- 13 Oct 07, 08:40 AM
But, as I sit here tapping this out in a darkened hotel room, the glow from my laptop serving as my only light, I can’t help feeling like an army scout, sent into enemy territory to test the waters in advance of England’s invading hordes.
A hotel room, I hear Carole from Maidenhead say. Yes, that’s right Carole, Tommy and I jettisoned Le Bloggernaut on the outskirts of Paris on Friday afternoon, grabbed our essential kit and ghosted into the big smoke - agitated, excited and, in my case, a little bit constipated (anyone got any suggestions?).
We had booked in at a campsite on the outskirts of town, but, having been warned we might see things even Simon Cowell would rather not see, we made alternative plans.
We have taken sanctuary in a mate’s gaff just round the corner from the Folies Bergere, although, truth be known, there wasn’t much revelry on the Rue Richer on Friday night. The natives are keeping their powder dry.
Neither was there much evidence of fellow England fans. No George Crosses, no Jerusalem, nobody telling the pretty blonde waitress what sweet chariots she has.
However, having access to a television and having witnessed the chaotic scenes at London’s Waterloo Station, we are acutely aware an explosion is imminent.
The World Cup went stratospheric last week and now it seems the whole of England wants to be a part of it. Good old England – it’s got plenty of faults, but, my life, what fans.
It is difficult to convey breathless anticipation while typing with cotton wool taped to your fingertips so as not to wake your pals (I got the floor – it’s laminate…).
But my impatience is now acute. To bastardise Cat Stevens: I could lay my head on a piece of lead and imagine it was a springy bed - but it’s difficult to sleep while thinking of the colossal smash-up ahead.
Last week, it became official – I know nothing about rugby. Forecasting humiliation for the northern hemisphere teams, England and France pulled my pants down and proved me wrong.
So I have no pre-match prediction. Other than that the streets of Paris will be the greatest place on Earth to be on Saturday 13 October. That’s a fact - my cabbie told me.
As I write, I’m doubtful there can ever be a better day of rugby than last Saturday. I suggest you gird your loins and do your best to prove me wrong.
Ben Dirs is a BBC Sport journalist travelling around France in a camper van with Tom Fordyce. Click here to search for all of Tom and Ben's blog videos.