While friends and colleagues gathered in Brighton for Party Conference, I went to my first ever football match on Saturday afternoon. I have struggled to see the point of football, but my heart does belong to Inverness and the Inverness Caledonian Thistle stadium is in such a beautiful spot, just next to the Kessock Bridge.
The weather was absolutely glorious and we were basking in the sort of untypical September heat that makes you really worry about global warming, especially in the light of the predictions late last week.
Anyway, I expected to hear two hours worth of shouting and singing, a bit like the Glee Club at Party Conference only more sober, but was shocked at the reserve of the Caley Fans. A quarter of a stand full of Dundee Utd fans made much more noise than 3000 locals. My brother in law did try to make up for it but he was one of a few lone voices. He is one of the loveliest people in the world and he makes my sister very happy, but it was a bit of Dr Jekyll and Mr Ned. After he'd used both the f and the c words I did turn to him and say that he didn't need to restrain himself just because I was there:-)
There was a bit of needle to the match as this was the Dundee Utd Player Manager's first trip to Caley since he'd deserted them in January. We thought at half time that it would be fun if he put himself on the field for the second half in the hope of provoking some emotion from the Caley fans. Sure enough there was a lot of booing and hissing. As Davina would say, it was all a bit panto.
The football itself was unspectacular - a goalless draw, after Caley's goal was disallowed for offside. There was a bit too much diving after the ball was long gone from certain Dundee Utd players and more pushing and shoving than I would have thought it was possible to get away with.
Would I go again? Probably, 'cos it was a relaxing way of spending a Saturday afternoon with friends and family - but I'd quite like to see other teams to see fans really getting behind thetir teams and spurring them on to victory.