When my father was in his 70s and had finally stopped working he led a fairly quiet life.
One of things he liked to do was sit by the large window in the living room and watch the traffic speeding by. It irked him that in the summer, when the trees planted at the bottom of the garden 30 years earlier were in full leaf, they obscured his view.
My father didn't just watch the traffic he counted it.
"Can you believe it?... there was near enough 20 lorries went down that road in the last half hour!"
None of us thought this was in any way a strange past time. Counting runs in the family.
In the run up to Christmas every year we counted Christmas trees whenever we went anywhere by car. We competed against each other to see who could see most. My parents encouraged us and sometimes my father would actually do detours so we could get the numbers up. As I recall he would often take up past the town hall which had a tree in every window and it was only ten miles out of his way
My mother taught me to count the traffic when waiting for the bus and I have continued to do this to this day. It helps past the time and it is also reassuring because the bus always come before you reach 100. If you don't believe me just try it for yourself.
I mentioned this to Traybake the other day and he was shocked and accused me of having OCD tendencies.
"Are you all like this? The Surly Niece? London Sister?"
"I guess so. Kerry Sister also reads."
"What do you mean?"
"Well if she's driving she has to read every sign and every poster or ad she passes. I think she might count as well."
This year I have decided that each month I will do something every day for the whole month. In January I posted every day in this blog. In February I counted steps.
I used a pedometer - I'm not completey OCD! - and set myself the target of walking 10,000 steps every day. This is the recommended amount of exercise you are meant to take every day. It takes me around an hour and a half to walk this much; in distance it is around 7 km.
It is really, really hard when you work full time to walk this much and especially so when it is dark and cold most of the time.
I did become completely obsessed by it and would often get home at night and then discover I had only walked 8,000 steps so would go out again and march round the local streets. The truth is I enjoyed it. I started to walk to the station in the morning. I have the option of using different stations - one is 15 minutes away and the other 17 minutes. I know because I've counted the time it takes.
Although it is now March I'm still walking most mornings. I get exercise, fresh air and the opportunity to count the buses that I manage to overtake.
In March I'm doing something else which is so mundane and boring I can hardly admit to it.
I'm sure there are lots of other people who count. Aren't there?