Trouts Go Brambling in Moray

Normal people decide to go brambling, set off, pick brambles, have a nice time, come home. Not us…

It took us a whole hour to get out. Well, 2, really. Straight after breakfast I recognised the signs of a sluggish family on go-slow, so suggested to The Boss that he go shower, get dressed, get the kids dressed, get the bikes out, and in the meantime I’d dive into town and do a grocery shop. It took me 45 minutes. When I came back everyone was mostly dressed. Ish.

I chivvied and nagged and they were ready to go after maybe half an hour. Then Mini Minx decided that she hadn’t had a tantrum in, ooooo, an hour. Perfect time for it. She didn’t want to wear her bike helmet. She wanted her bike. She didn’t like the rule ‘No Helmet, No Bike’. She didn’t want to wear a hat. She didn’t want to wear mitts. She didn’t want to go on my bike. She did want her bike. She didn’t want her helmet, still. She did want to go to sleep in her buggy. With her helmet. And her bike. She wouldn’t go in her buggy without them. She didn’t want to hold Evil, End-of-her-Tether Mummy’s hand. She’d hold Daddy’s hand if he begged. Well, he had to notice her, first – up till now he’d been staring vacantly into space, hoping that I’d organise everything and everyone. She decided that she would walk after all. So she did.

With a long line of neighbours tutting at the windows, we did the Walk of Shame down the road, a full 20 minutes after shutting the front door, Mini still sniffling, me gnashing my teeth. Foster Cat decided that it was all a disaster waiting to happen, and followed us. We spent a fruitless 5 minutes trying to shepherd him back home, eventually giving up and just plodding / walking beside the bikes the half-mile down out of town, across a few roads, to the coastal path. I even got to do my now-traditional “Slow down, you moron!” yell and hand-signals at a speeding orange car. Go, me…

I got 3 kids, 2 bikes, a sulky adult, an old cat (and a partridge in a pear tree) safely across the road, down the hill, and straight onto some of the shiniest, juiciest brambles I’ve seen in a long time. Brilliant! We abandoned the bikes, jackets and cat, and picked and picked. With a 1kg fruit jar full, we decided to cycle on down the path a bit. Foster Cat got nervous and started to miaow-cry. Poor old boy! OK, let’s set off back for home. Foster Cat bounded off happily, shepherding Mini and slow-coach Midi along the path back up the hill. Till we came across 2 big black labradors…

Exorcist Cat

I yelled to Maxi and Midi to stop cycling and wait. Mini clung to The Boss. The Boss glared at Foster Cat. I shooed the dogs away. I guess the dogs have heard Exasperated Old Bag before, because they obeyed me! Get out of town! So I lavished some Good Boy! praise on them till their owners caught up. Foster Cat decided that this was boring, so arched his big back till he was bigger than the dogs and spat at the biggest one: “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough, Fleabag!” The dog was having none of it, so bounced at the cat. The cat made a  faux-pounce at the dog. The dog yelped. Mini burst into tears. Maxi and Midi got bored and started to cycle around. I lunged at crying Mini to scoop her up. The Boss lunged at the cat to scoop him up. The cat obviously wasn’t in the mood, so turned tail and sprayed cat-diarrhoea straight at The Boss, and bounded under a gorse bush.

Maxi and Midi were now out of sight. The Boss was staggering around like Shaggy out of Scooby Doo moaning, “My eyes! My eyes! He got me up the nose!” Mini was near hysterical. The dog owners were saying: “You took your cat for a walk…?” I ran up the hill to call the elder minxes back. I ran back down the hill to dab at The Boss’s face. I ran back up the hill to drop Mini off with her sisters. I ran back down the hill to coax Foster Cat out of the bush and frog-marched him back up the hill. We set off for home, Maxi proudly yelling to anyone who’d listen, “This is the first time EVER that my Mummy’s let me cycle on the pavement by an actual road!”…

We’re now safely home. The cat peeled off as soon as we hit the outskirts of town and went for a browse in one of the big, posh, manicured gardens. I hope he returns soon; The Boss doesn’t. Our dog-poo strewn shoes are in a big pile outside the front door, humming gently in the sun. The bikes are a big pile of metal alongside. The Boss is going for his second shower and the minxes are lying in front of CBeebies, exhausted. Me? I need gin. Lots of it…

“We’re not going on a bramble-hunt again!”

(Till next time…)

4 thoughts on “Trouts Go Brambling in Moray

  1. Oh my…..I identify so much with these tales, but blogging was not around back in my day 😉 However, so many similar things happened to us, but never to quite the extent they do to you! I am just so relieved we were and are not the only inperfect family, with perfect walks where the children yell at you for being cruel and claiming they are going to ring child-line as normal parents let them doss inside and play on play-stations all day and they never have to do any jobs. Perfect blogs do my head in, real ones are brilliant, especially yours! Right, off to walk the dog on my own as there is noone to yell at to come with me today! Fiona

  2. :0o
    I’m exhausted just reading that! It sounds quite familiar though, minus the menagerie. And, Craig might start the day vacant but would most certainly have ended that walk seething and hissing more than foster cat.

    I suggest putting the brambles with the gin….. xxx

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