She grabbed the end of the dog's lead, and the grubby fat starfish hand of her toddler and they started up the hill. Always uphill wasn't it? Like a metaphor for her life. The first few steps were blissful, peaceful, the cool air touching her cheeks, the warm suns rays struggling to break through the clouds. And then it started. It always did didn't it? Within a few meters of starting out? The tugging and pulling, the puppy wanting to race ahead, jumping around with excitement, the toddler stopping to look at a flower, the toddler's hand slipping out of mine as she chased a butterfly, or a feather, or a bird, the puppy finding something disgusting to smell, and stubbornly refusing to budge. It would go on like this, until the toddler's legs started to give in to tiredness, and she would block me mid-stride with her arms in the air, nearly toppling me every time. I would heave all 16 kiliograms of her into the air and onto my hip, then two minutes later she would want to walk again, then carry.... It was always the same. Life. Trudging uphill, being pushed and pulled in ever direction. Up and down. The way of the world. The way of her life.