So I think you can trust me to give you an accurate report of Gail's thought processes first thing Saturday morning. Here goes:
"Hmmm, I suppose I really should go Christmas shopping today, so I don't end up rushing around in a last minute panic once again. Oh dear but the shops will be terribly busy and anyway I haven't a clue what to buy, everyone has too many things already don't they? And it would be a shame to waste a nice bright day by being indoors. One needs to soak up every possible ray of sun at this time of year - they say rickets is on the increase 'cos folk stay inside too much. Plus Darren Bett on the BBC forecast heavy rain for Scotland tomorrow. And then there's Bertie. I really owe him a good long walk, after sending him off to kennels last weekend. See him sat there looking at me with that adorable, optimistic, trusting little face. Yes, the Christmas stuff can wait. But where to go? It's so muddy everywhere at the moment...(thinks for a minute or two). I know, we'll visit the Forvie Nature Reserve. The ground by the coast is sandy and well drained. And the terns aren't nesting at this time of year, so the dune area won't be closed off. The wind today is light, so no danger of Bertie getting sand grains blown in his eyes on the beach. If we complete the circuit of the Reserve - estuary, dunes, beach, cliff path and back - that's at least seven miles, so Bertie might even be a bit tired by the end. Yes that's what we'll do, better get going, it's a thirty minute drive and we've only a few hours before it's dark again..."
All in all, I think we can congratulate Gail on a good decision. As for presents, there's always Amazon gift vouchers.
But I must say she was wrong about the (lack of) mud.