Well the country has become haunted by World Cup widows, wandering wraith like among our empty streets. Their lives lacking purpose, like drones after the death of the queen. I heard one bewildered, lamenting mother on the school run, telling the other how she had settled down the night before with a brew and remote control in hand only to find Coronation Street had vanished and the world as she knew it had ended. Faded away overnight to be replaced by an alternative reality of testosterone and Dark Age male bonding.
Homes and shop fronts, once offering promises of two for the price of one, are now festooned in St.George flags and banners, betraying a patriotism that seems to be absent until these sporting events come around. Although this time, I think that the expectancy levels are at an all time low. Woe betide a win tonight against Italy. Then an apathetic nation will rise and dare to dream again. Faces will be painted and barbecues lit, car horns honked and anthems drunkenly sung out of tune.
I try not to be a pessimist. But you get the feeling that a game or two down the line the inevitable will happen and the mood of the nation will take another dip. Probably after a penalty shoot out.
Still, anything that brings people together has got to be good, however brief it may be.
Here in our little corner of England, this is our paltry, patriotic effort:
It is actually a car flag that I salvaged from the middle of a busy, main road after being implored to do so by my lad James. Among the great, eye-dominating flags of the neighbourhood, it looks more like someone waving a farewell handkerchief through the open window, which may be more appropriate. Perhaps a flag of surrender.
My son, our little Englander, is pleased with it, which is all that matters.
So, anyway, relax ladies. Tina is already dead, it’s football time. You can look forward to a murder trial with your chocolate digestives later.
Do you hear that, Jen ? Normal soap opera schedules will resume after a glorious month of football. In the meanwhile, let’s ride the highs and lows together first, kick every ball and cheer every goal. What do you say ?