IT’S official – I am a ding.
I had it all worked out perfectly ahead of our trip North of the Border for the Bears’ match at Glasgow. I’d take my laptop and bash out my match report in the car or in a quiet corner of the stadium at the end of the meeting while the remainder of out travelling party enjoyed some typically generous Glaswegian hospitality.
There was one problem, however – when I went to switch it on, I discovered it wasn’t charged.
Yep, it was a schoolboy error. You’d have thought I’d have learned my lesson by now after all these years in the game, wouldn’t you?
Mind, items of technology such as laptops were up there with building houses on Mars and the hoverboard when I picked up my first notebook and pen in anger.
When I penned my first speedway report, it was done with a sharpened quill – and they still rode brakeless penny farthings, with helmet colours perched on their top hats.
But while we didn’t return home from our cross-border raid with a fully functioning laptop, we did come back with a well-earned Premier League point.
It was a decent performance by the Bears and one which suggested that, with a little improvement here and there, there could be more rewards to be had on the road this year.
Dyer the Flyer was in terrific form again, Wilko was in his element and was cruelly denied a paid win near the end by an electrical problem and we’ve got the old Matej back again.
Watching Glasgow No 1 Joe Screen fly round the boards was a pleasure too. The first time I saw him ride was at Iwade in an unauthorised four-team tournament on his 16th birthday in 1988 and he looked like a star in the making then.
He’s achieved a fair bit more than me since then but we’re still doing what we love and – I hope, from my point of view – making a decent fist of it.
It was also, as always, a pleasure to be in the company of some of the best supporters in the sport. And by that I mean both those I travelled with and those we met up with at Ashfield.
The Glasgow fans are a terrific bunch and a great bond exists between their supporters and ours. It was handshakes and hugs all round before we headed home, with promises to meet up on Grand Prix weekend in Somerset and Cardiff.
I also had the luxury of giving the Gazettemobile a well-earned rest, and travelled as a passenger with a group of excellent people I’m proud to call friends.
The conversation ranged from Maggie Thatcher to gay marriage to the clump of trees just off the M74 that look like a man’s bits. And pretty much everything in between too.
Yes, awaydays are great. The laptop/charger interface problem meant I was later than expected to bed, but that’s the way it goes. After a day like that, you don’t really mind.