So first game watching England at an international finals tournament ....
The day should have been one of pure excitement but the reality was the day wasn't tinged with nervousness it was coated in a big blanket.
Most comments on Facebook were one of stay safe and the news reports of the drunken English idiots in the docks.
Add that onto the very real threat of terrorism with Marseilles being the Kalashnikov capital of France (well that was the headline in the Sun so it must be true !) then you can see why Richard and I were on edge and not totally relaxed in the sun (this time I mean the thing in the sky and not because we had been lobbing bottles and made the front page of the aforementioned newspaper).
So we headed to the fan zone after spending our journey reading the array of graffiti which welcomed us to the metropolis of a filthy city (later informed due to the bin men being on strike)
The Wales Slovakian game arrived and the Welsh were greeted with warmth love and affection like a young brother coming of age.
Well the anthem was not booed and Bale's free kick was greeted with a huge roar ...
I wonder if the Russian equaliser will have the same effect or will our little brother remember that little bit of bullying all those years ago ?
We headed to the stadium at half time in the Welsh game and I made a point of shaking hands with plenty of Russians.
Outside the stadium we realised quickly that Jamie Vardy was not playing as he was posing for selfies (or was it his look a like that brought all those headlines a few weeks earlier ?)
The stadium was an amazing site covered in a metal bubble wrap ...but before that one last beer to soak up the atmosphere and to count the amount of tickets being sold.
I think a lot of locals were realising that their new business of buying tickets and selling them at inflated prices was flawed - supply and demand. Definitely no demand.
The game was one sided with no final piece ... No final ball.
I would have introduced Sturridge - the best finisher in Uk ?!
Finally the breakthrough a great free kick almost Payetesque !!
Then it went wrong - the Russians lit flares - the Russians lit an enormous loud fire cracker which in these nervous terrorist times is totally inappropriate time. Then a green firework which coincided with the late late equaliser which signalled the charge of their idiots straight into the stand next to them which was full of families women children - frightening....
We were up with the gods and had no worries
We waited to leave as Mark had to collect his Bristol city flag which coincided with the delayed departure of the Russians. We didn't see any more violence but the threat was there.
Next day we are heading to Toulouse - looking for some civility and culture - take me to the Champagne and Oyster bar !!