CLIVE SMITH: I’ve gone back on my word and joined the World Cup frenzy

England fans are gradually getting into the mood
England fans are gradually getting into the mood
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I wrote a column a couple of weeks ago, before the World Cup started, about Portsmouth being the most expensive place to watch the tournament in the UK and how the average person watching it would spend on average £1,252 during the competition.

I said something along the lines of: ‘Perhaps when I was younger, but not this time.’ Famous last words.

We’re three games in and I’ve put myself on the organ list for a replacement liver and have contacted the bank requesting a meeting with the manager asap to increase my overdraft limit.

Having rolled into work with a hangover on three occasions in a week I’m not sure my boss will be forthcoming with a tap-up for a wage advance so good old Wonga Loans will be on speed-dial if England get to the latter stages.

In what was a relatively subdued build up to the event with little hope of us progressing very far, now the country now seems to have been whipped up into a World Cup frenzy after an uncharacteristically good start.

We usually scrap a draw against some country with a population the size of Hayling Island and lose in the next round to a team of farmers and account managers.

People now seem to be going over the top. After the first match against Tunisia two pubs local to me were trashed and forced to close early. The pub I was in didn’t fare much better with chairs, tables and glasses thrown about and the pool table ruined by people dancing on it.

It leaves me wondering if there will be anything left of England if we actually lift the famous trophy.

Yes, it may end in the all too familiar manner, but let’s just enjoy it while it lasts. I like seeing all the flags about and people out enjoying themselves.

There is little to be proud of in our country at times but sporting success and in particular football always brings a nation together.

There are always a few who seem to want England to fail, just so they can say ‘told you so’. Bore off.


Trains are delayed for snow, cold weather, the wrong kind of snow, hot weather, ice, leaves, flooding and for no reason at all. Basically, they are rubbish.

If you’re someone who has to commute to work it must me a nightmare. Fortunately I’m not one of them.

It’s not as if it’s cheap either, the prices are ridiculous. And the drivers love a strike too.

You also hear of train delays and cancellations because of track upgrades. What are they upgrading them too? Plasticine!?

It would be cheaper and probably quicker to keep a camel in the back garden and get him out when the temperature goes above 25C, and fashion an elephant – woolly mammoth hybrid from a dusty chemistry set long forgotten in the loft – to trot to work on it in the winter.


I love the hot weather. There’s nothing like a good dose of Vitamin D to brighten the mood.

Those dreary days when it’s raining and cold can do one. And it seems the UK is finally reaping the benefits of global warming.

Those scaremongers don’t know what they are talking about. The earth has cycles. The UK used to be tropical and then there was the ice age. Who’s to blame for that? Dinosaurs? Cavemen?

And I’ve heard recently that the hole in the ozone layer may actually be closing.

This is not good if you like to lie out on a sun lounger – we want it open – people want to bronze and have year-round barbecues.

Keep burning those fossil fuels people!