I woke up this morning with a slight hangover which soon disappeared. Why? Because the sun was shining (yes it was that late!), and I discovered ,when I came downstairs to make myself a cup of green tea, that my laptop,which I feared was gone to that great 'puter' never-never-land had returned from that place and was actually working, That would normally be enough to put me on cloud nine for the rest of the week,but the real buzz was the fact that England was through to the final of the Rugby World Cup. It really doesn't get much better than that.
The only downside was that England were playing France.
Hmmm....could have been a better draw. Well, for me anyway. Who should I be cheering for? The country of my birth, or the adopted country that I've committed myself to?
Last weekend it was smiles all round. After all, Les Bleues and Les Blancs had sent the antipodeans back to where they belonged with their tails firmly between their legs! How the mighty were fallen! Yip a dee doo!
But now it was going to be a battle with "the Old Enemy"
Oh dear, there was going to have to be a victor and a vanquished. Law of logic......50% of the players were going to be elated, 50% deflated.
We had some friends round(English, of course) to watch the match. They came armed and ready with beers and wine.
At nine o'clock you could have heard a pin drop in the village. Even the dogs were silent.
And then an hour and a half later it was all over......the neanderthal Chabal was crouching on the pitch in tears, the rest of the blues had got a distinct attack of them ! England was generous in victory, the old rivals parted friends, even though the nation was numb with disappointment. And in Paris the party had only just begun. The proprietor of the Frog and Rosbif bar which had become the unofficial HQ of the England supporters must have thought he'd won the lottery...and he'll be serving up full English breakfasts and pints all over again next weekend.
A few cars drove quietly back from town, having watched the match on big screens in the two cafes in the main square.
A week is a long time in world cup matches......there were no honking horns, no 'Marseilles' being sung from open car windows this Saturday night.......just a sad acceptance that once again France had failed to win the 'Tournament Mondial'.
They had been warned though. There had been a midday interview with the French mascot....the noble cockerel who had witnessed 48 French matches. Well, the interview was actually with the chook's owner...chickens aren't good subjects for profound pre-match statements. So M'sieu Le Coq stared balefully at the camera whilst his owner mournfully confessed that if 'Le coq chant( sings) ' France always won. Unfortunately he hadn't obliged so far !
I have a feeling he might have been the main ingredient for a Sunday coq au vin today. I just hope they started the casserole in good time. Looking at him I think he might have needed several hours on a low simmer.
So England (to pinch a word from the 'Marseilles') marchon to the final...and meet either Argentina or South Africa. By 10.30 tonight we shall know........Swing low, sweet chariot. But win or loose next week they can't take away this great Sunday in SW France.