Car trouble and strife, phoning Fergie and flanking Sir Bobby at the latrine
Another week, another few hundred miles clocked up chronicling the best (and sometimes worst) the beautiful game has to offer.
So it was off to Ã¢ÂÂthe Land of Our FathersÃ¢ÂÂ last week to watch Cardiff take on Sven's expensively-assembled Leicester in the Carling Cup. A Welsh friend of mine mentioned that I would be gracing "Gods country". At ÃÂ£5.70 to cross the bridge I'm inclined to suggest it was more the work of his sworn enemy.
The game itself was an even but less than captivating affair. Still, it at least had the good grace to be heading towards a conclusion within the 90 minutes, with Leicester leading 2-1 going into the closing stages. Yours truly had mentally set the car to Ã¢ÂÂGOÃ¢ÂÂ.
Then, to the dismay of nearly all present (I could present a strong case for the players too here, if pushed), Cardiff equalized, leading to an extra 30 minutes of football in name only. Penalties soon followed with all the inevitability of an angry Joey Barton Ã¢ÂÂtweetÃ¢ÂÂ.
And what of the penalties, you ask? Well according to the BBC website, Cardiff won. IÃ¢ÂÂd hot-footed it after 120 minutes and was homeward bound.
Next up was the heavyweight clash between Stoke and Manchester United on Saturday evening. A leisurely early afternoon drive up to the Britannia Stadium was soon shattered, with the good citizens of the Potteries embarking on a car-bashing contest on the M6.
Cue the closure of the motorway, and a mad panic as my ETA drifted further and further away as me and everybody else traveling from the South (Manchester United fans, I'm guessing!) circumnavigated Stafford and the surrounding areas for what felt like days.
Fortunately, I arrived breathlessly with 15 minutes to spare. Though I did miss out on a heaven-sent Ã¢ÂÂAfter Dinner SpeechÃ¢ÂÂ moment as I stood next to Sir Bobby Charlton at the urinals. I passed up on the opportunity to say something, ANYTHING, to him, though I nearly barged into the Great Man in my haste to get to my seat. That would have taught him not to come between me and the hospitality suite, I reasoned...
Sir Bobby Charlton - urinal not pictured...
The game itself though was a full blooded affair, with a great atmosphere with Stoke deservedly taking a share of the spoils.
Talking of Great Men, I had the pleasure of taking a call from Sir Alex Ferguson a couple of days after the game to gain the managerÃ¢ÂÂs viewpoint on the referees performance, as per procedure.
The exact content of our conversation will, of course, remain confidential, though you could probably get a good idea by listening to his post-match comments to the press - and from the fact my phone still has smoke billowing out of it!
Sunday was Groundhog Day, as I returned to the scene of the crime that was Cardiff City versus Leicester for a second helping in the Championship.
There was no need for the sat nav to take me back to Cardiff's excellent new stadium. As I put the keys in the ignition, I challenged my 10-year-old Ford Mondeo to, and I quote, "take me to Cardiff, FOOL!"
Unsurprisingly in retrospect, it didn't. In fact it limped all the way there, moaning and groaning for oil, fuel and water. ItÃ¢ÂÂs a bit like a marriage in its death throes; the end is nigh and we've settled on an uneasy truce - I get to look at and drive other younger models, while the car (not sure we can call it Ã¢ÂÂsheÃ¢ÂÂÃ¢ÂÂ¦) refuses to open the bonnetÃ¢ÂÂ¦
I knew exactly how long a week it had been when, as the stadium emptied around me at the end of what was actually an entertaining 0-0 draw, I had to take a second to remind myself that there would in fact be no penalties today, what with it being a league game.
Ah well, back to the car then. I'm sure I parked it just here. What does this note say: "Dear John (Iffy, whatever)Ã¢ÂÂ¦Ã¢ÂÂ