I still haven't started writing my sitcom.
The Spanish for Absolute Beginners course I bought a few months ago is still in el boxo. (Evidently.)
And my intention to get fit in readiness for the day when my young son wants to have a kick-about in the park (which cannot be far away, judging from the power with which he's now belting his Winnie The Pooh ball against the neighbour's fence�) remains a mere intention.
Once again the close season has slipped by without me coming close to doing the things I intended when it began.
There is some consolation to be found in this, though. From time to time the thought has briefly crossed my mind that all those weekends devoted to football over the years might have been more profitably spent.
Oh, the books I could have written. The books I could have read. The places I could have been.
But an unproductive summer like this one serves as a reminder that I would never actually have got round to doing those things. I'm just not that driven to achieve and accomplish.
('I could never be like Gordon Ramsey,' I said to my wife the other evening as we watched the fingers-in-every-pie chef's 59th TV appearance of the week. 'Thank **** for that,' she replied � indicating that, in one respect at least, she could.)
In sticking to the 'Watch on Saturday, play on Sunday�' routine for so long, I got far more out of life than I would have done otherwise.
Although my talent for frittering away time is chiefly responsible for my fruitless summer, football has to take its share of the blame too.
I ended up watching more of Euro 2008 than I'd planned; it was all the more enjoyable without the irritating distraction of our Golden Generation turning in their usual performances of baser metal.
The take-over talk at Carrow Road took over my thoughts for a couple of weeks. And since then, I've just been looking forward more and more to the new season. The rekindled passion for the game I talked about a few columns ago is still in effect. I've even been dreaming about it.
(It's a bizarre recurring dream. I'm approaching an unidentified large stadium for a sell-out match and I discover that I've left my ticket at home. I call my wife and tell her to drive the hundred miles or so to bring it to me. It's funny how you find yourself doing reckless, life-endangering things in dreams that you'd never dare to do in real life�)
For the first time in years, I considered going to a pre-season game � but eventually decided that even my penchant for time-frittering has its limits. Friendly games are a waste of time for spectators; the players only perform at 90%, and it's the other 10% that makes a match interesting.
(There are rare exceptions, admittedly. Celtic once played a friendly in London and one of their supporters went to put a bet on. 'Sorry, sir,' said the bookie, 'we don't take bets on friendlies.' 'Celtic dinnae play friendlies,' growled the Glaswegian.
And then there was this less than friendly encounter between the Jamaican national team and a Mexican club side.)
The only reason for going along would have been to identify all our new players before the real matches begin. For the second year running, I know next to nothing about most of our new acquisitions.
Last year, of course, it was the likes of David Strihavka and Julien Brellier. (My wife again: 'You've signed Jacques Brel?' As it turned out, Brel would have had a bigger impact in City's midfield despite his true forte being the writing and singing of poignant, lyrical ballads. And despite being dead since 1978.)
This year, the unknown quantities include John Kennedy ('You've signed JFK?'), Omar alieu Koroma ('You've signed Omar Khayyam?'), Sammy Clingan and Elliot Omozusi.
Whoever writes the songs for the Barclay and Snakepit is going to have their work cut out with some of the new names. My guess is that Wes Hoolahan will be serenaded with an adaptation of 'Go West' but after that I'm struggling a bit.
Elliot Omozusi? I suppose we could just point towards the pitch and croak 'Ell-ii-oottt�' like ET.
'Dejan Stefanovic' lends itself to the tune of 'La donna e mobile' (English translation: 'Your ground's too big for you'), so his name could simply be repeated to that � but I suspect that more will be made of the 'itch' sound at the end of his surname. For example:
He plays for Norwich,
****ing hates Ipswich,
But my record of anticipating songs and chants is pretty woeful. I'd have put money on one particular incident in Jon Otsemobor's past being brought up � like this, perhaps:
Jonny O, Jonny O,
Jonny Jonny O,
Got shot in the a***
But he's still got class,
Jonny Jonny O.
It never happened. Still, what could I possibly know about singing? I sit in the River End, after all.
And finally� Ipswich are apparently trying to sign a scruffy-looking old bloke called Compo.
I had no idea that show was still running.
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