O'er Hill and Moor

It seems like a good idea to set out with a buggered back and the over active imagination of a small child to go to a plant sale across the hill. It sounds like a wonderful idea when you throw cake into the mix and the possibility of a pub. By the time we get down to the main road, we have had a few arguments, four, mainly revolving around questions that D has about the sun, the sky, the cows in the field, the dry water spring and which one of us is fattest. This is not what you want to hear when the walk is about a new health regime of losing a few pounds. Yes, I am aware we are going for cake. In this idyllic setting we stop by one of the largest cow muck heaps imaginable to have a family meeting after D has chucked himself on the ground just where all the leachate runs off the heap. There will be no arguing about anything and if we all behave ourselves we can have a sweet when we get to the hill in the distance and that D should stop trying to grab Daddy's cane because he will fall over. Carol has set the rules. We get to walk on, hand in hand, which is rare for married couples with children under the age of teenage angst.

Boy walking, Life on Pig Row

For this to succeed, D is allowed to run ahead and enjoy himself, very, very far away, as in a dot that is yelling nonsense at the end of a long sentence, like this. And this. And if you don't get it, this is the size of dot we want him to be today. As in . that size. We're not being cruel or unkind but there are only so many questions an adult can take off a child before thinking whether they should go in the middle of nowhere and scream, or take the child into the middle of nowhere and run.

Boy in the countryside, Life on Pig Row

So, off we trek over hill and moor, in stony silence with D occasionally yelling back to us or doing a sequence of complicated semaphore with his arms which could mean, (A) Hurry up, or; (B) I am being attacked by badgers. Either way, he's on his own we have taught him enough skills to fend off a badger attack or to make a sandwich. It's all he will ever need in life.

Mum and son, Life on Pig Row

Calm settles on the valley as we walk on towards cake and beer, and maybe some plants. D waves to us from the bottom of a steep hill and shouts very loudly, loud enough to be heard in Cheshire, that we will soon come to the bottom of a steep hill. Kids have this wonderful ability to state the bloody obvious that makes all parents think, 'What the hell is wrong with them?' We love him. We do. We wouldn't be without him but some days we wish he came with a volume button. Anyone who says parenting is easy is a lying bugger or a wannabe blogger trying to get free things. We argue.

Saddleworth walking, Life on Pig Row

It is at this point we discover the bottle water is stale, as in gag stale, as in, God that's ruddy awful to drink and the sun is evaporating it faster than I can spit it out. Thankfully, Carol has another bottle in her bag but this means that we have one small bottle for two adults and a child who thinks he's our grandparent. He keeps telling us not to drink it so fast before taking it and sinking it faster than that pint in Ice Cold in Alex. It is at this point that I need to tell everyone to slow down because my spine is nipping me and I just need a sit down, a nice cold drink and cake. Being disabled is not always the fun that the government makes out.

Family, Life on Pig Row

We sit down for a spell and D still eyeing my cane decides that he will make his own from a long piece of grass as Carol decides to see if the mound in the near distance - a mere two miles away - is a fox den. 

Boy and Mum, Life on Pig Row

I sit there looking at the view and listening to D tell me that what's really missing from the view is a group of mammoths or ducks. Ducks would do. He then points to the sky to tell us that a plane is going overhead and for us to watch out in case they drop something on us. It would be a mercy killing.

Saddleworth, Life on Pig Row

Home has never seemed so far away as it does at that moment. Someone suggested we should go on a walk. Someone shoot them. Or give me cake.

Saddleworth, Life on Pig Row

We get to where we are going in the end, and yes there is cake, for 50p, there is cordial and a pub. We drink, we drink some more, D settles down with a packet of crisps and tells us that it was a lovely walk. We point out that we have to do it all in reverse, it's just under two miles, he tells us to order a taxi back, we don't argue.

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  1. What a pretty landscape! I really enjoyed this post. I hope there is more walks with cake in your future.