Have I told you lately that I love you? No, I mean sorry, have I told you how I am enjoying my new part-time job with Glasgow University's Medical Research Council?
I told you that it's called Fieldwork and it's all about data and how data rules, and it's our job to collect it, honour it and protect it.
This week I had my first overnight field trip. Ladies and Gents, we hunted that data down. We boarded our fancy mini bus with seats facing each other (with a table in the middle like they have on Scotrail), tinted windows, and a toilet (maybe not). We criss-crossed Scotland, passing farm after idyllic farm, rolling fields and forests on our way to interview our Football Fans in Training.
FFIT is a great scheme that offers a support program for (mostly) middle-aged men who want to lose a bit of weight and get fit at their local and beloved football club.
It's MRC's job to do follow-up interviews and see how they are getting on. It's great meeting the men and hearing their stories, their frustrations and enthusiasms.
After the data collection sessions, our team went to eat in an Italian restaurant and then stayed over at a Premier Inn. Eating late gave me insomnia so I was watching repeats of Double Your House for Half the Money at 4.00 am, as I marveled at the sheer novelty of spending a night in my own hotel room.
I love working as a team and enjoyed the banter with the younger ones. I hadn't got myself organised enough to download music on my phone yet, but wee Shelley let me borrow her spare i-pod (the youth, you see?) on the drive back.
As we hurtled home through the rainy Scottish night, past dark mountains, our bus glowed faintly on the inside with strips of blue light along the floor. I listened to ebullient Noughties pop and thought of our precious boxes of heartfelt data and I was happy and sleepy and high-fiving them all in my mind. In a sappy way, yes.