Embarrassing story time: four years ago, when Spain won the World Cup, my boyfriend and I were in a small, ex-pat town in Spain. We were staying with his parents and we’d just arrived that day, so after watching the celebratory fireworks on the roof we decided to go to bed but hit the town to party the next night.
Big mistake. Nobody was around. We asked why: the answer was because they’d had the biggest party EVER the night before, with most bars only closing at 9am. Yes, even in a sleepy little ex-pat town.
There’s only two ways to handle the World Cup. One is to spend the entire six weeks complaining about the amount of football on TV, hating every second and making yourself miserable; the other is to embrace it and enjoy it thoroughly (ignoring it isn’t an option. It’s impossible). After missing out on what could have been the greatest celebration of my life last time I’ve plumped for the latter option – besides, I don’t fancy being miserable for that amount of time! The fact it’s in Brazil is an attractive factor for me, too. My dad worked in Brazil for a year when I was thirteen, and my mum and I travelled out to visit him; so seeing Sugarloaf Mountain, Maracana Stadium and Ipanema beach all over the TV is very nostalgic for me.
Last night I went to ITV’s Fever Pitch, which is a re-purposing of the old Granada Studios in Manchester. The weather wasn’t the best but it was a fun experience – I almost (almost) felt like I was on holiday night out with the beach, beer and burgers… Obviously two beers down I just had to try out my handstand on the sand. We watched the Algeria v Russia game with a big group of Algerians and their enthusiasm was amazing – our group adopted Algeria for the night, so it was fantastic that they got through to the finals.
There’s another three weeks left of the World Cup, and whether you groan or cheer at that statement, remember life is what you make of it. You can make yourself miserable or happy with your mindset. I know which one I’d rather be!