After a hot journey Cat and I made it back to a quiet capital. Never a good sign when England is playing. I don’t have to watch a match to know if the side scores; the locals roar their appreciation. So the World Cup has been a pretty quiet affair all round.
I have mixed feelings about England’s exit from the tournament. Surprising really. I mean surprising I have any feelings about it as I am not a football follower. Obviously it would be nice if for once the national team won something, but having witnessed two sets of fans bowling along leafy stretches of the country, the bits that have Desirable Area written, discreetly of course, all over them, singing songs about German bombers that I imagine must have been current in about 1940, I’m rather glad this element can now crawl back into its timewarp bunker.
There are many reasons why history should be remembered. Waving selected and distorted bits of it in the faces of descendants of historical antagonists, whether at a sporting event or elsewhere, with some bizarre idea of demonstrating a superiority, moral or military, is not one of them.
Of course it’s not just the English who do this. Some Scots people once left me at a loss for words – a rare thing; as one my cousins says, there’s no need for any of us to kiss the Blarney Stone, rather the reverse – by telling me that although I was English and therefore guilty by association with Culloden, Edward l and goodness knows what else, they liked me and that it must be because I have an Irish mother.
God help us.