Both partner and daughter have woken to utter ‘oh no’ as they have seen the mild rain failing, helping to melt the lying snow, and dent the chances of a White Christmas.

He has a lot to answer for does Bing Crosby. All that dreaming of a White Christmas, infecting everyone else’s dreams and desires for December 25. I sometimes think it must be easier in Australia, where there’s no chance.

I felt a bit of a heel not remotely sharing their concern at the rain, and the disappearing snow. I kept stumm, of course, being a caring partner and father and all that, but truth be told I woke up relieved to see the change in weather. You can have all the White Christmases you want, but to non-God doers like me, Boxing Day football is every bit as much part of the holiday as anything that happens the day before.

So while Fiona and Grace bemoaned the lack of white stuff falling from the sky, I was on the phone to my usual sources in Burnley, who were delivering the bad news that there had been fresh snow overnight – I keep saying to Fiona we should move north … she’d have woken up happy up there today …  but they were busy clearing it all from car parks and approach roads.

Of course being a hotshot Premier League club, the pitch itself is not a problem, what with hotshot undersoil heating, but they have to make the surrounding area safe. Elf’n’safety, cor blimey, as Dave Cameron would say.

So all through tomorrow, fingers will be crossed in the hope that the news will filter south that the game is on, and yet another ludicrously long journey north can be embarked upon. Then two days later we’re at Everton, and the five-day weather forecast suggests it will be a balmy 4 degrees Celsius in Liverpool, so I’ve gone ahead and booked the rail tickets.

By then Fiona will have forgotten all about the non-white Christmas and will instead be well into that other Christmas ritual … complaining about bin collection (lack of). Unless by then she is stuck on the current council moan – justified may I say – that parking for Boxing Day (ie the day after Christmas Day) is not free because Boxing Day this year is Monday 28th not Saturday 26th. I keep telling her … her life would be so much easier if she had football. Monday 28th is Everton away. Saturday 26th is Bolton at home, and what do you expect from a Lib Dem-Tory coalition?

To those who couldn’t be bothered to vote at the last council elections … this is your fault. Don’t blame me, I voted Labour. Have a nice Christmas, unless you play for Bolton or Everton.