So, we are out the World Cup. I think we started losing the second I truly believed we might win. Outside my window, I heard all the hearts on the street break as one when Croatia scored the second goal. The country groaned in unison.
The next morning had a post Brexit feel to it, with people wandering round saying ‘I can’t believe we’re out.’ Unlike Brexit though, we can’t hang around pretending we never really meant it and hope the whole thing will be brushed under the carpet. The boys will be coming home to a nation who will (hopefully) be proud of how far we got and not cross we didn’t make it all the way. A bit like a sixteen-year-old boy on a date.
The dog will be relieved it’s all over. He was up and down like a Bride’s nightie each time the husband watched a match. Being a dog, he thought all the husband’s commentary was aimed at him. He didn’t know whether to wag his tail or hide in his basket. The cat watched the scene with disdain. She had her money on Croatia anyway.
I’m sad the journey is over and the ‘it’s coming home’ gags will stop. For a while the people were connected again. Men hugged one-another, and people whistled songs together in the street. You could randomly high-five strangers. There was even talk of a street party at one point. I felt like I was living in the 70’s. Now everyone will be miserable again and it will soon start raining.
I hope it doesn’t, because we are off to Latitude festival. The husband has bought a tent that inflates itself. He’s confident it will be easy to set up. Having camped with him before, I know this to be untrue. I guarantee a row. It will start with ‘No no. Let me, you’re doing it wrong’ and end with me sleeping in the car.
That’s if he even remembers to pack the tent.
The children are very excited, but I’m confident they will demand to come home as soon as we get there. That’s one of their classic moves. I hope they don’t demand to go back to the tent the second The Killers come on stage. The husband is still upset with them not being able to win anything in sports day. It started with Bliss saying ‘I can’t do sports day, because my trainers have cake all over them.’ I was upset too, but only about cake being wasted.
Our school does non-competitive sports day. The kids can only win as a team, which I think is lovely and encourages kids to cheer one another on and play as a team. Pre-selected teams too, no lurking at the back, last to be picked.
The husband doesn’t agree with this philosophy. This is because he is good at sports and always wins. I was the youngest and only daughter. I got used to losing to two older brothers pretty quickly. Tennis, pinball, snooker, darts. I even lost my virginity before them, but I call that a win (sorry dad).
The World Cup was a bit like non-competitive sports day. We wanted the team to win, not the individual. It was a lovely feeling. I called the England squad ‘my boys’. Admittedly because I didn’t know any of their actual names, but still. They really seemed like a lovely gang of boys on tour together, not a couple of egos and a load of in-fighting.
By the end of it I had rather a crush on Gareth Southgate. He was just so calm and composed under pressure. I can imagine school mornings being an organised affair with him in the house. He’d be there in the kitchen with his waistcoat on, quietly setting out the cereal bowls and spoons in neat formation. homework notes written on the water bottles. Dinner would already be planned, and the packed lunches made.
Not long to go till the holidays and mornings will be about sleeping in for hours. I’m counting down the days.
My children are desperate to break up from school. It’s showing in the bags under their eyes, their creased clothing and messy hair. We’re all just too hot to be bothered. It’s too hot to sleep with my heavy ‘Snuggledown of Norway’ quilt on me, but if I throw if off the husband thinks it’s game on.
It’s too hot to do things like hoover, or clean bathrooms. All I do is flop about drinking iced tea and flap at my sweaty face. My thighs keep sticking to the sun lounger or my car seat. I’ve had to invest in talcum powder to avoid chaffing. No complaining here though. We’ll look back on this as the ‘summer that was almost perfect’.