Tag Archives: Brazil

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen 2014!

As you stuff down the remnants of your Christmas cheese board, all washed down with your novelty flavoured Bailey’s and the promise of a diet/detox/new you as of tomorrow, I would like to take you back through some of the events of the past year.

Just as I did last year, (https://anounceofme.com/2014/01/01/well-hello-2014/), I find it amazing that another year has passed by in a nanosecond.  My personal year has been fairly life changing, we moved our family to the countryside and the kids into new schools and I appeared on Sky News being interviewed by Eamonn Holmes as a ‘parent expert’ on technology.  The weirdest part of the experience was eating porridge in a green room at 5.30am alongside Katie Hopkins and Tony Blackburn.  But in the real world it was quite a year!

A WORLD GONE MAD

Faster Faster!

Faster Faster!

There has been many a news story this year that has tried my faith in the world.  Firstly, the ongoing horrific outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, I donated, I did as I was told by Sir Bob and downloaded the Band Aid single, then asked my 11-year-old son who half the people were and in turn explained who Sinead O’Connor and Seal were to him.  We learned that evil exists in the form of ISIS and their relentless beheading of innocent people as we continue to live in fear of their threats.  Borders in countries throughout the world were fought over and torn apart, even in the UK we watched with anticipation as Scotland voted to stay and allegedly caused the Queen to purr in pleasure of the news.  Kim Jong Un continued to pop up on the news as a feared dictator, even though whenever I see him he appears to be visiting a cake factory.  There has been a spate of plane crashes, devastating towns with hundreds of people vanishing from the skies and leaving us with the feeling that flying is not the safest way to travel.  And Operation Yewtree continued to lock up dirty old celebrities with Rolf Harris being incarcerated for his perverted actions…. Rolf Harris! Putting a whole new meaning to his catchphrase “Can you see what it is yet?”.

THE WORLD CUP RUMBA

My 6-year-old son became this man's biggest fan during Brazil 2014.

My 6-year-old son became this man’s biggest fan during Brazil 2014.

Brazil hosted the World Cup in the summer and us Brits actually were quite realistic about our chances this time round.  Only a few St Georges flags adorned houses and we were not plagued by an unmemorable football song telling us ‘it was our 1966’, in fact my two sons already had their back-up teams ready in case England went out early.  We lasted 6 days!  Most of the England fans hadn’t actually arrived in Brazil and we were already out of the competition.  You can read my blog about it (https://anounceofme.com/2014/06/20/footballs-coming-home-again/) but suffice to say we were rubbish, we lost 2-1 to Italy then lost 2-1 to Uruguay and couldn’t even hide behind Luis Suarez biting one of our players, we finished our reign of hopelessness with a goalless draw against Costa Rica, Costa who??  However, despite our early departure I enjoyed this World Cup more than any others.  The Brazilian crowd were lively and engaging, even the television coverage had catchy theme tunes.  I was almost joining the Brazilian population in tears when Germany destroyed them with a 7-1 semi-final victory and then went onto win against Argentina.  Faith in humanity was restored when it was revealed that German football star Mesut Ozil donated his prize money totaling $400,000 to Brazilian charities as a thank you.

STUPID DEATHS

The Loss of Legends

The Loss of Legends

We lost some great people this year, Lauren Bacall, Richard Attenborough and Rik Mayall to name but a few.  However, there were two passing’s that affected me greatly.  In February, one of my favourite actors Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead following a drug overdose. A waste of a huge talent and at just 46 he had so much more to offer.  A man who had battled drug addiction in his youth and had been sober for 23 years before massively slipping off the wagon and ending it all in a heroin binge during one fateful night.  In August, we received the shocking news that comedic legend Robin Williams had taken his own life.  Nothing prepared me for how I felt about this sad news.  Robin Williams was a big part of my growing up from Mork and Mindy being on the TV when I was a child to his numerous acting roles in some of my favourite films.  I consumed every news article on his suicide, unable to process the news or to understand how such a hilarious energetic man could be so sad in his private life.

AND FINALLY

Millionaires were made overnight (with a little help from my offspring) with the release of the Disney film Frozen becoming the highest grossest animation in history.  I have now watched it with my 7-year-old daughter at least 117 times, have the words to ‘Let it Go’ imprinted onto my memory and enough merchandise to start our own shop.  Also a big hit in our house and many others was the invention of loom bands, annoying little elastic bands of various colours with crochet style hooks and fastenings that captured even my 10-year-old sons imagination as he constructed all manner of bracelets, flags, ropes, etc.  Us parents in turn entered a battle of clogging up our hoovers, trying to stop small children and dogs from eating them and adopting an ever-changing impressed reaction to the many designs thrust in our direction.  I found myself on a night out putting on a nice dress, heels and then being given a guilt trip into wearing a collection of vivid loom band jewellery to complete my outfit.

Whatever your plans are for tonight, a New Year is almost upon us.  It is time to bid farewell to the woes of 2014 and look forward to the promise of 2015.  Be merry, be hopeful and try to avoid any “conscious uncoupling”!

Happy New Year!

Advertisements

Football’s Coming Home….Again…

The long-awaited World Cup is here, direct from Brazil, where the nations of the world assemble their elite footballers and put their super teams on show.  Each team hopes to power through the rounds, fighting off other foreign lands with their fancy football skills, silly haircuts and Oscar-winning performances of falling over.

I’ll admit that I am a half-hearted football fan.  I was raised a Tottenham supporter by lifelong fans (my Dad and older brother) and I have married a Chelsea supporter who is raising two Chelsea supporting sons.  I’m not sure my Dad would have agreed to the wedding had he been an Arsenal fan though! I admit that premiership football does bore me slightly, where top teams are funded by billionaires playing fantasy football with their never-ending cash flows. But the World Cup does appeal to me, as every team has their own unique style. You have the celebrity footballers putting on their best performance as an obvious audition, in order to get poached by a leading club.  Then you have the underdogs, the countries that you have to Google to find out where they are, the teams with that rabbit caught in the headlights look about them, where they just scatter about looking a bit like my 6-year-old sons team on a Saturday.  It really is entertaining.

And no matter what your opinion is of this country, when England are in the running, you can’t beat the feeling of national pride, with the St. Georges Cross adorning houses and cars across the country, pubs packed full to the rafters with supporters, all hoping that this year could be the one!

But it never is. We know how bad England are but we never give up on them as we know they could be better.  We still talk about 1966 or Italia 90, try to hang on to that now forgotten greatness, praying that this year we will be our year.  Then it dawns on us that we might not be match fit, that the team was probably assembled by Roy Hodgson using the eeny meeny miny mo technique to choose his elite squad, with the players meeting for the first time on the plane.  Perhaps we can blame it on the weather? I mean it is quite hot in Brazil and our boys just aren’t used to the heat.  Plus the pitch just isn’t up to scratch, I bet there are lots of potholes where Gerard or Sturridge could break an ankle in these sorts of conditions!  With plenty of excuses prepared, we hope that England can surprise us.  We have an easyish group, we are certain to at least go through to the next round.  I mean Spain went out and they were World Cup winners from the last tournament so anything can happen!

So we watched the first game against Italy with bated breath, we shouted at the TV screen, gave random instructions as if we were experts in the game, pleaded with the players to just try that little bit harder in order to actually get the ball in the back of the net. But we lost, 2-1.  We did alright, we tried our best, next match will be better.  Blitz spirit and all that. Italy were a good side, we will have no problem with Uruguay, isn’t that Suarez fellow nursing a knee injury? It’s in the bag!

Oh dear, de ja vu, 2-1 again.  Time to pack your hair net Wayne, home we go.  But hang on, if Italy beat Costa Rica and Uruguay and then we beat Costa Rica, isn’t there a chance for us? Can’t we even get something for trying our best? That’s how it works at my son’s football, couldn’t England could get some sort of free pass for not spitting as much as the other teams?

Whatever happens, we will be the same at the next World Cup. We will hang our flags, sing that Frank Skinner football song clinging on to that hope that the final will one day be in our grasp.  My advice to Roy would be to try to organise a way to have my Mum on an earpiece direct to the players on the pitch.  If they could hear her disappointed tone of ‘For goodness sake, you’re not even trying!’ they would most certainly buck up their ideas!

 

Our discarded dreams of success.

Our discarded dreams of success.