The playing fields of Colney and Carrow Road are silent for now.
Meanwhile, the crop fields of Norfolk and around the country are just starting to come alive. More of that in a bit.
It won’t be long though before pre-season training and then the pre-season friendlies begin the wind up to August 8, when once more our brave boys commence battle.
For supporters, that can’t come soon enough. The months of June and July can be long and frustrating ones, particularly so when the end of the previous season went right to the wire and down Wembley way in such an unforgettable and nerve tingling fashion.
To suddenly have that buzz taken away leaves a void which some are able to fill more happily than others. Maybe the players need the break from it all but not the fans. It’s like a drug and I wouldn’t dream of going two months without caffeine.
I know the women’s World Cup is currently on the box and the Under-21s are in action, but those are poor replacements for the blood and guts, dives and elbows and fan banter generated by league action.
Holidays, barbecues, bouncy castles, ice creams on the beach etc are all fine and dandy but the lack of a week in, week out footy season with the cut and thrust on and off the pitch can be torturous.
With the relentless progress of couch-bound technology and foreign travel, the traditional hobbies are disappearing fast. Model making, stamp collecting and sketching used to keep millions of people entertained of an evening or weekend throughout the year.
Now it’s gaming, box-set watching or rock climbing and weightlifting down the local gym.
All very modern.
More sedate outdoor pursuits such as bird watching and fishing maybe tickle your fancy – all-year round, healthy relaxing activities, which keep a vital contact with the natural world as planes, trains and automobiles zip busy people this way and that. Including footballers on their holiday destinations.
What floats my boat in this football-lite period?
Crop circles are my guilty pleasure. Each summer I’m drawn back to seeing what pops up.
We are now in the peak time for the appearance of curious and clever geometrical patterns in the wheat and barley fields. Are they man-made? Are they signs from other civilisations?
The second point brings to mind that bloody awful film starring Mel Gibson.
Whatever the cause of them, they never fail to tweak my curiosity and interest. Their timing is driven by nature’s cycle of course but is fortuitous with the football fields being pretty silent up to harvesting time.
On a visit to Avebury stone circle in Wiltshire in July 2000, I spotted one in a field right next to Silbury Hill – an ancient and mysterious earth mound.
Curiosity piqued, I made my way over to the heart of the circle and waited for the much mooted ‘special feeling’ that you’re supposed to experience.
For me, nothing. Diddly squat. Seems I’m not tuned into whatever ancient or extraterrestrial powers they are alleged to possess.
Disappointing of course but it hasn’t dimmed my interest.
Until the lads clad in yellow and green run back out onto our own sacred field of play, I’ll be keeping an eye out on the crop fields and internet and maybe this year will be the year when everything is explained. But I doubt it.
The other main distraction for me until August 8 will be the comings and goings in and out of Carrow Road and the endlessly entertaining, if occasionally wildly inaccurate, rumour mill that surrounds the close season.
Already, a few names have been cropping up (no pun intended), some more in hope than any practical reality I suggest.
Of course with the club newly flushed with Premier League TV money, we’ll be an attractive proposition to players already or soon to be out of contract. Add to that the almost mystical aura that surrounds Alex Neil, which will be a major persuasive factor.
Players thinking of a move will look at his record of success over the past two years and surely sense that the man has only just embarked on an exciting journey of discovery and achievement that they would be well advised to join in with.
The crop circles may fail to make a connection with many but the vibe around Carrow Road generated by our own ‘Special One’ in just five months is almost supernatural.
Of course, Alex is very much of this earth and does not possess magical powers.
It all boils down to hard work, passion, a fearsome will to win and an uncanny grasp of the often vital missing ingredient in so many aspiring coaches: the ability to inspire and to get the best from all under his power, from the owners and chief executive down to the Carrow Road toilet cleaners.
So fellow Canaries, keep your frustrations in check because it won’t be long before our Scottish wizard – with a spanking new contract in his back pocket – once more begins to stamp his mark all over the fields of Colney.
There may even be a crop circle or two pop up nearby to mark the occasion.
I can’t wait…