We've moved the dining table to the other side of the room, cleared away old books and files, and now have a clean 8m run from the front door to the back of the house. After a family meeting about safety rules and what to do with the cat, we are clear for archery child to practice shoot in the house. Yes, in the house.
You can't always find the energy and will to shoot in the rain. At this level they must practise in all weathers. You cannot turn up at a tournament and say "Oh, I don't think I'll shoot today. It's a bit too windy for me." Sideways rain, gale force winds, snow… whatever the weather, you have to go with it. That's why we have sets of waterproof trousers, multiple fleeces, hand warmers and 'skin'.
The scary sounding 'skin' is actually very thin polo neck tops that are so fine they are like wearing another layer of skin. They are beautifully warm but allow the archer to shoot without hindrance. You can't put chunky layers of warm clothing on your arm or they will get in the way of the string and deflect the arrow. Nothing must get in the way of the arrow.
Hence shooting in the house is our new thing. This summer, so far, has been dismal weather-wise and we risked trench foot if we shot outdoors any more. I agreed that - if things were set up properly - we could shoot in the house when necessary.
I'm sat here now writing this on one side of the house and all I can hear is 'Doosh!... Doosh!' every few seconds. When I look at the target the arrows are all so close together they look like one. Result.
Okay, so I've kind of lost my dining room for a while. These sacrifices have to be made. I thank my lucky stars that we can do this and I'm not having to get up at 5am every morning to take my child to swimming training like some of the parents have to.
When homework is done and tea finished, he gets ready. There's about half an hour of prepping the bow and checking the fletchings on the arrows - we lost quite a few new ones last week and the cat keeps finding them - and then everyone is warned that shooting will begin. We're actually very lucky to have a house arrangement that works well, and safely, for this. All exits and entrances are shut and secured. Cat is safely deposited outside and cat flap locked shut.
I make sure my wine glass is topped up as I sit at my computer for the evening so I don't have to go back to the kitchen, and other family members are either out or sat in front of the TV.
When shooting stops, everyone is informed, as they are before it begins. I have to say, I wouldn't fancy breaking into our house - any burglar would get rather a surprise.