To give my wife a break, and to exercise the kids a bit, I took La Serpiente and Destroyer to Coal Creek with one of their friends, for a short hike.

I was feeling bleary-eyed to begin with, and the constant shouting of "poop!" from the back seat hadn’t helped my mood, and then to improve that, I trod in a massive yellow dog turd that lay in wait just behind where I’d parked the car. So my favourite shoes are now unwearable until I can hose them down, and possibly get over the emotional pain.

The hike itself went great: we only had a few little bits of bickering with the kids, and there was very little complaining about the hills, but as we drove home in the rain, I felt I needed something to keep me going. So I stopped to get tacos at the Mexican restaurant in Newcastle, bought tacos and a Coke. They forgot the Coke, and when I went back in to ask for it the barmaid suggested putting a shot of vodka in it. Could she see how stressed I was?

Back out I went, into the car, where the radio was playing utter filth, and then I spilt tacos over myself, a serving of salsa down the side of the driver’s seat, and generally made a huge mess before driving home.

So that wasn’t very relaxing. On the positive side, dinner was great, a huge and succulent turkey, with plenty of stuffing and gravy, leaving me feeling replete, even if the girls did demand a shouting competition for half the night. Back to work tomorrow…

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