Beth understood principles and lived accordingly. So it had come as a shock, as she entered her forties, with a successful business, two great kids and a comfortable life, that she wasn’t happy, and the source of her unhappiness was Peter. His minor blemishes had accumulated into something like a rash. He was irritating. Other husbands got away with affairs or outright neglect and their marriages survived. Peter’s crime was wanting things done his way. Not even everything. When she came to think of it she’d changed a lot of his habits over the years. But he still insisted on never putting the bins out until rubbish day. Unless she was there to supervise he’d put the cutlery away without polishing it. He wanted to recycle everything—she got sustainability but you could take it too far. Beth was constantly at him to change this or that. And it had got to her.

Frankly she was glad to be out of the house these days. She parked by the oval and surveyed her students, waiting with their dogs. God look at them, all over the place.

‘Right,’ she said, with a short whistle blast. ‘How did you go with walking on the leash? No tugging I hope. Your dog should have learnt that struggling only causes the collar to tighten.’

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