At last. The sun is finally out.
I am never quite sure when summer is meant to begin but I am thankful for the warmth.
Like any reporter you can become a little obsessed by the weather.
It may not feel like summer however for the players who returned to training this week. Initial fitness tests will no doubt be followed by a detailed schedule of preparation for the new season.
Sprinting in the heat may not be ideal for the players but before you know it the squad, the fans and the media may well be bemoaning the frozen conditions before we know it.
This week I chatted to author and Albion fan Nic Outterside who has a new book out. (you can hear the interview on BBC Sussex next week).
The first question was why the title – ‘Death in Grimsby 50 years following Brighton and Hove Albion’. He recounted a story of nearly freezing to death in the stand years ago. It brought back painful memories for me. I too once nearly froze at that ground spending three days in bed with pneumonia after a night game.
The snow was piled up high on the side of the pitch, the wind was howling off the sea and I was sat in a makeshift bunker of jumper and jackets by the touchline. It may be seen as a right of passage for fans and some of those memorable dates, games and journeys are all charted in the book. In fact on our BBC Sussex Albion Unlimited podcast (returns August 6th by the way !) we have had several writers who are Seagulls supporters.
I am not sure if there is a reason for it but it seems there is always a story when it comes to the Albion. It doesn’t matter whether you go back half a century as far as Nic has done or whether you have just experienced the move from Withdean to Falmer there is so much to chart.
As the players return this week they will be assessed by another new man at the helm. We are yet to get a full view of how things are likely to pan out as the summer may see a fair amount of change but I am sure there will be plenty of ups and downs across the coming months. Albion may not be making the trip to Grimsby in the league this season but the FA Cup may yet deliver an interesting journey to a club it hasn’t visited in some time.
Most of the time stability and consistency is of course the key to success but occasionally the variety can provide those cherished memories, even if you were freezing in a stand on the North East coast.
We are lucky to have people like Nic, and Tim Carder, the club historian who also has released a new book about the club during World War 1. I will certainly enjoy reading them in the garden in the sunshine and remind me to appreciate the weather before we head into the dark nights of winter. Two dates for the diary. 1. August 9th when Nic comes to Brighton with his book. 2. January 4th when you know Albion will be playing Grimsby away in the FA Cup !