Day 453 – Rain and England

Over 100mm of rain today has soon put me in my place as far as celebrating the lack of winter goes.

Never mind though. We had a successful trip out to The Flats this morning to renew some passports (no, we’re not going anywhere), and there’s a free-standing fireplace to light and an England game to ‘look forward to’ this evening.

Yes, I enjoy watching football, and yes, I’m English, but I’m no huge fan of the England national team.
Sure, I’ll watch them and I’ll support them, but it’s not life-ending for me when they don’t do well.
‘Nice when they win, meh when they don’t’ sums it up nicely.

I was saying recently that this is likely because when I was growing up, the England team had no relevance to me. All the games were played at Wembley. That was somewhere I’d never been and never seen – it meant nothing to me. (It still means very little to me.) So it was always based in London, and London was a long way away and… well… had no relevance to me. Added to that, the fact that none of my heroes were ever involved, and you really shouldn’t underestimate the effect that can have on a young kid’s level of interest.

Then there was the playing style. English domestic football was always more physical, more rough and tumble; harder and faster. And yet when I watched the England team, they always slowed it all down and played to the foreign opposition’s strengths instead of their own. I never understood that.

Aside from the matches of the 1990 World Cup, most of which I spent in Germany and had to be seen to be a total England supporter, I can only think of one other memorable England game: the 2001 5-1 win against Germany. For some reason (beer, probably) I felt like a proper fan that evening, as we watching in the Britannia in Headington before heading down the Cowley Road. That was a fun day.

But look, I’d much rather be watching Sheffield United: then and now.

That said, it’s either the England game or sitting outside in the rain, so I think Ill still be watching this evening.

Day 446 – Some photos

(at last!)

Just a quick in-and-out (careful now) from me here today, because I have to play football half an hour and I’m n kilometres away from where I need to be to play football at that time.

But I did manage to edit some photos – mainly of birds – from the weekend: here they are.

Here’s a Little Egret having a bad hair day, just to get you in the mood.

I know that these are feathers (I did Biology for GCSE), but the term “bad feathers day” doesn’t really exist, and I’m trying to be whimsical.

Have a lovely evening. As mentioned, football for me, then the Ramaphosa announcement, then France v Germany, at least one of which should be an absolute humdinger. Two if we’re properly lucky.

Day 444 – Cool weekend

It’s been an excellent weekend, full of sunshine, exercise, photography and relaxation.

But after a thankfully uneventful journey home, Cape Town is properly chilly this evening.

The fire is going and I’ve switched the football on to see if that warms things up at all.

Tomorrow, I’ll get some editing done and share some pics, but until then it’s a cup of coffee and Austria vs North Macedonia (which is pretty toasty already).

Day 222 – I need help

Allegedly, anyway.
[Spoiler: No, I don’t.]

Long and dull story short, we need a few more points on our medical insurance spin-off programme to earn better discounts and nicer freebies. I’ve all but reached my limit for points earned through exercise for the year, so I started looking at other ways of scoring enough to get us over the metaphorical, virtual line.

And there is was: a mental health questionnaire that I could do in 5 minutes while watching the football. And it promised almost twice as many points as a 30 minute workout with my heart pumping at 150bpm. Easy money.

And so I went for it. As I remember, there were seven parts to it and it was all multiple choice stuff – often the old ‘”I strongly disagree” to “I strongly agree” with this statement’ kind of thing. I strongly agreed with some of them and I strongly disagreed with others. Occasionally, where I felt fairly neutral about the given statement, I clicked “neutral”.

And then I finished the thing and collected my 500 points and it suggested that I speak to a mental health counsellor.

wut?

It also appeared to class me as “at risk” from my drinking habits. But my drinking habits are equivalent to a glass of wine each evening. If that puts me at risk, then the world (including me) is really in trouble.

And I truthfully answered the mental health questions in the same sort of way. Sure, I don’t think I’m 100% happy 100% of the time, but the fact is that none of us is having an easy ride this year, and if you actually are still 100% happy 100% of the time, then I think that it’s actually you that has the mental health issue.

Honestly, this questionnaire seems to be the equivalent of googling your headache and the daily mail dot com telling you that you have a brain tumour. Overkill much?

I’m well aware that denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, but if you feel that my having trouble getting to sleep a week last Saturday demands that I seek immediate help from a counsellor, then you’re
a) being a bit dramatic,
b) wasting my time and (more importantly) theirs, and
c) not a Sheffield United supporter.

I will be good, I will to continue to exercise my mind and body, and really: I won’t off myself anytime soon. I’ll also try and get less stressed about the football, but having narrowly lost this week’s fantasy matchup to that “goal” by Tariq Lamptey – insult added to injury by the fact that the foul on HĂžjbjerg was also counted as a dispossession and further that the two goals scored against Lamptey weren’t deducted from his score – I feel I’m ok to feel a bit aggrieved every now and again.

So yes, football – such a big bit of my life – is still not a good thing for me at the moment.

But I promise: I don’t need help.
I’m ok. Really.