Thursday, 12 January 2012

Team GB

I saved some bunting for all my Red, White and Blue parties!
I don’t go in for sport. I don’t get how people can get so worked up about a bunch of over-paid, under-educated dudes in coloured shirts running around on a pitch chasing a ball. Is it worth getting upset over? Is it really worth fighting over? I suppose that’s just football. I despise football, footballers, and anything to do with the sport with the deepest of passions. Sorry, but I can’t help it.
But I don’t get other sport, either to be honest. I’ve never been in to outdoor pursuits, I much prefer to be indoors. If I’m outdoors it tends to be for shopping, sunbathing or partying. Watching people run around on a muddy field in the wind and rain? Well – I did it twice, and that was that! My father remarked how it truly must have been love!
At school I faked asthma attacks, hid down alleyways and in toilets and gave long, forthright speeches about how PE should be cancelled and we should be taught worthwhile subjects like languages and grammar and comprehension in it’s place. They usually resulted in me doing those things, on my own, in my head of year’s office.
What they did instead of teaching us “worthwhile” subjects, was to push two periods together, march us all out on to a field (in PE knickers, hockey socks and polo shirts… really? REALLY?), made us wait in a queue for our turn with the shot put or to make an attempt at the long jump, and then we’d head back inside. That was in the summer months.
In the winter we had delights such as cross country (I ran quite a good time the first time, as it was bloody freezing and I wanted to get back inside. After that they tried to make me join the running club. Quick thinking on my part and a well timed asthma attack [fake] and they left me alone) and “team sports”. Well this would include delights such as “football skills”. I distinctly remember one lesson where our teacher, who shall remain nameless, put me on a week of detentions because I wouldn’t lie down in the mud so that I could learn how to “fall” when I “dived” for an attempt at the goal. She was trying to show us how we should hit the ground knee-hip-shoulder-arm so as to avoid injury.
My point that we would better avoid injury if we didn’t bother diving at all, and in fact if we went back inside, didn’t seem to go down too well.
We then learned about “headers”. Where, I kid you not, we lined up and she walked along the line with a wet, muddy football and threw it at each one of our faces. So we knew exactly where we should be aiming to connect with the ball. Obvs. I pointed out that this was irrelevant for me, as I wouldn’t be attempting to go near the ball with my feet, let alone my head. She persisted, on the basis that it was an integral part of the curriculum. She did not react well when I requested to see it (the curriculum) before she hit me in the face with a football. She also did not react well when I told her that if it (the football) came within one metre of my face I would be calling the police, the school governors and my mother (in that order) and naming her in a GBH accusation.
I never learned how to head a ball.
I did learn where the head of PE’s office was.
And where to take my lines at the end of my detention.
Anyway, I digress. I’ve never been bothered about sport. The most excited I get is when Wimbledon’s on, but that’s because of the food, outfits, Cliff Richard, the elitism (“oh, we’re on Centre, where are you sitting?”) and celeb spotting, sometimes Royalty spotting. But the Olympics… well that’s a whole different story.
All of a sudden I’m glued to the TV.
But it’s not for the sport. It’s for the sUPport. The way the whole nation, for a 14 day period stops fighting with each other and griping about the country and we stand together and cheer! Cheer for normal people doing something they love.
And that makes my heart swell with pride. I pride I reserve for when I really love my country. It doesn’t happen often (royal weddings, armistice day, the Olympics, the Proms) but when it does I cry like a baby. Pride in the sportsperson who’s doing it, not for £14 million a week, but for the love of the game, the glory of the win and the spirit of the nation. Pride in the team around them and, ultimately, a pride in the country we’re all cheering for.  That commentary, when Kelly Holmes was running for gold? (didn’t the commentator got a slapped wrist for losing his cool and cheering her on…?) I remember sitting in front of the telly with my whole family, screaming for her to win. In that second, there was nothing that would ever be more important than her body crossing the line first. And when she did, I cried. In fact, remembering it now I’m welling up. I suppose, I can kind of see why people might get that excited about sport all the time. Maybe.
Let’s not start talking about the medal montages at the end of the games. I think my keyboard might short circuit if I cry much more…
So anyway, I’m excited about the fact that this year’s Olympics will be hosted by London, one of the greatest cities in the world, in my humble opinion, and in a stadium that happens to be 30 minutes from my house. And that, my friends is why I’ve gone a bit red, white and blue mad!

Patriotic snacks from my Royal Wedding party
The Olympic flame is coming through my town, so I’ll be there to wave and cheer as it goes by, I’m thinking about a party for that, a party for the opening ceremony, a party for the closing ceremony, oh and a MAHusive party for Queenie’s Diamond Jubilee. I know it’s not sport related, but it’s red white and blue related, and in my book, that means a party!

Come on Team GB, let’s show the world how it’s done. If those NYE fireworks were anything to go by, it’s going to be amazeballs.
I want to hear that national anthem a LOT this summer, and I want to hear no British-Bashing for a whole three months, please.
Hats and flags at the ready…
... and some booze!

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