Pretty much every chalk board in this house has had some kind of ‘come on England’ or ‘Three Lions’ message on it. I cant help myself sometimes I really cant. We have been doing score predictions for every match, not just the England ones. Also I know now that ‘Uraguay’ is spelt with a U and not an A – Geography was never my strong point.
Our football lights are from Penny’s if anyone was wondering. All this world cup action is making me homesick. We watched the first England match in the local pub (er only pub) and when they sang God Save our Queen I did start to blub a tiny bit. Ever since we sang it in the Olympic stadium with 80,000 odd fellow Brits there is something about it that gets me every time. I miss home, I miss watching matches and hearing the whole street cheer a goal, I miss seeing the newspaper headlines the day after (my favourite so far this world cup was after Spain were knocked out “Chili-Con-Carnage”) and most of all I miss the general atmosphere of the World Cup. I dont miss the chavs out in their England kits clutching their cans of Stella though.
Some of my best Dad/Daughter moments and fondest family memories revolve around football. My Dad was a player, scout and then coach (which he still does now) so football was kind of part of life for a long time growing up. I told my own children about the time their Granddad took me to Italy v Nigeria for World Cup 1994. I remember sitting in the heat of the stadium and telling my Dad then I was an Italy supporter (mainly because I was a little bit in love with Roberto Baggio) and he replied telling me that I supported England as thats where I was born. I found myself telling my boys the same last week, no matter that everyone at school supports Ireland, France or Italy – they are Englishmen and that is their team. Cora of course will support Ireland as she is an Irishwoman! Amelie and Vivi might grow up with Irish accents but their passports are British (Im sure this will be a point of great hilarity in the future if they marry Irish men and England/Ireland have a sporting clash)
The night Uruguay beat us I told Luis and Maxi the story of being in Wembley during Euro 96, when that famous Gareth Southgate penalty knocked us out sending Germany through to the finals. That is the first time I can remember seeing grown men cry. They love to listen to their Granddad tell them stories about his footballing past, and as I retell them, and add my own I realise how much like my Dad I really am – even down to the pesky premature greying!!
So we may be out, but I shall keep my little corner of England up here in Ireland a little longer, at least until the end of Wimbledon incase Andy Murray wins again. Its two weeks until I am back home for the first time in over a year, I cant wait. I love Ireland, I love living here, and Castledaly is kind of home now, but there is something about England that is very much a part of me and I cant wait to get back!
(Incase you were wondering who we are now supporting for the World Cup, Ian and Luis are USA, Maxi is Ghana, Im going Dutch and Amelie likes the yellows – the linesmen!!!)