Having spent yesterday evening in a pub in Jesmond watching the footie with some friends, I can now remember why I don't do it very often: (a) we're rubbish at football and (b) I'm rubbish at football, can't remember the rules and get very distracted by footballers' legs (Thierry Henry, why oh why have you gone to Barcelona?).
I'm a Burnley supporter really, mainly because my Dad and brother are such huge fans. I've been to all of about five professional football matches (all of them Burnley), which, although not many, does include a trip to the old-school Wembley (which was full of people wearing claret and blue and shouting abuse at the referee - magic!).
But that was all a long time ago. I've not watched England play since, ooh, 2004, I think. Can't even remember which competition it was. We lost on penalties, anyway. Quelle surprise. And I returned home stinking of beer and sweaty blokes - we'd been packed into the Centurion in central Newcastle, and of course every time England scored, everyone in the pub flung their arms in the air and hugged each other...only they were holding onto pints of beer at the time. It all became rather sticky.
There was none of that last night. In fact, the pub was a rather sedate, if smelly affair. I'd not been into one since the smoking ban, and boy, did it reek. Of sweaty feet, stale beer and Lynx for Men. Frankly, I preferred the smell of fags. But I suppose I'll live longer. Oh well.