I had vowed this would never again but once more I find myself getting my hopes up that Scotland might qualify for a major football tournament.
When I was growing up, our national team were ever-presents in the World Cup and we began to take their participation for granted, even if making it past the first round was clearly a step too far.
We began to take their participation for granted, even if making it past the first round was clearly a step too far
In these halycon days, I barely missed a match at Hampden and even joined the Tartan Army on one of their overseas sojourns.
It won’t surprise you to know that I came back with a wealth of stories, from one of our foot soldiers requisitioning the piano in the hotel bar to lead us all in a renditiion of Sweet Caroline (no, I don’t know why either) to raiding the mini bar in our room thinking it was complimentary (we escaped a large bill by pleading ignorance).
Anyway, to get back to the point.
At some point during the mid-‘90s, I moved off the terracing and into my armchair and then, in recent years, to my eternal shame, to barely noticing when Scotland were playing.
But every so often I catch the bug again - only to have my hopes cruelly dashed once more.
I tuned in to the match against England at Hampden and was planning my victory celebrations as the Auld Enemy equalised, ending, I thought, our hopes of qualification once more.
However, back-to-back victories over Lithuania and Malta have rekindled the dream that we might actually make it to Russia.
Funny thing is I can cope with the disappointment - it’s the hope that kills me!