For those of you reading this blog and who have perhaps moved into the area you will inevitably eventually come across the Pembrokeshire Promise sooner or later.
In order to give you newbies an example (and whilst I could not say definitively), I think some of the people who know and cultivate the art of ‘the promise’ best of all, are trades people. I refer here to electricians, plumbers, builders etc. They promise they will turn up next week on such and such a date but fail to show. When at last you manage to get hold of them they are full of apologies and promise to come the following week and so on. Although it can seem very frustrating you have to understand that they mean no slight upon you.
They are not being deliberately difficult. They have every intention of doing the work, it’s just that next week is not a definite date. Actually any named day can be altered to suit the weather as well as more pressing jobs, which have certainly been subject to the same promise some weeks ago…
The Pembrokeshire Promise is not a new phenomenon, and in fact even in the twelfth century Gerald of Wales, the great writer and cleric wrote at some length about it, remarking that with regards the Welsh, ‘ a formal oath never binds them’ and ‘They are always prepared to perjure themselves to their own convenience and for any temporary advantage which they hope to gain by concealing the truth’.
You see it is a temporary situation. Behind the scenes they are working to an agenda that will mean that when they are down to the wire, suddenly it all falls into place, everyone turns up in order to fulfil their promise so that suddenly the job comes together and it is done with speed, skill and a smile. Well in my experience anyway.
Another example of the ‘promise’, I stated unequivocally that I would complete this blog by the 17th– oops!