I am heading to the countryside. As we know, I fear the countryside and view it as a dark, violent place full of decomposing creatures, limited shopping opportunities and incest. See here, where I serenaded it in the style of Dr Seuss. Or last year's dead newt and rotting carcass extravaganza. Not to mention the cruel absence of broadband. But go I must, to rescue my children from their continued enslavement in my father's vegetable garden, their tiny fingers worn down with carrot picking (or something. For all I know carrots run around the fields kicking up their tiny carrot legs and grazing on, I dunno, silage or something). God only knows what has happened to the dog, it is probably catatonic with terror after accidentally sighting a sheep and certainly catatonic with terror after spending 2 days with my father, who I once saw pour a pint of beer over a cat that was annoying him, and who used to keep his chickens in a potato sack when they were being naughty.
"It's sort of drizzling" warns my stepmother. Forgetting entirely what a British summer involves and fresh from the tropical paradise that is Belgium, I have sent the children away with nothing but shorts and t-shirts. I myself have nothing warmer or more practical than a pair of Fitflops and I sense a trip to the dizzying retail paradise that is Shipston on Stour coming on (the Coop, Somerfield, and a gigantic hardware shop filled with exciting multi-purpose chemicals for killing both weeds and all your immediate family). Usually within hours of arrival I have reverted to my fourteen year old self, sullenly curled up on a window ledge with a family sized sponge cake, refusing all attempts to make me leave the house, but maybe I can persuade the children to go to the Cotswold Wildlife Park where last year a goat tried to eat my whole face. You get your entertainment where you can in the countryside, especially if you can't afford the version Lady Bamford is trying to sell you (I think she has custody of the only espresso machine in Gloucestershire, but short of selling her a child, I can't afford to test it out).
I will be back on Saturday at the latest, possibly before then if I can construct an internet connection out of twigs and baby badger corpses. In the meantime I would like you all to think positive thoughts of gambolling lambs and spring flowers (I have a suspicion this is not seasonally appropriate, but what would I know) rather than spilled entrails and dung.