This freakishly good weather has even graced the
Lancashire hills. With friends due round for lunch and a stroll, we're set up for a perfect Sunday. They bring wine for us and three chocolate chicks for the kids, which I quickly designate as walk incentives.
The initial steep farm track isn't the problem, it's the long gentle incline across the sheep field where the kids tend to go on strike. While we're admiring the views across the valley, they're already slumping behind. Chasing shadows is our friend's genius invention and gets us two thirds of the way. My idea to pretend a trough is a pirate ship has entertainment value, but also hampers progress.
It's time to talk chocolate chicks. They can only be found on high moorland and I'm giving my daughter the job of hiding them for the younger boys. Well that makes her scamper ahead in no time.
My son needs a different incentive. Romans. Hundreds of them. Up ahead. He glugs down his magic potion (I'm not allowed any because I fell into it when I was a baby) and we brandish out broken twig swords. Charge, bosh, biff, nearly up the hill.
The moors stretch out under a clear blue sky, but we have no time to stand and stare.
Rosa's hidden the chicks and the hunt is on. Joe finds the first two in record time - one for him and one for his mate.
Now there's only one left and it remains stubbornly elusive. Four adults and three children search low and lower in the thick moorland grass. Try as she might,
Rosa hasn't a clue where she hid the bright yellow foil-coated chick. She's understandably (and quite amusingly) pissed off.
Our walk incentive has seriously backfired. Now it's a lesson in sharing. Two between three. Sticky chocolate faces and fingers. A mini sugar high. Quick - let's get home before it wears off.