrigerators and delights. Double barreled and worn, casual dangerous amid the soft cooling soda bread and Christmas cakes. "Just in case the fox comes again" you'd said. But I'd imagined more. Those were the days of sudden helicopters and dark night checkpoints. Snipers in the hedges, armour over the wheels, bad men whispering about empires.