There was a point last night during the 2nd half that Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey were gently exchanging 5 yard passes with each other on half way, and not one Russian player could be in the least bit bothered to stop them. It was just one of many extraordinary sights I witnessed from our commentary position in Toulouse as Wales sailed through to top Group B on a glorious clear evening where the vanilla sky above was as clear as Gareth Bale's route to goal and the Russian flag might as well have been a white cross on a white background.
The so-called 'pink city' - named after the terracotta roof tiles so visible from the air as you come into land at the airport here - has been subject to the same sort of 'friendly invasion' by the Welsh as the Northern Irish fans had in Lyon just a few days ago. As my producer Scott and I left our hotel to walk the early evening streets in search of grub, Wales fans were already spilling out from the pavements into the Rue de Strasbourg, but not spilling a single drop of their pints whilst doing so.
This is the thing with hopping around France on an almost literal whistle stop tour following the beautiful game - you never get to see the beautiful sights.
“A Golden generation” – the glib catchphrase that’s trotted out more times than a pantomime horse on a theatre stage in this modern era of international football.
England’s has supposedly come and gone with Sven’s time; Wales are right slap bang in the middle of one having missed chances with previous incarnations; Northern Ireland and Iceland are surely experiencing one at the moment…and then there’s Belgium.
Should've blogged yesterday really, but there's not much to say about long interminable waits in airport departure lounges awaiting delayed connecting flights. And I'd come across as a moaner, which I'm not really.
I've had a few moans come my way on social media for suggesting that Wales' win over Slovakia was a perfect example of their togetherness and commitment-and no little skill from Bale, Allen and others too. But that's not enough to escape the 'lucky' tag from some correspondents to me and talk of a 'scuffed winner'.
Grève - a strike.
There's your French lesson for the day. I learned that word pretty swiftly on my first day in Bordeaux, a day of 'trams, planes and not-so-mobiles'.
The plane part from Gatwick was straightforward enough, and once outside the arrivals building, I even successfully negotiated my way to where the shuttle bus was, utilising the kind of spoken French not heard since Arthur Bostrom was in his pomp.
As usual, I have absolutely no idea what to expect over the next month, other than anticipating a lot of stress in making flights potentially affected by hastily called air traffic control disputes, a lot of lying awake wondering if the phone will ring at 5.57am to cover Alan Brazil, and hopefully a lot of scintillating football.
I'm back behind the TalkSPORT commentary mic for Euro 2016, a role I last had in South Africa for the station 6 years ago, before my gigs as a Matchday/Programme host and then England correspondent in subsequent times.
I’m back (KERRONG!!!!) back in the DTK groove…
Like a spider in the house at autumn time, you can’t keep me out of Dressed To Kill for long. Some 18 months after I depped for Matt in Birkenhead and Chesterfield, I made a return to the drum stool – in slightly different circumstances.
So Planet Rock then eh? That escalated quickly…
I mentioned in my previous blog the notion of ‘luck’ and ‘right place/right time’ with regard to how opportunities in broadcasting sometimes present themselves. Well, the events that led to me making my presenting debut on Planet Rock last week is as good an example of that as any to me.
Many’s the time I’ve received a message either through this here website, or a Tweet/Facebook message – sometimes even a personal email finds its way to me via a 3rd party – asking for advice on how to ‘make it’ in the radio industry.
Giving an answer feels almost fraudulent from my personal perspective, as my route into broadcasting was about as conventional as a Hawkwind B-side. But let me try and answer as best I can, all the same.