So Wayne boarded a plane to Germany (again), and in just a few hours' time, so shall I. Prima!
Though without quite the same outbreak of national jubilation, of course. But I shall be brimming with childlike enthusiasm at the prospect of three weeks solid of football (interspersed everyday with some fairly hefty slogs on the German railways, but that seems a minute price to pay.)
All of my games are around the south and central areas of Germany, sadly meaning I don't get to see Berlin, by which recent reading such as Anna Funder's Stasiland and William F Buckley's The Rise And Fall Of The Berlin Wall has had me fascinated.
But happily, though I was previously scheduled to return to the office once the quarter-finals had finished, I was able this week to secure off a further two days, for the final and the following Monday, to travel to Berlin for the final.
Fingers crossed for media tickets once applications open again, though some suggest final tickets are actually easier for hacks to get hold of than earlier rounds, since the number of countries competing has obviously plunged by then.
We shall see, we shall see...
But for now, the focus is on my budget Germanwings flight from Stansted to Stuttgart tonight, the train to Munich to arrive in the early hours at the first of many basic hotels... and maybe a few hours' sleep before hitting the Olympic Stadium as early as possible tomorrow to sort out all the practicalities of accreditation and administration of Press and rail cards, wi-fi access, refreshments... the sure-to-be-baffling-and-overblown flim-flammery of the opening ceremony... and then, the serious stuff starts.
Apparently there's a fairly tasty game in store on Saturday, too.
One weather forecast the other day said the temperature could reach 28 degrees in Frankfurt. We'll be sizzling like all the other Frankfurters indeed, then.
I'll just have to keep an eye out for a passing giant flag, under which to take shade.
I also hope my long-neglected German learning returns helpfully enough.
At the moment, all I can think of are the two rhymes taught us in school to remember which prepositions took which case...
"Durch, fur, gegen, ohne, um, entlang
All take the accusative case, every one of the gang..."
And, to the tune of My Hat It Has Three Corners:
"Auf, bei, mit, nach, von, zu
All take the dative case,
And gegenuber too,
But note its special place
(And zeit as well...)"
Yes, it fails a little at the end there, doesn't it...
But anyway. My first round schedule looks like this:
Friday 9 June:
5pm, Munich - Germany v Costa Rica
Saturday 10 June:
2pm, Frankfurt - England v Paraguay
Sunday 11 June:
8pm, Cologne - Angola v Portugal
Monday 12 June:
2pm, Kaiserslautern - Australia v Japan
Tuesday 13 June:
5pm, Stuttgart - France v Switzerland
Wednesday 14 June:
8pm, Dortmund - Germany v Poland
Thursday 15 June:
5pm, Nuremburg - England v Trinidad and Tobago
Friday 16 June:
5pm, Stuttgart - Holland v Ivory Coast
Saturday 17 June:
8pm, Kaiserslautern - Italy v USA
Sunday 18 June:
5pm, Munich - Brazil v Australia
Monday 19 June:
8pm, Stuttgart - Spain v Tunisia
Tuesday 20 June:
8pm, Cologne - Sweden v England
Wednesday 21 June:
8pm, Frankfurt - Holland v Argentina
Thursday 22 June:
8pm, Dortmund - Japan v Brazil
Friday 23 June:
8pm, Cologne - Togo v France
Then on to the second round and quarter-finals...
May the feast of football begin!
Now I just need to see out this afternoon, the office clock seeming to tick-tock slower than ever.