Lady in waiting

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Gerey nomad bushwalker

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,
When we set off on the Big Lap, one of the things we looked forward to most was exploring the walking trails together as we went. All good, apart from one thing. My husband, Tim, is the ultimate bushwalking dawdler. He stops to chat to absolutely everybody we meet and, if we ever bump into a park ranger while we’re on a hike, God help us! That will be at least an hour. And he takes so long to take photos, and he takes so many of them. He stops and messes about with this silly portable tripod he bought to get the perfect pic. I hate to admit this but the other day I saw a wombat which I know he would have loved to photograph but I didn’t show him and he didn’t notice it so he missed out. Am I an awful wife?

No, you’re not an awful wife, Tess, but I do think this is something you should talk to Tim about. It is important that he is sensitive to your need to ‘keep moving’, and you to his need to ‘take time to smell the roses’. There is no wrong or right way to bushwalk – as long as you do it safely – so you both need to work out a compromise. Maybe you can take it in turns to be the hike leader and determine the pace? That way, you might both get to experience what the other person enjoys and maybe gain a greater appreciation of it. One thing is for sure, though. You can’t go on suffering in silence and allow resentment and frustration to build up. You both clearly enjoy walking the walk, Tess, but maybe you should try talking the talk first.

Don’t get me started about dawdling husbands, Tess. I could write a book! I get the picture. He stops and you try with all your might not to get annoyed. You count to a hun­dred … and then a thousand … and he’s still flaffing around with a tripod, a light setting, a shutter speed, or God knows what. You try to subtly let him know you’ve had enough. You sigh, you walk on a little bit, and still he doesn’t seem to notice. Then the awful penny finally drops. He is taking so ridiculously long doing some­thing so simple that he has got to be trying to annoy you on purpose! When I got to that point, I tried two different ap­proaches, Tess, and only one of them gave me a satisfactory outcome. One of them was screaming abuse at the dither­ing old fool, and the other was divorce.


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