DCSIMG

Bracing myself for World Cup month

Trish was on honeymoon when England reached the semi-finals of Italia 90.

Trish was on honeymoon when England reached the semi-finals of Italia 90.

Blogger Trish Burgess writes for the Free Press

Is everybody ready for the England game tonight and the rest of the World Cup? I’m not much of a football fan but I have realised that, with two keen supporters in the house, it’s easier to go with the flow and immerse myself in the whole shebang.

My husband and son will no doubt be competing with each other on knowledge of obscure football facts: it’s like having two Stattos sitting on the sofa. Who has scored the most goals, how many yellow and red cards, who has form in penalty shoot-outs? I can’t join in during these discussions so end up being the caterer for the evening, providing drinks and crisps for the armchair pundits.

It’s a wonder I am so accommodating as my abiding memories of previous tournaments are not exactly joyful ones. Take Italia 90. Most people remember this World Cup because England reached the semi-­finals before a woeful penalty shoot-out unceremoniously booted them out. As for me, I was on my honeymoon.

A romantic fortnight in Formentera, a beautiful tiny island south of Ibiza, where my new husband kept sneaking off to the hotel lounge to cheer on Scotland.

On June 11, after Costa Rica beat Scotland in their opening match, my brand new husband, forlorn at the loss, returned to our room to freshen up before dinner. A few minutes into his shower I heard cries of anguish.

I rushed into the bathroom to find Dougie on his hands and knees in the bath, bottom lip trembling and looking far more distraught than Gazza did later on in the tournament.

His wedding ring had slipped off his finger down the vast plug hole of the bath. We had only been married two days.

A little man with a wire coat hanger was summoned to assist but to no avail: it was never recovered.

Dougie, feeling very sheepish, kept his TV watching to a minimum after that.

If that wasn’t enough drama for one honeymoon, on our return flight to Manchester, we narrowly missed crashing head-on with another plane. As we nose-dived, the ultra cool pilot explained over the tannoy that he had taken evasive action as air traffic control had placed the plane on a collision course with a flight from Dublin. The Daily Express front page the next day announced: ‘Four Seconds From Mid-Air Horror’.

1998 proved to be an eventful World Cup too. We were in a holiday apartment in Spain when Scotland were losing miserably to Morocco. My husband, again fresh from his ablutions, wrapped a towel around his waist and perched on the edge of the glass coffee table to watch an exciting bit.

The table shattered underneath him, sending shards of glass all over the room. Amazingly no-one was hurt apart from Dougie cutting his finger which he held up forlornly to the man on reception to explain his plight.

It would seem disaster strikes only when Scotland qualify for the World Cup. I’m probably safe for a good while yet.

* You can follow Trish on 
Twitter @mumsgoneto or visit her blog www.mums
goneto.blogspot.com

 

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