Groundhog Day

Oh dear. Could it be that I’ve been here before? Let me take stock – the England football looked good for a while and then disappointed, the English fans went on a drunken sunburned rampage and had me wincing with shame when I saw the TV reports. There are days when you are proud to be English, and there are days like today. The percentage of people in the EU who are hoping that Britain votes to leave will have shot up in the last 24 hours.

To be fair, the Russians seem to be even nastier. At least that’s the impression I am getting from the German press. The British hooligans are just portrayed as out-of-control drunken idiots with a violent streak. More stupid than nasty. The Russian hooligans have been getting even worse press here – first nasty, then stupid. So I suppose there is some comfort to be found in the fact that English hooligans are only second-worst in Europe.

The threat of terror from ISIS has overshadowed the other problems we are likely to see. We’d forgotten for a while that football hooligans are a problem, but now we have been brought back down to earth. It will be interesting to see how the UEFA “Respect” campaign goes if, God forbid, Russia and Ukraine play each other. Oh well, only another three weeks to go this time around and then we can start looking forward to the next World Cup. Which is in Russia.

The German TV-Pundits were quite kind to the England team. They thought they deserved to win and just had a stroke of bad luck at the end. They even had a token Brit, Phil Neville, on as one the pundits. It was strange to see Oliver Kahn, ex German Goalkeeper / Teutonic Robot, looking more laid back and comfortable than Phil Neville. Mr Neville still managed to come over as a reasonbly intelligent and articulate person – for a footballer. I got the impression too that the Germans, yes even the Germans, would quite like to see England do a little bit better than usual.

Back here, we are still trapped in the rain/thunderstorm/brief sunny spell cycle which we have had for the last fortnight. It’s an uncharacteristically long time for the weather to be bad. All the outdoor businesses (swimming pools, beer gardens) have had a terrible June so far. I am stoically refusing to accept the unseasonal nastiness and walked to the bakers in shorts and flip-flops this morning even though it was raining heavily.

Upon my return I set about making pancakes (promised the kids yesterday) and getting breakfast ready. I thought that I’d delight Ariane by making us a “green smoothie” in our relatively new mixer. The smoothie craze has really taken off here. They need to find a different word for it though, because like everyone else in Europe, they struggle with the “th” sound. So really it’s called the smoozie craze over here. Ariane makes excellent green smoozies with mango, apple, spinach and some other secret stuff I’m not sure of. But I thought I’d improvise this morning and try a different combination.

I failed on two counts. First off, it wasn’t green, but brown. I know smoothies are supposed to help accelerate your digestive cycle, but this one actually already looked like diarrhoea. Second, it tasted awful. It turns out that raspberries and spinach don’t work too well together after all. I am now subject to a restraining order and not allowed within 5 metres of the smoozie mixer. That’s probably a good thing.

Nothing much to do today. I will slob around, maybe go for a stroll when it stops raining and then we will settle down to watch Germany play this evening. For once, I really hope they win. The weather and stream of bad news has put a bit of damper on the general atmosphere over here. We need some good news and some cheering up. So I will be cheering for Deutsch-er-land* this evening along with the kids.

Bis morgen!

*yes, they do that here too. Some German football fans chant “Deutsch-er-land” just like English fans call it “Eng-er-land.”




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