Nothing ever turns out like the scenes depicted in glossy lifestyle magazines. I flick through the pages and feel inspired by the pictures of folk ambling along blossom bedecked country lanes with an obedient dog trotting at their side. Children, dressed in bright colours, cheeks aglow with fresh air and joy, picking flowers and frolicking in the sun.
Yeah, well, I experience the following:
Dog smells rabbits and tries to bolt straight through wire fence. Spend fifteen minutes untangling him, praying there is no damage as I can't afford massive vet bills right now. (Plus of course, I don't want him hurt!!!!)
Child screams relentlessly after low flying aircraft scares her witless.
Rather than soaking up the atmos and enjoying the scenery I spend much of my time fashioning the dog's rope toy into an effective weapon should we ever meet anyone dodgy (I have total paranoia about the safety of the kids.)
Return home exhausted, covered in horse shit after the dog dived into a huge puddle of manure before returning happily to sniff and rub itself all over everybody and everything taking part in the outing. The only blessing was that we suffered a sudden torrential downpour which washed some of the effluence off.
Spend afternoon washing clothes and listening to the dog whine because, with all the fracas he didn't actually get a proper walk after all.