Another week has passed by in a blur of painting, hoovering, board meetings and eighteen-hour stints out of the house.

Writing this column feels like it’s become a form of therapy. This particular feature is being written on my way to Manchester for a well-earned Saturday evening away.

Gin might not be great for washing paint off your hands, but it will hopefully serve to cleanse the mind of the week’s toil.

I have to open with a confession: it’s Saturday afternoon and while everybody else is at the ground preparing for kick off, I’ve bailed out.

Tonight will be the last opportunity to get some breathing space before the start of a long season, so I decided to book a holiday which – barring some fierce opposition from Mark Hetherington, who may never speak to me again – has been approved by my fellow directors.

It’s been a typically manic morning. Pie warmers, urns and furniture have been installed in the new outdoor catering facilities.

Those urns then needed filling and price lists fixing so that people – both customers and staff – knew what to pay and charge respectively.

Away from this, the Trust Shop was going through some intense snagging. We’ve lost our safe, we had no bin and despite an earlier Bookers run we discovered the stock from the end of last season under the stand. Still, it’s good to have surplus.

The above paragraph illustrates what one hour in the ground can look like. It’s a constant juggle of half a dozen jobs, all while walking around the ground and having ‘I need the key for this door!’ and ‘Can you bring me a bin bag?’ barked at you by various volunteers who are just as frayed as you are.

It’s no exaggeration to say that you can be there for six hours and not really remember what you did by the time you leave.

But for all of that, we’ve arrived at the start of pre-season having achieved almost everything that we set out to accomplish.

The club, Bluebirds Trust and indeed the whole community should be proud of the effort that has gone in to making this summer redevelopment the success that is has been.

Now we take a step back and hand over to Ian Evatt and his players. The season is almost upon us and after the toil of the summer, I hope that we all enjoy it.

*Friday’s board meeting was a notable one. No, Kris Wilkes didn’t wear a tie (or arrive on time for that matter), but we were honoured to have the physical presence of Tony Shearer.

Tony has probably worked most closely with me of all the directors since I was appointed to the board.

His experience in project management and in implementing a corporate structure have been invaluable in the changes that we’re looking to make at the football club.

I’ve learned a lot and can’t thank him enough for his support in the projects we’ve worked on so far.

Tony was present for an interview that Radio Cumbria will be airing later this week and spoke very well on the new Cross Bar facility.

The money that this board have invested, alongside the Bluebirds Trust, have transformed the ground into a professional environment.

We no longer need to be embarrassed to bring people into our club and instead we need to encourage local businesses and organisations to hire the rooms at the stadium.

Through the hard work and investment of the board, we now have an asset that we can take pride in and that can generate the revenue to take us to the next level.

What we need now is the support of our wider business community.

*After weeks of speculation, we can all start consulting the atlas – the fixtures are out. I may take a more detailed look at them next week, but for now let’s focus on an opening day return to the site of probably our greatest performance last season: Wrexham.

There’s undeniably a sense of confidence in Ian Evatt when you talk to him. The players have returned, in many cases, fitter than they left for the summer.

He has the recruits that he wanted and we retained a core of the talented squad we had last season. For the first time in several seasons, it feels like we haven’t ripped up the team sheet and started again this time.

We have the kind of continuity and knowledge of our squad that, coupled with those fitness levels, may allow us to take some teams by surprise and hit the ground running.

Wrexham away is historically a formidable test at this level. Many will feel that a point is an excellent result to kick off our campaign.

But isn’t it nice to be approaching a new season and feel that, rather than avoiding the relegation scrap at the bottom, a strong start to our campaign might just see us daring to dream?