I cannot believe we're already into the second week of June! Where has the year gone? I've a garden full of delphiniums, roses, clematis, wallflowers and geraniums (all thanks to Richard Jackson's Flower Power – love that man), but I also have a canoe moored by the back door incase we have any more of this torrential rain – the undercurrent was fierce across the patio…
So let's hope for sunshine and sporting success!! Not only are they warming up the balls at Wimbledon but there's the World Cup literally a day away! Now those of you who know me will possibly be surprised that I even know it's on, but although not sporty (in some senses!) I am patriotic. And amazed by some ot these guys' ball skills!
Talk about fancy footwork, it often looks as though the ball is glued to their shoes half the time. In truth, I have only ever watched one complete game of football (the one where David Beckham kicked the referee) but am in awe of anyone who can plough up and down a large field for an hour and a half without even being offered an orange segment to suck on at half time.
What I DON'T know about football you could write on a football field, and certain things trouble me when it comes to the rules…
Of course I understand the idea is to get the ball down to the field and into the net at the end without kicking it out of the white square, but what goes on in the interim is a bit of a mystery. Unlike rugby, they're not allowed to handle the ball and yet I've seen loads of them do that and try to stop each other from running by pulling each others' shirts and shorts.
Rather than a damn good slap for such behaviour, some bloke in a completely different coloured outfit walks up to said players and waves… a piece of coloured paper at them!! And although they're meant to understand what this means, they stand there arguing loudly and swearing and crying until like chastised children they're sent to sit on the naughty step for the rest of the game.
Somtimes you get a player who pretends that he's been kicked or tripped up and he falls over in dramatic style, rolling around as if he's in agony with a broken limb! Surely they realise that about 90,000 cameras, that can zoom in so close as to see the hairs up their nose have proof that they're play acting, and will now allow the millions watching, to see it back in slow motion… time and time again!
That said, it's quite a colourful game to watch, particularly some of the football kits they wear… some of them would be more at home on a jockey! And the length of the shorts. I personally think Stanley Matthews long line trews were a jolly sight more practical than the skin tight mini shorts some of these chaps cram themselves into.
I understand of course that these 'strips' are very expensive and often sponsored by huge sporting companies, so it troubles me when they swap shirts at the end of the match… what if you don't get them back? Would you have to wear the wrong shirt at your next match? I realise of course they have numbers on their shirts so that each man gets the right one, but what about the shorts? Do they have their names stitched inside them? Could be disastrous if some tiny chap was expected to peg it up the field in a huge pair of shorts that were impeding his progress… worse still to think of the large man in the small shorts!!!
All that said, it is a gloriously patriotic occasion, involving players who have incredible skill and there will be millions of us watching the matches and commenting on them – whether we know what we're talking about or not (Gary Lineker makes a good living doing this I've noticed).
Let's hope very much that we score some goals and at least get to stay a week in South Africa. It's an emotional business scoring a goal isn't it? Into the back of the net and while the player stands there often in disbelief (although some do robotic dances), a great big bunch of hairy men jump on you and knock you to the ground! Having completely winded you, they expect you to carry on playing and of course scoring more goals! It's just not cricket is it…
Will it be 1966 all over again? Could we bring the Cup home? Feel free to write your comments below, and we can thrash through them next time.
I leave you – fully kitted out of course – until then. COME ON IN GER LAND!!!
Love Ali x x