Is it really four years since the Lions left Australia with their tails held high ?
So for those unable to travel to the land of the long white cloud and who cannot afford, or are not allowed to own a Sky sports subscription, the time has come to embark once again on the dreadful early Saturday morning pub experience that is part and parcel of a Lions tour, for those of us less fortunates.
Apart from the almost out of body experience of crossing the threshold of your local Ember Inn at such an ungodly hour, there are serious health implications to consider.
Now when I was young there were no such dilemmas
It may seem hard to believe but in 1971 all international rugby matches kicked off in the middle of the afternoon, also television coverage was not available, so it was under the bed covers with a transistor radio the size of a microwave at 4am trying to tune in to a commentary from down under via the short wave.
It was tough, but on the plus side we never had to endure three hours of Will Greenwood and Scott Quinnell previewing each test match.
But back to the health implications I spoke about earlier, I am of course referring to the dietary minefield that comes with watching early morning rugby in a pub, or wine bar ,if you happen to live in Richmond.
Do you start with a cappuccino or a Guinness ? and as the aroma of sausages Cooking in the pub kitchen invades the lounge bar , can you be strong enough to stick to your original choice of wholemeal toast and flora ?
It takes nerves of steel to stick with the courage of your convictions, and a stomach of steel to survive the results of any lack of will power, so there are no real winners here.
Sufferers of high blood pressure, or hypertension as travel insurance providers prefer to call it, are particularly at risk due to several factors.
Firstly there is the almost cast iron certainty that the seat you have have carefully selected and occupied since the pub opened,giving you optimum view of the screen, will be totally eclipsed when the largest resident of the town you happen to be in drags his, or her, bar stool in front of your line of vision five minutes before kick off, just breathe deeply and count to ten.
Secondly as the referee blows his whistle to start the game, the television will mysteriously switch channels and instead of watching George North steaming down the wing, you will be gazing at James Martin on Saturday morning kitchen, steaming his dumplings, I would suggest counting to twenty for this one.
Finally there is the 11am exit into bright daylight that has you blinking watery eyed like a pit pony with hay fever as your befuddled brain reminds you that there are still thirteen hours of the day remaining for you to somehow negotiate.
I don’t pretend to know all the answers, and more illustrious scribes that I have wrestled with this problem.
Unsympathetic partners may take advantage of your lethargic state and lure you to the supermarket with coffee and pastry enticements, but beware ,before you know it you will pushing a fully loaded trolley between the dog food and homeware aisles, with your latte and pecan Danish a distant dream.
Good luck my friend, if it’s any consolation you are not alone.