"I think I'm a real country girl," I announced in what turned out to be a moment of much irony. We were driving home from Aylesbury after a couple of tortuous hours in the bank. Aylesbury must once have been a beautiful town, but now there is something grey and sordid about it, not helped by the half term plethora of fat food tents that have sprung up about the market square - selling sweets by the yard - and by sat nav deciding to take me through the worst of the roundabout tangles which are meant to make life easier but don't. Coming out of the city, driving up and into the fields, all green wheat and brilliant yellow rapeseed, laced at the edges with frothing cow parsley, we all breathed a sigh of relief. "Yes, I'm definitely a country girl at heart," I said.
On arrival at home, were met by dog who had not had her midday walk and wanted to make sure we realised this. So, it was straight out into the fields for a certain country girl.
The only trouble is, that this certain country girl obviously does not know as much about country life as she would like to think.
One of the rather more wonderful things about England, is the fact that there are public footpaths everywhere, right through farmer's fields, so you can walk for miles without having to worry about trespassing on other people's property. The fact that the fields have cows in them doesn't matter does it?
Especially not when said cows are hundreds of yards of buttercupped grass away, eh?
But when the cows look up from their grazing, evil intent in their eyes, even this country girl begins to feel anxious. "But they're only cows," she thinks, though she does call her dog and put her back on the lead. It is a mere forty yards to the next field, might as well keep going till we get there, never mind that the cows, still a couple of hundred yards away, are now walking in the same direction, huffing and blowing. Hmm, okay, maybe time to cut the walk short.
So she turns and walks in the opposite direction. And so do the cows. She speeds up - and so do the cows, though they are now coming towards her. Note, here, that she is wearing a skirt - usually she wears jeans for her walks, but this time, couldn't be bothered to change so is in skirt and sexy brown trainers which should only be worn by divers according to her sister. Cows are now mooing and trampling towards her, dumpy fat animals turned into monsters of agility and speed. Dog has ears back and is curling around her legs in fear. She starts to run - and so do the cows, though much faster than she, over the tussocky grass. Can she make it back to her stile, back to the safety of the lane? The cows are cutting her off, the dog whimpering with fear, she is hoping that nobody can see, because she would rather die, here in this field, then have a video of her being chased by cows up on YouTube. She can feel their breath now, they are on her heels, they are coming faster and faster, their heavy, flinty hooves pounding the earth, stretching their necks out mooing and shouting, twenty or so cows - she is not going to make it to the stile, she is going to be lucky to get to the fence at all - it is getting closer and closer, but so are the cows, ten yards, eight yards, five, three two - and she is over the fence into a bed of nettles six feet high, dragging dog in after her!
Five minutes of fighting with brambles and nettles, cows screaming at her form the other side of fence, she and dog are back on the path, shaking but alive.
When she mentions it to neighbour, wondering whether she should have just stood her ground or whether she was a complete coward to go for the nettle option, she is told that a woman in the village was trampled by same cows just a couple of years ago, ending up in hospital with broken ribs and arms, lucky to escape with her life.
So it seems that this country girl still has a lot to learn about the country.
And she is going to have steak for dinner at the weekend.
Ps. One of my delightful sisters, on hearing of my miraculous escape: "Well, I'm gld you're alive - though it would have been a very funny way to die!"