Jayne Dawson: Tips for playing nicely while the football hurt goes on

l

l

1
Have your say

Sometimes there is nowhere to run, so I asked the husband just how long the football would be on the telly.

“Forty days and forty nights” was the reply my ears heard, which sounded a bit biblical.

File photo dated 26-06-1996 of Gareth Southgate dejected after failing to score in the penalty shoot out between England and West Germany in the semi final of the Euro 96 championship. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday June 1, 2016. Hosts England were beaten in their semi-final by Germany in a heart-breaking penalty shoot-out while the Czech Republic also claimed a place in the final courtesy of spot-kicks. See PA story SOCCER Euro 96 Days. Photo credit should read Neil Munns/PA Wire.

File photo dated 26-06-1996 of Gareth Southgate dejected after failing to score in the penalty shoot out between England and West Germany in the semi final of the Euro 96 championship. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday June 1, 2016. Hosts England were beaten in their semi-final by Germany in a heart-breaking penalty shoot-out while the Czech Republic also claimed a place in the final courtesy of spot-kicks. See PA story SOCCER Euro 96 Days. Photo credit should read Neil Munns/PA Wire.

Anyway, turns out I misheard and it’s not the same amount of time that Jesus spent fasting in the desert. It’s more like 30 days and nights but, still, that is an awful vast amount of time.

I do understand that some of you will be taking a different approach. “Woo-woo” you will be saying. “Such days! Such times! What a life!”.

And of course it could all be over for us very soon, what with our poor record in these competitions and the fact that we might be thrown out anyway.

But for those of you who are out of your comfort zone during a sporting episode, I have advice.

l

l

First, don’t be all moody about it, play nicely. We’re all kinder people these days - unless we are Russian Ultras. So you might normally curl your lip, turn your back, shrug your shoulders and make other physical manifestations of displeasure at talk of the beautiful game, but how about not doing that this time.These are my tips for playing nicely.

Go for full immersion. Commit to Euro 2016 fully. Think of it as a sweet surrender.

Get yourself online and print out the schedule of all the games. The Radio Times produced a good one but, unfortunately the husband left it lying around like a thing that wasn’t important, so I put it in the green bin and now it has gone off to Leeds’s spanking new incinerator. Anyway, plenty more where that came from, if not so glossily printed. It goes without saying that you will also need to re-remember that funny little offside rule. I like to relearn it for each Euro competition and World Cup and then forget it in between.

Gain gravitas by bringing out the back catalogue. You know when irritating people say: “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.” Well I like to actually bring out that T-shirt for major footballing events. It’s got a number seven on it and I bought it in honour of David Beckham back in, ooh, was in 1906? I forget. I keep it in the loft , in the basket of England flags and England deely boppers and I feel it’s a bit like having an original T-shirt from a tour by a really great band. So if you have something old, wear it. Extra points if it’s football related.

If in doubt, quote the possession record of Leicester City. If you are not sure why I’m saying that, gather round for a quick briefing: Leicester City won the Premier League this year, beating all the other big, filthy rich clubs. It was a proper David and Goliath. They did this by playing a currently unfashionable style of football where they did not keep possession of the ball just for the sake of it. There was none of that tapping it about between themselves stuff.

So say something like: “They can play keepy-uppy as long as they like but it’ll get them nowhere. Look at Leicester, they only had possession for an average forty per cent in every match, and look where they ended up.” Honestly, you need to know nothing else. That will see you through.

If, despite the Leicester City killer fact, you are flagging, see the whole shebang as a food and drink opportunity. At the weekend, for example, I did beetroot soup in honour of Russia (regretting that now) and Polish beer - it’s not my fault Russian beer is hard to track down. And ice cream because the beetroot soup was quite the endeavour and I’d run out of steam by pudding.

Our next matches - fighting fans willing - are against Wales and Slovakia so I’m not saying it’s the easiest group in terms of culinary interest, but you could give it a go. I’m thinking Welsh rarebit, obviously. And as for Slovakia, I have no clue. But it sounds like one of those countries where pickles are popular.

Anyway those are my thoughts. Don’t opt out, keep the faith. Remain. We’re still talking football, by the way.

Please yourself - Rod does

Don’t get me wrong, I like Rod Stewart.

There was a time when I couldn’t have written that. At the age of 16 I would have had to have said that I adored him more than anyone had ever adored a person before.

I wasn’t planning to marry him or anything, I knew Rod’s type and it wasn’t a spotty teenager with issues about...everything.

But still, I did travel down to London with my BFF, with the sole intention of calling on Rod at his house in Windsor. It was an Awfully Big Adventure but sadly I didn’t manage to pin Rod down, which is just as well because the shyness would have killed me if I had.

And even though I went off him rapidly when he began to ask people if they thought he was sexy, I have maintained a residual affection.

But even I, with my long and loyal admiration for his laddish charm, can’t quite see why he deserves a knighthood.

He has had a long career - six number one songs, 62 hits in total - and some of the early ones were amazing, but the result has been riches for himself, not world peace or anything.

His life has been one of pleasing himself and at the age of 71 he has eight children by five different women.

There is nothing terrible about that, but it points to what Rod is - a charming talented man who has largely pleased himself.

I don’t know why that makes him worthy of a Queen’s birthday honour.

Naked lunch

Oh dear Lord, what are they thinking of? Some people have opened a naked restaurant in London.

There is all the usual hoo-ha: it’s in a secret location and it has a waiting list long enough to circle the planet - well, 46,000 apparently. Getting down to matters more practical, a five-course meal costs £69.

Well that’s all very fine and clearly there is considerable interest in this concept.

The waiting staff are in the buff too, so the guests don’t feel odd or anything, and there are strict rules that make it quite clear that guests are there for a dining experience and absolutely nothing else.

But here is the thing - after eating five courses anyone is going to feel a little bit full aren’t they?

In fact they are probably going to have a stomach full to busting - and who, just who, wants to walk out of a restaurant starkers with their fat tum on full display? Absolutely no one that I know.

The peace vigil in Albert Square, Manchester.

Frankie Richardson: “Ye are many – they are few!” Manchester’s message to the world