It has been a near-catastrophic last few days in my house, what with the threat of the TV being removed after I dared to smile when Scotland beat Serbia to qualify for the European football championship next year.
There were no histrionics, no punching the air and screaming “YAAS” in triumph.
Neither was there mask-less cheering and singing or frightening the neighbours by shouting “Scotland”.
I couldn’t even muster the energy to join in with Yes Sir, I Can Boogie.
The smile, incidentally, was my stab at celebrating a rare moment, our national team reaching their first major finals since the 1998 World Cup in France – an event I attended in bizarre circumstances.
My rare expression – my face is normally “resting” – last Sunday proved a step too far for “the boss” unused to seeing me in almost-happy mode.
I was accused of not displaying so much delight since I drove her to the airport when she set off for a lone trip Down Under a couple of years ago.
“If that Aberdeen pub (the Draft Project) can be ordered to de-television their place after those raucous Covid restrictions-busting scenes on Sunday,” she said, “so can I.”
Then the crunch: “And don’t think you’re going to take off on your travels again.”
It was a reference to the acceptance of an invitation from an Aberdeen fish merchant to accompany him and six others to see Scotland compete in France.
“I have bought a 1952 former RNLI lifeboat,” said George Hosie, now deceased, “and we’ll sail to Paris.”
I christened them the Tartan Navy and our five-day voyage from Lowestoft – I was seasick moments after leaving the harbour and wished I stayed on dry land – to Le Havre and up the Seine to Paris, was something of a triumph.
The adventure brought new experiences; a civic dinner in Bordeaux, an evening of high-end wine drinking at a chateau with its own vineyard near the city, and being enveloped in the incredible atmosphere created by the Tartan Army.
As guests of Bordeaux’s mayor at Scotland’s game against Norway, we had to report for a champagne breakfast where I was introduced to a French army general, intrigued by my kilted colleagues.
He was doubly mystified when I presented him to “Rear Admiral Hosie”, this strange-looking man with a Scotland top, below-the-knee kilt and Timberland boots.
Military tactics were not discussed as the general struggled to understand George.
But back to the present.
I played my trump card over the TV ban.
“You’ll miss the new series of The Crown,” I said smugly.
“Oh, right,” she thought. “Well, OK, we’ll keep the tele… but no more joy if Scotland win again.”
More useful if clubs kept cash going to agents
In his newly published autobiography, former Manchester United and England footballer Andrew Cole tells of a costly phone call he received when in February 1993 he was to be transferred from Bristol City to Newcastle United for £1.7m.
Fellow player Paul Elliott, whom he’d never met nor spoken to, called him to suggest he put Cole in touch with an agent, Steve Waggott, to help guide him towards a good deal from Newcastle.
Waggott was with Cole during the trouble-free meeting where his new employers told him they’d give him a £30,000 signing-on fee, which the agent took for his part in the hitch-free “negotiations”.
Cole never set eyes on his representative again but met Elliott 20 years later when words were exchanged.
Football club chairmen on both sides of the border have complained for years about the amount of money taken from our national sport by agents, but do nothing to curb their excesses.
In the year ending January 2020, England’s Premier League clubs paid £263m to middlemen while in Scotland in the summer 2018 and January 2019 transfer windows it was £6m.
How welcome that kind of money would be to the crazy world of football today as they bemoan a drastic loss of revenue because of Covid-19.
An unusual silence from Aberdeen nine
Why have the Aberdeen Nine, those Labour councillors who waited three-and-a-half years for their collective suspension from the party to be lifted only to have it extended until 2022, remained silent?
Three weeks after their leaders in London consigned them to two more years in political limbo for forming a coalition with the Conservatives to run Aberdeen City Council, we have heard nothing from them.
No resignations, no ceremonial ripping up of Labour membership cards, no angry words aimed at their party bosses.
Is it just me who finds this unusual?