Day 4 of the Great Channel Islands Tick Chase, another critical day in the completion of the Guide.

Sark. The Southwold of France the south. Pashminas, man buns and loud braying voices essential. At least, that was my memory of my 2014 visit when the island was overrun by folkies attending a Seth Lakeman gig.

Unlike Simon, who just turns up in Cornwall, holds out Colin the Cauliflower at a road junction in Bodmin and hopes someone will give him a lift to Tresco, the RetiredMartin ticking trip is meticulously planned, with servants dispatched to check opening times weeks ahead.

Which is why, over buffet breakfast (loud Saffers, mainly) at the St Pierre on Sunday morning,

I get the fright of my life when I check the GBG App details for the Mermaid for a fifth time.

That CAN’T be right; I spent an hour confirming it was opening!

Too late to stop now, as Van Morrison wrote about ticking in ’72. Only one sailing to Sark, I’d been lucky to get tickets.

We walked down to St Peter Ports dock for Sark, a lovely Sunday morning stroll, the delight only tempered by my growing fear if a muzzled Mermaid.

A gorgeous sunny day, so we beat the idlers to the outside deck. Only to regret it within 10 minutes as the wind whipped across the deck and Mrs RM looked smugly at her 3 layers.

I also realised I was now trapped with the absolute height/dregs of polite society for the 45 minute crossing. A besuited cricket team sponsored by Utopian Future Gilts on their way to play a Sark XI, children who looked like their ponies, pashminas everywhere…

But at least the boat sailed, and could dock.

And now all I had to do was convince Mrs RM that the tractor ride up the hill was for sissies, and the walk would be character building.

And I may have lied in a limited and specific way about the length of said walk.

But I’m sure she’ll forgive me. Eventually.

Right. Let’s do your ******* pub then“.


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