The strange vision of Becks and Jules
I USED to think that I was as patriotic as the next chap but I am not so sure these days. What has caused me to doubt my feelings is that I have absolutely no desire to affix silly little red and white flags to my car and drive around with a proud if not
I USED to think that I was as patriotic as the next chap but I am not so sure these days.
What has caused me to doubt my feelings is that I have absolutely no desire to affix silly little red and white flags to my car and drive around with a proud if not hopeful smile on my face.
I also have no compulsion to dangle an even bigger flag from my bedroom window or go the whole hog and repaint my house in the colours of the Three Lions.
As is so publicly obvious, there are some people who do one, two or all three of these things.
Even if I had been minded to do the motorised flag waving bit, I was definitely put off by some research which came up with the "fact" that the increased wind resistance caused by the fluttering banners added £1 an hour to the cost of driving. That was a price too high for me to pay.
Talking abut the World Cup - sadly it is difficult to get away from the subject at the moment - I was intrigued to read about a fortune teller who swirled her cup around three times and saw in the tea leaves that England will be triumphant.
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There was no question about it, said this lady, who could "see" David Beckham lifting aloft the Jules Rimet Trophy.
That's exactly what was stated, so if this woman is correct in every detail she will really have amazed the world.
There would be much rejoicing if, indeed, the lad with the golden boot did raise that particular cup.
In the early years, tournament winners were presented with the World Cup or Coupe du Monde but in 1946 it was renamed the Jules Rimet Trophy in honour of the FIFA president who organised the first tournament.
Soccer buffs will know that in 1970, mighty Brazil's third victory entitled them to keep the trophy permanently.
However, as can happen in South America, the trophy was stolen in 1983 and has never been seen since.
So if David gets his hands on it in July, that will be even more of a miracle than many England fans must realistically expect from the battlefields of Germany.
What the teams are competing for these days is the FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Argentina, Germany (as West Germany) and Brazil have all won this twice but if one of them beats all-comers this time, they won't keep it permanently.
The organisers have ruled that out, so the trophy will not be retired until the space for the names of winners has been entirely filled - and that won't be until 2038.
Fascinating stuff, eh? And so it's on with the game.
Bring on Paraguay on Saturday afternoon. They should be bit players as England opens its campaign for glory.
I don't know what the outcome will be but I've had a look in my tea cup and predict that the hour and three-quarters from 2pm will be a good time to do one's weekly shopping. The supermarket aisles should be refreshingly clear.