The Darling Daughter in Law says she has been watching way too much football in recent days. I know just what she means - and, let's face it, there's a lot more to come, even if the England, Welsh and Northern Ireland
teams decide to do a Brexit.
To be honest, I also feel I need to shoulder some of the blame. Not for Brexit, you understand, but for the fact that the Darling Daughter in Law's home has turned into a Euro
2016 Zone. She is, after all, married to My Boy who has inherited his love of footie from his father. Known to you all ad Mr B.
I, too, live in Football Land at the moment but then I do accept that Mr B and
I possibly have football to thank for the fact that we are together. It could have been that, after meeting outside Woolworths on that auspicious day in December 1963, we might have gone our separate ways, never to set eyes on each other again. However among
my friends it had become our practice of a Saturday afternoon, after we were thrown out of Pelosi's coffee bar (on account of the fact that none of us seemed inclined to buy a second cup of milky coffee after nursing our first cup for an hour and a half) to
make for the local football stadium where we could get in free after half-time. It was somewhere to go, it was free, the football was kind of incidental.
Mr B, on the other hand, went to watch the match. And
I was there. He immediately jumped to the conclusion that I was a football fan. You couldn't blame him, not really. It was Misrepresentation of the Highest Order.
I wasn't exactly immune to the excitements
of the Beautiful Game. I was, after all, the daughter of a father who loved Family and Football, above all else. I knew what it was like to have to hush during Sports Report on the radio when the scores were read out every Saturday. My sister and I played
this great game where you had to guess the score from the intonation of the presenter's voice. Then Our Dad would huddle over his Littlewoods pools coupon working out whether he had won anything. "One day," he would tell us, "Our boat will come in..."
I never quite understood it at the time, the connection between Sports Report and this mythical boat, which I imagined as something grand and golden, with sails billowing in the wind as it made its stately way into harbour.
Dear Dad, his boat never did come in.
He was convinced that, even if his boat never made it to land, Mr B and I would one day win the Pools. He was very certain of this - so sure, in fact, that I sometimes
wonder why we never "do" the Pools. Though I think these days you don't sit down with a coupon and an HB pencil, the end of which must be sucked in concentration as the score draws are predicted. I'm sure it's not the same.
So I'm not going to win the Pools. Plus the odds on winning the Lottery are decreasing every time they change the rules. I never even win a prize in the U3A monthly raffle. What chance does our boat have, against all the odds?
Then I think about our fifty years of marriage. I think about our great Foursome and our Tremendous Ten grandchildren - and decide that our boat really has come in...