Come on IN GER LAND!


Ali in her World Cup outfit 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…

Ali blowing her World Cup whistle 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


  1. Julie June 10, 2010 at 7:42 pm -  Reply

    Ali,you know I read your blogs but personally I think this was you’re best yet-you did make me smile!!
    For England to win I think they have to learn how to take penalties!! or learn a lesson from the “celebrity” match last Sunday!I remember years ago I had the Kevin Keegan perm-yes I’m really that old!!What do you mean they can’t handle the ball-oh no that’s our game isn’t it??(only joking)
    Referring to your previous blog I didn’t know the house in Hay was for sale but I’m sure that won’t stop you going!!I agree a lovely part of the country.
    Things not too bad otherwise-you know the next few months I’ll be worrying like mad-I’m wishing the Summer away-not!!Blood tests next week,scan early July,will keep you informed.
    Hope you’re all well, give Sam my love,
    Take care
    Julie xx

  2. Jenny Meckiffe June 11, 2010 at 9:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Ali
    Well your blog really made me laugh! I’m sure David Beckhm kicked someone, but I’m not sure it was the ref!! I agree that we should all try to be as patriotic as possible and it certainly is a great spectacle, even so 3 matches a day seems a little excessive!! I am off to Ironbridge next week for five days with 72 children for our annual residential trip!! keep your fingers crossed for decent weather and a working television to keep the little darlings happy in the evenings!! We are going to try and blog our classmates left at school while we are there, you can see that I’m just catching up with your advanced technology!!
    Enjoy the week, speak soon
    All Love
    Jenny xxxx

  3. Steven June 12, 2010 at 9:41 am -  Reply

    C’mon America! Ali don’t take this personally. Its the English commentators that really get on my nerves! Its started already and Ingerland haven’t even played!
    Brilliant blog though. Did make me laugh. Very sexy in the England top too! I like that look! Love the hat too!
    Take care and I hope you enjoy it. Do you follow a team back home ?
    I could take England getting to the quarters or semis for some of you gals on here. As long as England don’t win it lol
    Steven xxxxxx

  4. Sharon Gasparutti June 12, 2010 at 1:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, just a few notes to say that can’t stand the beautiful game and I will be keeping well out the way and the my other half watch it and QVC will be my companion for most of the tournament. The idea of ball skills and getting the ball into the net at the other end of the pitch is just beyond me!

  5. Mandy Davies June 12, 2010 at 11:41 pm -  Reply

    Poor Alison, after tonights performance – do you really think that the England team looked like a world class team? I’m afraid to tell you that I really don’t think that it will be 1966 again. I agree with Julie – I think last weeks ‘celebrity’ performance set the tone of Englands world cup performance – England need to learn not only how to take penalties, but how to play world class footie!

  6. Marg June 13, 2010 at 4:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Football I’m sick of it already, I watched the opening ceremony and thought it was so enjoyable,no rasmataz but wholehearted enjoyment of the participants,they have that special sound which sends shivers of delight down my spine.My son has been to Botswana twice in recent years and before returning home he had a short stay in South Africa to go on safari,he brought some CD’s back and I never tire of playing them, but after all the joyful celebrations I found the first game unbearable it was like sitting in a giant wasps nest,what a soul destroying racket. If that continues I will be avoiding football like the plague,that noise would send me loopy. Oh by the way my OH asked if I would let you know gently,you dont get football shoes,boots only,no choice of heel height,peep toes or sling backs, just a variety of coloured boots.I hope all the fans of football enjoy this occasion,and I hope all of us who just suffer it will be well paid to pass the time in other ways.I intend to make the most of my power to buy a few things I would otherwise have to wait for. Mercenary or what, thats me.

  7. Margaret June 14, 2010 at 11:44 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, who needs football when we have QVC as an alternative, great for us ladies and a little secret shopping never did anyone any harm, agree with Marg the sound coming from the TV is terrible added to the comments from hubby its enough to drive me to my little office haven, ALL GOOD WISHES to our boys out there and even if I dont want to watch it I would love them to win,ENGLAND FOREVER, all my best wishes Ali ,best blogs as always, Margaretx

  8. alison keenan June 14, 2010 at 1:10 pm -  Reply

    Hi Lovely as always to hear from you Julie, and I’m certain that the scans etc. will all have truly positive results. Glad I made you smile -yours and others comments have made me laugh out loud – and after Saturday’s game, we’ll have to cross more than our fingers!! We’re all fine here although I’m running round like a headless chicken at present as off to Kefalonia on Thursday so washing ironing, shopping, filling the house with food for Sam all to be done before back to work tomorrow. Love to all, Ali xxx

  9. alison keenan June 14, 2010 at 1:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Jenny, thanks for writing – as always great to catch up. You’re right I don’t think it was the referee that David kicked, but I do seem to remember a shoe throwing incident in the changing rooms that made the headlines!! Best of luck in Ironbridge – will you be going on the riverboat cruise again? I have a photo of Lucy in a pushchair on the Ironbridge when she was about a year old – happy days :) Good luck with the little ones and I’ll keep my fingers crossed there’s a working TV there, or you might have to resort to singing football songs! Love always, ali xxx

  10. alison keenan June 14, 2010 at 1:18 pm -  Reply

    Steven, I’m glad you appreciated my dressing up – I think though you are alone though!!! :) You made me laugh with your comments. I didn’t get to see the game as I was at my friends hen ‘tea’ party, and we’d moved on from tea to Pimms so apart from someone staggering out and announcing a draw, I remember nothing…..I seem to remember you’ve got a holiday to look forward to this year in September. Let’s pray we get a tad more sunshine before then eh, and then our dashed World Cup hopes won’t seem quite so depressing :) Thanks for writing, Love ali xx

  11. alison keenan June 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm -  Reply

    Oh, sorry Steven, meant to say no I don’t follow any team… anywhere!! I thought Crystal Palace was a place you bought fashion jewellery from! Ali xx

  12. alison keenan June 14, 2010 at 1:23 pm -  Reply

    Sharon isn’t it wonderful that most of us have more than one TV these days! Always plenty to keep you interested on QVC. I’ll be away for a week or more but unless we win the next one I think we’re out anyway. I may concede to watch that if it’s a daytime match, so Colin can sit indoors and I can sunbathe :) Perfect! Thanks for writing, ali xx

  13. alison keenan June 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm -  Reply

    Thing is Mandy, how many more years of teaching them is it going to take?! Perhaps if their pay was performance related it might be a good incentive?? I tell you what, you wouldn’t have wanted to be the goalie on Saturday night would you? I bet he was last in the showers! Have a good week and thanks for writing, Ali xx

  14. alison keenan June 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm -  Reply

    Marg your other half sounds very sweet…. and of course spot on….I forgot they were football boots not shoes, although a pair of Jimmy Choos would probably cost less than some of the pairs we’ve seen on the fields eh? And I’m loving your mercenary streak! Jilly Halliday suggested that for every goal scored in the World Cup (not by England clearly) you put a pound in a pot, and at the end of the month bought yourself something lovely! Or you could just buy things on the offchance :) As always, lovely to hear from you and thanks for writing to me, Love Ali xx

  15. Rhona Fenton June 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm -  Reply

    Now come on Alison just like steven say’s don’t take this the wrong way you have been to where I live so you know I am other side off the boarder we all dress in Blue and white this side so how can I cheer you on:) but have to say you do suit your own colour and look awesome will you let me off with that?:) sent you an email with pictures thanks to my colin:) please let me know if you get them ok? love Rhona xx

  16. Dorothy June 14, 2010 at 6:24 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    like to watch football but saturdays match was (RUBBISH) so dont think england will be going far.I could have done better used to play on school football team then for the dragons a local team,im to old now. I agree with Marg it was like a load wasps it was horrendous so will not be watching anymore. You LOOK GOOD in the england strip get on pitch and give them a hand. hope all is well with Sam and Lucy.
    Love best wishes
    Dorothy xxxxx

  17. Una June 15, 2010 at 11:12 am -  Reply

    Who wants to watch football when they can watch the likes of BILLY OCEAN on QVC?
    Did you manage to catch the show Ali? The man was AMAZING.
    love Una x

  18. Mrs Janet Jones June 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali I too know very little about football and I will only watch a game if we get into the finals(fingers crossed). As always your blog makes me laugh(have you ever thought about writing?)I have my first appt at the hairdresser next week my first in almost a year! It will be more of a tidy up than a cut as I still don’t have enough hair to style, but at least it’s coming back!Have you had the results for Sam’s MRI yet? wishing him all the best.Hope you have a lovely holiday in Kefalonia speak soon Love Janet xx

  19. Steven June 15, 2010 at 5:34 pm -  Reply

    I Go to Bulgaria in August Ali. In fact 48 days time – not that I’m counting! To be fair I still think England will get through the group and probably get to the Quarter or semi finals. Your turn to make me laugh again! Liked the one about Crystal Palace! Hope Julia doesn’t read that!

  20. Marg June 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm -  Reply

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday,and you have plenty of factor 30 for the benifit of MS Young or you will be on the naughty step too. I loved that idea,just imagine a row of trembling bottom lipped overgrown kids in their strips sitting on the naughty step for an infringment of the rules?? That really tickles my funny bone, great one Ali,the mental picture will stay with every time I see a footballer,I will be mentally asking ‘how many times have you been on the naughty step, just be glad Ali, isnt in charge of your game.Really hope you have a fab., time, love to all,

  21. Gail June 15, 2010 at 11:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, where has the year gone? You can say that again. Love your Ingerland outfit – very patriotic. Glad your garden is coming up roses, so to speak (no pun intended).
    I hate any sport. I’m a sitting in a comfy chair with a BIG bar of chocolate, watching QVC sort of person, but I am very, very patriotic and love the World Cup. I have so many flags on my windows that inside it’s like a scene from the blitz during a black out; they have blocked all the natural light, but who cares. I also have all the relevant accessories like rattles, hand clappers, hand flags etc and even in my garden I have 4 flags flying – GREAT.
    I am only watching the English games though; that’s enough for me. I have two men in the house and they seem to be watching 24/7 football at the moment – yawn, yawn.
    It would be lovely if it turned out to be 1966 again. I can just remember the excitement of it all and who can forget the catchy tune. All together now: World Cup Willy is favourite for the cup, Willy, Willy, he’s everybody’s favourite for the cup. (Hope that’s right, it’s a long time since I’ve sung it). I think I can feel a flag waving moment coming on.
    Hope everything okay with you and family. Speak soon.
    Must put some more lights on ………
    Love Gail xxxxxxxx

  22. alison keenan June 16, 2010 at 9:17 am -  Reply

    ….Thank you Una :)! No sadly I missed it live, but can watch it back on which is exciting! By the time I got to work yesterday the place was buzzing, and I know Kathy had a ball. Here’s hoping we can get some more musical legends in very soon. Have a great week, and lovely to hear from you, ali xxx

  23. alison keenan June 16, 2010 at 10:12 am -  Reply

    Gail I’ve just read your message out to Colin who is still tittering – I’m LOL!!! You are funny, and I can just imagine your house – it’ll look like half the nations houses, but maybe with a tad more light coming in! Colin and I will be in Kefalonia when England next play so I will watch it with him, and no doubt add it to my holiday highlights. Look after yourselves, and keep eating the chocolate and watching QVC – recipe for happy days :) Love Ali xx

  24. Susan June 16, 2010 at 6:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    As always a funny and LONG blog! How do you do it?! Enjoy your holiday – all you presenters are making me really jealous with your sunny holidays. I won’t be seeing any of that this year!
    Take care,

  25. alison keenan June 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm -  Reply

    Gail you are a hoot!! :) I love your reply and the mental image you’ve created for me of a house darkened by the patriotic flag yet sufficient light for your to reach your rattles and whistles!! As for the flags in the garden – I think they’d have been uprooted today so windy was it in London town. Have a piece of chocolate for me, and stay with QVC, cos they’re planning a few surprises along the way, especially if England score! (Keeping everything crossed for that then :) I will write on my return from the hopefully sunny island of Kefalonia, so take good care of each other til then, Love Ali xxx

  26. alison keenan June 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm -  Reply

    Marg, Ms. Young would be proud of me as I have many bottles of Factor 30 and even Factor 50 with me! I thought I’d give Ultrasun a go, so should be bronzed, healthy and not burned when I return :) Loved reading all the footie comments and you’re right, those lads would need be a jolly sight less temperamental if I was in charge. As my mother used to say ‘stop that now or I’ll give you something to cry about!’ :) Happy days. Marg, have a great week, and I’ll look forward to sharing my holiday photos with you when I get back, Love Ali xx

  27. alison keenan June 16, 2010 at 10:06 pm -  Reply

    Margaret am loving the idea of a little secret shopping!! I think as Jenny said in her comment three matches a day does seem a little extreme, but I’m glad that you have somewhere of your own to escape…. only another 3 weeks to go! I’ll be back from my hols before then so can bore you with photos of Kefalonia :) Have a great week, and thanks for writing, Love Ali xx

  28. alison keenan June 16, 2010 at 10:08 pm -  Reply

    And Rhona, having seen those BEAUTIFUL photographs of you and your girls I think you’d look lovely in blue and white too :) Thanks so much for sending them through, and when I get back I will write more fully. Many thanks to your Colin for attaching them via electronic mail – saves all that stamp licking! Lots of love to you all, Ali xx

  29. alison keenan June 16, 2010 at 11:09 pm -  Reply

    Dorothy can you imagine the look on the England Team’s faces if I turned up on the pitch with a plate full of orange segments at half time!! Actually I did play a game of football once when I worked for the BBC in Shropshire and I was RUBBISH!! I take my hat off to you for having rushed up and down the field in your shorts – especially for a team called the Dragons!! Not the most complimentary of names but hey! :) I will no doubt be watching the game on Friday as I hear it’s on in the evening and so Colin and I can sit in a bar somewhere while the sun sets and enjoy the spectacle. Will write soon with all my holiday pics – if I can find the camera charger!! Lots of love, Ali xx

  30. alison keenan June 16, 2010 at 11:12 pm -  Reply

    Steven I’m sure those 48 days will go quickly and before you know it you’ll be enjoying your time away. Not so sure we’ll make it to the quarter or semi finals, but will keep everything crossed we do…. am hoping Julia’s not reading my blog this week as she’s on hols!! She’d never forgive me for my Crystal Palace comment :) x x

  31. Una June 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm -  Reply

    KEFALONIA…….. you lucky girl.
    Have a FAB time.
    Love Una x

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