EDitorial ± 25-Jun-2006

World Cup 2006, Day 17

Seemed like everyone in town, on the first day of the now annual Ip-art summer festival, was wearing England colours. Jolly jolly. Found the birthday cards I'd come for then headed for Costa: What would you like?, said Mr Barista; Regular latte, I said; Sorry, he said, Can't do any hot drinks since no running water. This is a cheese shop, isn't it?

Back home (they'll be thinking about us) for the Big Match in what even the kids now call the Official World Cup chair. Joined by a sofa-ful of pre-teen girlies, 50% of whom didn't look up from Nintendogs for the whole game: they were better off out of it. Stuttgart sizzled and England froze. Come half time, found The Boy not on the bench but in the front room watching Stupid. Derived far more pleasure from a thirty second Devil Finger sketch than the woeful first 45 minutes.

Lampard, as useful as a lamp-post, came in for some Broom Acres abuse. Didn't believe the Five Live commentator when Beckham's free kick crept inside the post; was sure it had hit the side netting, but there it was and there we were, one step closer to the quarters.

After Paula's pit-stop, have we now crossed some line as to what's acceptable within a sporting performance? There's our hero Mr Spice barfing onto the lush green turf. We were wondering if the players then had to avoid that patch of grass. Maybe a small bag of sand would have done the job, or a traffic cone. Any road up, on we plough. Nos vemos, Ecuador.

Prospect of Portugal -- Figo, Deco -- testing their skills against Holland -- Robben, Van Persie -- was enticing. Wasn't to be. Match had more cards than (wait for it) Sven's wallet. Iberians had NYPD's Andy Sipowicz on the sideline to inspire them. Funny to see the Dutch resorting to blasting the ball upfield for the last ten minutes, much like we do for the entire game. Tot ziens, Netherlands.