You know when they say that you look like you've been through a hedge backwards?
Well, that was me.
You see, I actually went through a hedge backwards.
Clearly I had to go forward in order to be able to reverse the process and go backwards. I could have quite easily turned around, and gone back through the hedge forwards again. Only I couldn't, you see, as I had to hold my dog by his tail, in order to prevent him running after a man and his two dogs along the lane.
And so, there I was, hair attached in agonisingly painful fashion to rather a lot of brambles, in the MIDDLE of our hedge, and wishing that I had NOT let the dog out just before I had my nice cup of tea, well deserved after SIX hours of very dull ACCOUNTANCY work. For God's sake.
And as I clutched the very end of said dog's tail, I found that my grip was not going to hold.
Dog (Milo)gave an almightly yelp and leapt out from our hedge, into lane, bounding around with two rather cross looking dogs, and an equally cross looking man. Utterly unable to follow, due to thick branches, brambles and nasty looking nettles, I stayed put.
'Ooops!' I said, in conciliatory tones. 'I let go of my dog's tail! Silly old me!'
And I leaned forward, peering through the hedge, trying to catch eye of Cross Man, while tearing brambles off hair, clothes and face. Mad Woman of Borneo-style.
Cross Man, after aghast looks in my direction, started shouting at his dogs, and so I joined in and shouted at mine.
None of them paid the slightest attention, as it was clearly more fun sniffing bottoms and comparing notes.
When all of a sudden, Milo (my dog) came belting through the hedge, tail between his legs, turned around and prepared to go out again.
'Oh, no you don't!' I said, breezily and confidently.
As Milo went straight out onto the lane again.
This jolly little ritual went on for an agonising couple of minutes, while I alternated between yelling and wheedling. Just what Dog Owners Shouldn't Do.
Finally the little bugger (Milo, not the Cross Man) belted back into the hedge again. With an almighty leap in his direction, I grabbed him by the collar, and speaking through the large branch now actually lying across my face said,
'Got him! Thanks so much! Off you go!' sort of stuff, and to my intense relief, Cross Man started off up the lane, dogs trailing behind.
Thank Buggery for that, I thought.
And then realised that I was completely Stuck.
Brambles were pinning me down on every side, and one large branch had me braced against another.
And so I Went Through a Hedge Backwards. Slowly, hair tearing out, face scratched, nettles doing their damndest to prickle and sting as much bare skin as they could.
And as I finally prised myself loose, Milo darted forward. Again.
'OH NO YOU UTTER UTTER BUGGER NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!' I yelled, and lurched forward, JUST grabbing his collar and.... yes..... Going Through The Hedge Backwards Again.
I dragged my Bad Dog into the house, slammed the door and went to check the damage in the downstairs loo.
Peering into the mirror was a Sight to Behold.
My recently cut hair was combed forward by obliging branches and twigs, giving me the look of a teenage Rock Star, only with mad eyes and nettle stings on cheek and forehead. I had sticks clinging to shoulder, a large leaf of indeterminate origin, hanging from my left ear, and my beautifully clean shirt was blackened and green in equal measures.
In short I was a shocking sight.
And so, sipping my tea a few minutes later, having tidied up a bit, my children looked at me in amazement.
'Mummy, what HAPPENED to you? You look like you've....'
None of them could find a suitable comment.
So I finished it for them.
'...Been through a hedge backwards?'
Just too cute, eh?