I've been watching football for years, but I made my first trip to a non-league ground last Friday, to watch Weymouth play League 1 side Southend United.
And what a joy it was!!!
I'll be honest, most of my live football experiences have been watching Chelsea, and I've always enjoyed the tension, the trouble, and the terror that seeing them back-in-the-day used to entail.
So much so, that I seemed to lose the real spirit of football and the fact you don't have to be on your guard all the time, watching your back, from the police, away fans and even your own fans.
So I was full of wonder when my brother and I breezed through the (very rusty) turnstile, to just wander about and mingle with everyone inside the ground.
I was also amazed that you could walk around the whole ground, completely unmolested by any stroppy steward or police etc.
Taking into account that this was a very relaxed pre-season friendly, on a gorgeous July summer's evening, this is apparently quite normal.
We ambled about, with me marvelling at the old-school terracing, and loving it.
I haven't stood on a terrace to watch a match since the Shed End closed in 1994!!!
The match was a typical pre-season affair, with a mix of youth team players, triallists, players coming back from injury, or from the summer holiday beach.
But there was plenty of football played, Weymouth pass it around well, and are no 'hit-and-hope' hoofers.
And Southend seem to have a crop of decent youngsters coming through. I was really impressed with a couple of them, as they really thought about their passes, and played it out with a purpose.
A 2-2 draw was probably about right. Both had plenty of chances, with Southend's keeper called upon a few times to repel some rasping shots from Weymouth, and the visitor's pressure nearly producing a winner near the end.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening, and left thinking, why haven't I done this before?!
I'll be checking the fixture lists of not only Weymouth, but my other local side, Portland United, as well.
Long live non-league football.
Outside the Bob Lucas Stadium ...
Yes, it really was only £8 to get in!!
Dogs on leads here I'm afraid ...
The Main Stand, which seems a long way from the pitch!
Parking spaces for your shopping trolley ...
The curious staircase for the Main Stand.
Proper terracing at this proper ground!
One man and his hat look towards the Main Stand.
Also nice to see an good old-school floodlight at a ground, not those rubbish ones stuck on the stands!
The place could do with a bit of weeding though ...
One woman and her dog ... and it has its lead on!!!
What a perfect way to watch football ...
A warm, sunny evening, and no bovver anywhere.
Corner flag, floodlight and moon in (almost) perfect alignment.
Up the Terras!!
I could easily get hooked on watching Weymouth and the non-league football scene, so expect to see me at a few games soon!!!