On December 12th last year, I got a phonecall with the news that I had been given the Opportunity to take Fetcheveryone forward as an independent website. It was something I'd always thought might happen, but it was a huge shock nevertheless.
Katie was treating a physio client at the time, with a second client due any moment - so I basically scurried away and hid and tried to breathe until I knew she'd be free to take in the news with me. We fretted and flew and franticised (I've just made that up), thinking about all the things that might have to change. Everything, possibly.
But burning away somewhere was another kind of feeling. The website was officially someone elses property for nine years, but deep down it had never left me. I hope you knew that. The feeling was hope. A breathless optimism that outstripped anything I've felt whilst watching Welsh scrum halves jinking their way towards burly opposition.
December 12th is also my late grandpa's birthday - the original family entrepreneur. He noticed that my mam could never find a ribbon for her hair - so he bought in bulk and ended up selling it to other families. Somehow this became a wallpaper empire that sold rolls to half of south Wales. I like to think he played a part in guiding me that day.
Within a few hours of our lives being turned upside down, I posted one of the most emotionally charged messages of my life on Twitter, although you'd be entirely forgiven for missing the significance:
Now here we are. Approaching twelve months and more than a few light years since our day of freedom. Still here. Still me. Funded by you. Dear Fetchies. And full of that breathless optimism for the year ahead. To mark the anniversary, I've decided to reveal one of our Festive Fetch Calendar challenges a little early. It gives you a bit of notice to plan and get involved.
On December 12th, Katie and I will post a picture of us as Han and Chewie piloting the Millenium Falcon, to celebrate our year. We'd love it if you could post a re-enactment photo of your favourite movie moment on the day. Leave a comment if you're up for it. I've told Katie she's gonna have to be Chewie.