I'd forgotten that Newcastle are playing tonight. It's less than three months since the football season finished, but I forgot how busy town gets when the visiting fans arrive.
I went for a run with a couple of people at lunch. We ran past St James' Park and the Strawberry, saw the fans arriving on buses, heard their cheers. Only 1pm and already they were match-loud.
By the time I left work, the Celtic fans were out in force. There probably weren't thousands of them right outside when I left, but it felt like it. It's a long time since I've walked round a Newcastle in which the away fans outnumber the home ones. It was an odd feeling. The stripes on their shirts were the wrong colour and went the wrong way. It was a relief to spot the black and white stripes in the crowd.
As I walked past the Gate, a Newcastle fan with Shearer's name blazoned on the back of his shirt walked past ahead of me. The Celtic fans noticed it too, and broke out into cries of 'Shea-rer! Shea-rer!'. He turned round, gave a thumbs-up. There was no hint of trouble, just excitement for the match.
Not long now til the new season starts.