As I write this, Team GB has just won a bronze medal in the noble sport of dressage. I don’t know much about dressage, it looks like dancing horses and doesn’t really seem like a sport, but, as has been the case for most Olympic games during my lifetime and certainly since, like many of my compatriots, I became obsessed with the games in 2012, Tokyo 2020 (which is clearly not taking place in 2020 for obvious reasons) has very much become the established moving wallpaper here at Proclaims Towers of late. Except on Saturday afternoons when my obsession switches to another Team GB, notably the British and Irish Lions rugby team, which, as a proud Welshman, is the only time I will ever permit myself to cheer on players from the other UK nations (and Ireland who are, as a rugby entity, only partially affiliated to the UK).
It is, as it turns out, quite the summer for televised sport. Prior to the Olympics and the Lions tour, there was the football, when, as a proud Welshman, I cheered on Wales until they got knocked out and simultaneously cheered on England, because it turns out I am nothing if not a hypocrite. While I resolutely ignore the fact I was born in England when the rugby team plays, I fully acknowledge my Englishness when it comes to football. It’s born, I think, from the fact that, aside from a miraculous run to the semi-finals in Euro 2016 and their efforts in this year’s tournament, Wales have not troubled a major football tournament during my lifetime, wheras England often have. True enough England have tended to dissapoint in most of those competitions but they have, at least, been there to provide that dissapointment. I became hooked on following the England football team during the heroic semi-final failure of the 1990 World Cup and rediscovered them, after a few indifferent years, when they did something similar at Euro 96. Indeed it was during Euro 96 that the optimistic cry of “it’s coming home” was born. Ever since that fateful summer, every time England have looked like they might actually win a tournament (which to be fair has not been too often) fans excitedly declare that football is coming home. And this year it almost did, as England made it to the final of their first major tournament since 1966. As it turned out, Italy had designs of their own on the trophy and football once again did not come home. But it did at least pop in for a cup of tea.
Anyway, one of the main reasons I haven’t blogged much of late is that there has been a lot of sport on the telly. I like watching sport. I’m far less keen on doing sport but, as it turns out, I have been doing quite a lot of that too. But that seems like something I might write about in a future post. Because frankly I will be doing a lot of bragging.
This post was really about me writing something for the first time since June. Being a teacher (of sorts) I have been off work since last Friday and plan to maintain this state of affairs until September so I can probably fit a bit of blogging in between my sport-watching (and sport-doing). I’m not sure I can promise posts that will be too worthwhile though. Much like watching dressage on the TV, reading this will pass the time, but it won’t change your life and you’ll soon forget it.