I have always considered myself to be optimistic by nature. By this I mean that I (almost) unfailingly look on the bright side and assume that nothing terrible will befall me. This does not mean that I don't
ever experience bad times, or sad times - just that I generally won't have wasted precious time imagining the worst before it happens.
Mr B, on the other hand, is a pessimist. Or, as he prefers
to be described, a realist. This is a good way to be, he says, on account of the fact that, if you always imagine things will go wrong, when they go right you are pleasantly, and happily, surprised. Between us, you might say, we strike a perfect
Mr B's pessimism / realism is never more in evidence that when, as today, we embark upon A Very Long Car Journey. Even before we set
off, he is bewailing the fact that we are almost certain to be caught in traffic at (i) Arundel; (ii) Chichester; (iii) Portsmouth; (iv) Southampton; (v) Newbury; (vi) the Severn Bridge Crossing; and (vii) all the other main points on our way to Cardiff.
Yes, we are off to Wales to help young Sam celebrate his sixth birthday tomorrow. We have the banner, the birthday card, the present, and the birthday balloon. We are going to have
a great time.
Slight hold-up at Arundel but it could have been worse. "Wait till we get to Chichester," groans Mr B. We sail through Chichester. "We're going to hit Portsmouth at
just the wrong time," warns Mr B. We don't. "Traffic's always bad round Southampton," Mr B says mournfully. It isn't.
"Better not stop too long
for lunch," he decides, as we pull into Chieveley Services, "We don't want the traffic to build up." We wolf down a Cornish pasty (Mr B) and a sausage roll (me) and head back onto the M4 where the traffic, amazingly, is moving fast and steadily towards
Before we know it we are at the Severn Bridge. It's my favourite bridge because it's the one that takes me to my little Welsh boys.
Not very much later and we are there. "Pretty good journey," Mr B reports to our son.
So now he tells me.