DOES anyone want to come on holiday with me this summer?
We’ve got a great hotel booked on the Neapolitan Riviera so get you name down quick and make sure you passport hasn’t expired if you fancy the trip.
The problem is, you see, that I missed last Thursday’s first home win of the season at South Tees Motorsports Park because of that big cloud of dust floating over the UK.
I was on Jersey and the speedway was on Teesside – bit of a problem, that.
Some say the dust was created when Sunderland FC decided to clean out their trophy cabinet after years of under-use.
Others point the finger and the Icelanders themselves on the basis that they were getting their own back on us for our less than sympathetic attitude to their financial meltdown. And the way we took the micky out of that funny-looking bloke who used to own West Ham.
But I blame my wife.
You’ll remember the last time there was widespread chaos around Europe’s airports was in December when snow and ice left thousands of air passengers grounded. On that occasion Mrs N was trapped at Rome Airport after a trip to Il Papa’s gaff.
Fast forward four months to the current catastrophe to hit would-be travellers of the sky and we were over on Jersey for what was intended to be a short visit.
Can you see a pattern emerging here? It’s quite clearly her fault and I just can’t afford the risk of taking her to Italy this summer, so I’m putting her place up for grabs.
For the record, Jersey was a great place to be stranded. The hotel was class and contained officially the poshest Indian restaurant in the world (I’ll be very cross if the next take-away I phone doesn’t do tandoori pigeon to the same standard).
The journey back proved rather gruelling as we had to take the overnight ferry to Portsmouth, collect a hire, drive the 250 miles or so to Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster where we’d left our own motor, then bomb back up the A1 to home. All of that with only an hour and a half’s sleep too.
The great travel upheaval also denied me my regular place on the home straight for the Bears’ victory over Stoke, thus removing the opportunity of waxing lyrical on this very page about how well the team did to break their home match hoodoo.
So drastic times call for drastic measures. Who’s up for Italy then?