Going wild in the country

11th April 2008 at 01:00
Spending the Easter holidays hiking with her family does not put the 'friendly' back into relations for Kate

Dear Bex,

"That's west. No wait - that's south."

It's the Easter holidays, and the family has decided to go for a walk on the local moor. Or rather, Dad has decided that we should go for a wander about on the local moor. What with his gall bladder problems, failing vision, and inability to digest anything other than yoghurt without burping like a truck exhaust, blundering around in scrubland being stared at by cows is now his only remaining source of entertainment.

The trouble is, he's not very good at it.

"I'm sure it says this is the footpath."

"That's not a footpath, Dad. It's just a gap in the grass."

"It looks like a footpath on the map."

"That's because you're holding the map upside down."

He rotates the guidebook so that we are staring at a large, featureless expanse of brown, devoid of houses, fences, footpaths or any other sign of human habitation.

"I'd say that we're about ... there."

He points right to the middle of it.

"Oh well," says my brother Dan, plonking himself down on his rucksack and unsheathing a Pepperami. "I always had a feeling I'd die young, anyway."

"What are you talking about?" Mum flinches.

"Well, you know it's quite romantic really." He starts guzzling down the spicy sausage like a python showing off for David Attenborough. "I mean, here we are, communing with nature. It's like that film."

"What, The Sound of Music?"

"No. Into The Wild. And anyway, if we get hungry we can always have a bit of a chew on Kate."

"Are you saying I'm fat?" I shriek.

"I prefer the phrase 'family size'," grins Dan.

"Surely if we're going to eat anyone it should be your mother," harrumphs Dad. "She eats well, keeps fit, and she's got a big ..."

"Wayne!" snaps Mum, jabbing Dad in the stomach with a hiking pole.

"I think I'm going to just lie down here and wait for death," I sigh. "To be honest, it's preferable to another hour hiking with you lot."

Love Kate x.

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