The world cup has finally started, this means that during the evenings that Simon is actually at home and not in some far flung hotel in some strange country, he'll be incommunicado, hogging the sofa and the remote, demanding that everyone in the house 'be quiet' so that he can concentrate on the 22 or so men running around after a little ball on a pitch thousands of miles away.
It's OK, I guess, although it does go on a little bit too long for my taste (both the individual game and the whole damn tournament) and I guess that no sooner is it over then the football league in England will start up again - well, these multi-million pound football stars have got to do something to earn their inflated salaries.
On Saturday we drove to another town about 40 minutes away (for reasons I wont bother you with) as we were driving along various roads Jas and I started counting flags flying out of people's windows, depending on the area there are either flags or not - Si's reasoning is that the less posh an area the more flags, so our neighbours are probably hating us as we must lower the tone of the neighbourhood dramatically by hanging 2 flags - there aren't many other houses in Kettwig flying any flags - let alone a German and an English one side by side. It's not that they're being unpatriotic, it's just that maybe to Germans the car is king and so they're all decorating their cars instead with flags and natty little wing mirror covers.
Saturday night was the England vs. U.S. match - I managed to 'watch' the whole 90 minutes, mainly because I had the laptop with me and was chatting to friends on Facebook about the game at the same time - nothing serious, clearly, just comments on the U.S. team's footie strip - navy blue with a white diagonal stripe running shoulder to hip - not a proper strip we all agreed, rather reminiscent of a pageant queen's sash or a jockey or as if they'd just won in the gymkhana. The game, as I'm sure you're aware, ended in a draw, thanks to sloppy goalkeeping on the English team. This still means that we get 1 point though, we didn't lose, although that's not how Aussie friends see it, they spent all Sunday morning rubbing our noses in our 'loss' until I logged out of Facebook to get away from the gloating.
The highlight of Sunday night was was the Australia vs. Germany match.
With Germany being ranked 6th and Australia wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy down in 20th you had to wonder if it mightn't be a little one sided? The Aussies seem to have had their shirts designed by the same people who did the U.S. ones - is this a sign of countries where football isn't their national sport? They have no idea of what makes a decent football jersey? It proved to be quite an enjoyable match, what with the first goal being scored after 8 minutes and the 2nd some 20 minutes later - both by Germany of course. And then in the 2nd half Australia rather carelessly got a man sent off, this was then followed by goal number 3 (to Germany again) and then within minutes goal number 4...
Simon had an interesting comment re the ranking of Australia. He reckons they're only 20th in the world because the rankings are based on their recent performances and the teams that they play regularly against are naturally those in the southern hemisphere, who are also not very highly ranked. But in the world cup they are having to play against the best in the world - who are just that little bit better.