Hotels, earplugs and a freezing gantry
Sometimes I dread meeting people for the first time and having that inevitable "what do you do for a living?" conversation.
Compared to nurses, firemen and teachers, the job of football commentator sounds pretty dumb. Hardly a proper occupation for a grown-up, I think you'll agree.
Generally, just as I am struggling to convey how tough it is being sent to watch football every weekend, I get asked what I do during the week or during the summer.
Given the answer is "more football", I then have to give up and admit that it is pretty much a dream job.
Yes, it's true that there are very few downsides that I can think of to being on Match of the Day, but working every Christmas is one of them. Actually it's not so much the working as the travelling and the nights in hotels.
I remember feeling particularly sorry for myself one New Year's Eve several years ago. Fate had dealt me a cruel hand with an early kick-off on New Year's Day a long, long way from home - Middlesbrough to be exact.
Whilst all the colleagues I was due to work with lived near enough to travel to the ground on the morning of the game, I live near the south coast and had to go the day before.
As Teesside went crazy with excitement when midnight struck, I was going stir-crazy in my hotel room on my own.
You can imagine how delighted I was when about 200 happy revellers pitched up in the room next to mine at three in the morning intent on keeping the party going. Thank God for earplugs.
There is nothing more likely to earn you a puzzled stare than turning up in a business suit for a hotel breakfast for one at half past seven on the morning of New Year's Day.
Some years prior to that lonely Hogmanay, I had spent Christmas Day in the flat I lived in at the time with only the friend of a friend and a Bernard Matthews turkey roast for company.
All my flat-mates had returned to the bosom of their families, but I had to stay in London because Leyton Orient's crunch match on Boxing Day had my name on it.
At least that year I could enjoy a beer with the dinner we cobbled together. I recall driving back to London from my in-laws' house one Christmas night having foregone even the chocolate liqueurs whilst my wife and kids stayed behind.
It was only on the way home that I realised my car had very little petrol in it and that the garage proprietors of Sussex had strangely decided not to stay open on Christmas night just for me. It was a long and nerve-shredding journey.
Having no fixtures this New Year will certainly feel strange, but not as strange as not having an FA Cup third round tie to commentate on over the first weekend in January.
The loss of the contract for the Cup is still extremely keenly felt in the BBC's football department.
Being perched on a scaffolding gantry, eyes watering in the face of a freezing wind watching a would-be giant-killer in action is frankly my idea of a fantastic day. Whatever I do instead that weekend it won't be the same.
In the meantime, I hope you have had a great Christmas and wish you and your team luck in 2009.