Next week is always one of the biggest of the year for us.
Becoming Scottish champion is never something to be taken for granted, even if it’s happened quite a few times in my career.
Losing in the final last year has just made us even more determined to come back fighting.
There were plenty of reasons we lost – me coming back from my hip injury was a big one – but we didn’t look for excuses then and that doesn’t change when we’re looking back on it.
Whatever the circumstances, and whatever the competition, it’s horrible watching another team celebrate after the final. That’s something we don’t want to experience again next weekend.
It’s really good to see eight teams in the field because we’ve been as low as six in the past.
It’s not like the old days when there were gold and silver leagues at the nationals but we’re never going to see that sort of depth again.
There will be a few teams who will fancy their chances.
Obviously Team Jackson are the reigning champions – we play them first in the round-robin.
Team Wilson got to the final of the Perth Masters recently and there are other young rinks who will have no fear.
Our attitude will be that we are playing really well and it’s in our hands.
It’s helped having our new coach Kristian over for practice.
He’s got lots of fresh ideas and the fact that he has recently been a top level player is a big benefit to us.
We believe we’re the best prepared team in the competition and now we need to go out and show it to earn our place at the World Championships.
* The men’s competition is really hard to call.
You could make a case for about four teams winning.
Obviously I’m hoping it will end up being a Muirhead double in Perth.
Thomas and Glen might not be playing on tour as much as a couple of the other rinks but I know that they’re feeling good about their chances and have put the work in.
* I don’t think you’ll find many golfers or golf watchers who will argue against the idea that something needs to be done to tackle the distance the ball is travelling.
We’re not at the stage of rule changes yet but I think it can be assumed that the R&A and USGA will have got equipment manufacturers on board before this week’s announcement of a review.
Organisations that size don’t embark on a process like this without a good idea of where it is going to end up.
* The fact that I wasn’t even born gives you an idea of how long ago the most famous Calcutta Cup match of all time was.
It’s no surprise that there’s been plenty of reminiscing about Scotland’s Murrayfield win now that it has reached its 30th anniversary.
English curling is on the rise but I don’t think I’m ever going to experience a proper rivalry with the Auld Enemy that you get in rugby, football and a lot of other sports.
We just have to make do with Canada!