I've said before how much I cherish our trips to the football with two of my lads. The rock on which this is built is partly our bond, but also the underlying foundation of football culture in our country. Sometimes it can be toxic and repellent, but for the most part we need to remind ourselves that it is a collective pursuit of a common good and something unifying in a time of division. Afterall, all living is meeting, and we have a really good laugh along the way.
We had a great fun day out in the sponsors lounge at Stoke with a mate and his business colleagues, who generously let the lads present the man of the match award to a gutted Joe Allen. He's probably our favourite Stoke player, though that's particularly for his international performances as the Welsh Xavi.
Then the next Saturday, on the train home from our win over Derby, three lads from Finland got on my horrible Northern Rail train home at Manchester Piccadilly. They'd been to Everton v Chelsea, they were then heading for Norwich for a game the next day to see the Canaries Finnish striker Teemu Pukki. Clearly they were on the wrong train, having been as confused as I often am by Platform 13, and I so hope they managed to get to Carrow Road eventually. But in that short space of a journey to Stockport we talked about so much, mainly Shefki Kuqi, Stockport County and next year's European Championships, the first major tournament Finland have qualified for.
"You are so lucky," one said, while his mate shuffled anxiously through the Trainline app to find another route across our rail network. "To have this football culture in your country. We have nothing like this." He's so right, we are lucky.