Why is there never a severe snow storm around when you need one? I don’t want to go to Inverness on Saturday to cover the game between St Mirren and Inverness Caley, and my only hope is that the promised big freeze will hit and put it off.
Nae luck so far. I’m not usually this anti-football on a Saturday, but this week is different. My friend is throwing a party and if I have to spend the day in Inverness it means I won’t get out to play until at least 11pm.
I put my disappointment at the lack of snow aside and head to St Mirren’s Love Street ground for the daily round of interviews with manager and players.
There’s so little to report some days that this job is beginning to feel more like a creative writing course.
Thursdays are generally busy days as pages for the following Monday and Tuesday have to be completed so that means a late night at the office.
A frantic round of phone calls to relatives in Inverness, the Inverness Caley secretary and the nice people at the Scottish Football League and my worst fears are confirmed – the game is on.
Head to Love Street for the final word on the “big” game and then it’s back to the office to put the finishing touches to the back page. I usually love Fridays, but when you’ve got a 400-odd mile round trip ahead of you it takes the shine off somewhat.
Decide to hit the gym as I read in a magazine that DVT can be brought on as easily by a car journey as a plane one and exercise is the best way to banish it. Even a spot of late-afternoon retail therapy can’t lighten my mood any. Thank God the new series of Sex and the City starts tonight.
Nearly hurled the alarm clock through the window when it went off at 8am this morning.
In a last faint hope that Inverness has been cut off by an overnight snowfall, I phone the ground. The phone line is dead. Result! Or so I think. I dig out the club secretary’s number and he informs me that the telephone lines are down.
There is, however, a pitch inspection at 10.30am, but I can’t wait for the outcome and have to head off at 9am with everything crossed. Arrive in the Highland capital at 1.30pm. Grab some lunch and head to the ground.
Amazingly, Saints aren’t on the end of their usual drubbing up there and come away with a 1-1 draw. Head down the A9 as fast as I can, write up the two pages worth of copy for Monday’s paper (well, most of it anyway), jump in the shower, throw on the gladrags and head out to party for 11.30pm. Great night. Eventually get home at 5.30am.
Wake up to the hangover from hell, but have to drag myself out of a lovely warm bed and finish off the Saints stuff for Monday’s paper. The sub usually gets in around mid-day and likes the copy to be sitting waiting.
Thankfully, the laptop doesn’t let me down and the copy goes down the wire with time to spare. Phone the office to check they got it and then head back to bed. Resurface in time to catch the highlights of the game – now I can check to see if I missed anything.
Oh, how I love Monday. It’s my day off. Unfortunately, my mother doesn’t realise this and phones me at 8.30am to ask me if she can borrow my car for the day while I’m at work.
It’s great to just chill out and relax away from the office where things have been a bit hectic for me recently.
I’ve been doing a two-person job solo for the past seven months, covering everything from my regular beat of football to ice hockey, basketball and – my pet hate – bowling. At least no one can accuse me of not being an all-rounder.
Back to the grind today. Get the thinking cap on about ideas for Saints pieces for the week, particularly as it is the Scottish Cup this weekend and it has been a while since they made it this far.
Have a non-interview chat with one of the players, Robert Dunn, a great wee guy, and between us we come up with a few things for me to work on.
Get to the office and realise that although there was no snow in Inverness, there was plenty in Paisley and the minor football scene (which usually fills around five to six pages every week) was near enough obliterated at the weekend.
Time to throw a few features together. Lunch, what’s that? There’s some good news – the editor told me they’ve employed a second sports reporter – soon I will have my life back. Roll on 1 March when he starts.
No Saints today – it’s their day off – so it’s the office from 9am. It gives me a chance to try to plan ahead.
Asides from St Mirren, the dominant sport today is basketball and I have to admit that I’m actually beginning to get into it.
The chairman of Sportrenfrewshire phones to invite me, as a judge, to the Renfrewshire Sports Personality of the Year awards. I gratefully accept.
Absolutely shattered by the end of the day as it’s been non-stop. I don’t have the energy to attend my weekly Italian class (which I started purely so I can meet and seduce the gorgeous Roma skipper Francesco Totti).
Spend the night dozing on the sofa and catching up on the latest scandal involving Jordan and Peter Andre. Sad life indeed.