I'm off for my first away game on Saturday, as you all know. Assuming my lurgi clears up by then, anyway. It got me thinking about what it might mean to be a Bristol City away fan.
If you'd been to all this season's away games you'd have been to eight games up north, another eight to the east or south east and five in the Midlands. You'd have had five trips to a big city, but otherwise would have been visiting small cities or towns.
You'd also have had comparatively short trips to Plymouth and Cardiff, but there have been no proper local derbies this season. This is because all our supposed rivals are rubbish, and have failed to achieve our levels of success. Last year we had league games at Yeovil, Swindon and Cheltenham, plus a two leg cup tie against Rovers, but not this year. Who won the cup tie? I don't recall.
Despite all this hopeful travel, you'd be looking at the Championship table a long time before it got you thinking about weekend breaks. I've been in the Tourist Information Bureau in Coventry, for instance, and I'd like to pay tribute to their heroic struggle against appalling odds, but you can only get so much mileage out of a new cathedral and the bombed out ruins of the old one. Not that any of their staff are off to Colchester or Stoke, though. Unlike the poor away fan. Talk about looking for a good time in all the wrong places.
And you'd have precious little hope of tempting friends or family onto the coach with the promise of non-sporting treats. No matter how hard you hyped the pre-Christmas shopping opportunities in Watford, you would surely have found yourself sampling them alone. And that romantic Christmas trip? To West Bromwich? Perhaps not.
But the hardest sell would have been Scunthorpe. On a Tuesday night. In February. Well, at least we won.
This could all change, if we get promoted. Just have a look at the Premiership table, and you'll see what I mean.
Oh, you'd have the occasional trip to Sunderland or Portsmouth, but it's still a huge step up. Five trips to London. That's the Natural History Museum, the Tate Modern, the Hayward, the British Library and some shops. The season after, some other places. I'm flipping through the A to Z of Inner London, and I've yet to find a page with nothing worth seeing on it.
Did you know there was a Canal Museum? That means London is a place with such a superfluity of charisma it can afford to devote an entire museum to canals. Someone opened a museum in Scunthorpe once, but when they found out they shot him.
And twice to Manchester. And twice to Liverpool. OK, once to Reading, but the train links to Reading are excellent. It's the easiest journey since we last played Crewe.
And what a treat for fans of all the other teams. For they'd get a rare trip to lovely Bristol, replacing the less enticing one to relegated Derby. As long as we get promoted. They must be praying for Stoke and Hull to blow it.
Incidentally, by way of apology to the much maligned people of Scunthorpe, here are the local council information pages for the North Lincolnshire Museum, full of fossils which show how important the area was 200 million years ago, the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre and the Plowright Theatre, named in honour of local girl Joan Plowright. Midge Ure's coming, you know. That's the real Midge Ure, not some tribute artist. And they do food. Think food, think Plowright, it says, and I'm sure she'd agree.