Saturday, 2 April 2011
As I lift the glass to my lips, I mutter the word "Tick" under my breath. Katie shoots me a quizzical look.
We are sitting outside the Cambrian Inn in Solva, Pembrokeshire on a sunny Saturday afternoon. We have only just arrived after a four-and-a-bit-hour drive. But the journey to get to this position has been somewhat longer.
Over the last few months we've been busy. Extraordinarily busy. Busy to a degree that would be classed as obscene. Well, OK then, maybe not by the standards of your average 19th-century mill employee. I'll give you that.
"Tick?" asks Katie once more. An eyebrow is at risk of being raised.
Since Christmas it's been project after project after project. It's good to be busy - far much so than the alternative. But there hasn't been much of a gap between each item. In January I put together a plan of all the things I had to do over the first few months of the year. I won't bore you with the details. Mainly because you would find them, well, boring. But I called it my Big Scary List.
Next to each item was a box to be ticked when it was complete.
As the weeks went by I would come to each item and tick it off when completed. Then the next one would kick in. Head down, full tilt, tick, tick, tick.
Sitting in the Welsh sunshine I reflect on the trip. I know my way here almost off by heart - we've been coming here for 16 years, after all. But never have the bilingual roadsigns - ARAF meaning SLOW - been more relevant. It's an instruction I fully intend to follow for the next week.
"Yes," I say as I put the pint glass down in front of me. "Tick."