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Kerri McLean

How a chance beach encounter inspired me to prepare early for family festivities

Kerry McLean


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Kerry McLean with her husband Ralph and children Tara, Dan and Eve.

Kerry McLean with her husband Ralph and children Tara, Dan and Eve.

Kerry McLean with her husband Ralph and children Tara, Dan and Eve.

I had to have stern words with myself this week. I apologise to anyone in the supermarket who was near enough and, as a result, slightly unnerved, by the sight of me, standing with a packet of mince pies in my hand and mumbling: "Catch yourself on!"

The reason for such self-admonishment in the biscuit aisle was because I suddenly realised that I'd let a rising sense of panic overwhelm me, something that we've all have to fight hard to prevent in recent months. This particular panic had its roots in Christmas and a conversation I had with a stranger on the beach.

It wasn't until I had a dog of my own that I realised what a great conversation starter they are. Even in these weird times, complete strangers will still stop for a safe, socially distanced natter over the heads of our furry charges. We'll comment on each other's fur babies, noting how gorgeous they are, how well behaved or how "exuberant" their personalities are.


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