My week … the one reminiscing on 1996

This week has been about the football, and hopefully next week I’ll be able to write up an event never seen in my lifetime! Its a week when I’ve been enjoying the current England team, whom are the role models we all need and thinking back to Euro 1996, 25 years ago. For me, the summer was the bridge between full time studies, I had finished my PGCE and the world of work, as I was just about to start my first teaching job in Cardiff.

This week I finished my RED month, I am pleased to have done it, but not sure if its something I would like to do regularly. Normally I run 4 times a week, 2 long runs and 2 shorter runs, totalling around 20 miles a week. This works for me and I like my routine. In doing a RED month, I missed my long runs, they give me more time to get into the tempo of the run and give me time to think, daily 5kms just didn’t give me this opportunity to reflect. My new running challenge is to run a half marathon this year, the only problem is finding a race locally which fits into an autumn of family celebrations and before I have a foot operation due mid October. If I can’t find a race I will simply measure 13 miles on my running app to have the satisfaction of doing one.

This week I read two books, the first Careless by Kirsty Capes is one which I think will haunt me for a long time. The theme of a young person in care is perhaps a little too close to my professional and personal life at present and some of the dialogue and situations are far less fiction than one could imagine. This story had a happy ending, I don’t believe all similar real life stories do, which genuinely makes me sad and angry. The second book I am reading is So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter. I always enjoy her books and whilst I’m about 3/4 through the book, her wit, perception of modern life and women’s roles is excellent.

My highlight this week has been watching the football, aside from the England games there have been some great Euro 2020 games. On Tuesday, it was England vs Germany. This is a game I dislike for the way it is presented in the press with jingoism and historical references. Germany are a bit of a nemesis because of recent history when we tend to lose against them in key games on penalties, but I have no time for the game to be referenced against the world wars. Apart from their ability to beat us on penalties, I like the German team for their skill and spirit in which they play. I was nervous watching the German game, its one of those when you don’t relax, knowing it can change at any moment, until the final whistle. The 2-0 score looks good but I was a bundle of nerves throughout. Fortunately, the quarter final against the Ukraine was so much more relaxed after a goal in the first few minutes and with a class and skill that the 4 – 0 final score makes it sound closer than it actually was. Our next game is Wednesday against Denmark, everyone’s second favourite team after the near death experience of one of their players on the pitch in their first game of Euro 2020. A game which put life into all perspective and thankfully one with a happy ending.

The BBC are doing a series of radio documentaries on the summer of 1996 and on my long run, I listened to the one on Euro 96. That was a fantastic summer with many happy memories. I remember being out on the Saturday night of the England Spain game and the song 3 Lions was played in every bar and several times at the nightclub we went to. Happy days and its so strange to think that those hot, sweaty bars and filled dance floors are not allowed in 2021.

One final little mention this week is to the birds which have been providing a daily show for us. Mr S picked up a peanut butter bird feed at the garden centre and the birds have gone crazy for it. We have lines of birds sitting on our fence waiting to feed from it, we had 3 jars and all are now empty. We all spent so long just looking at the birds and enjoying the spectacle.

We are now into July, for me I have an extra few days off work, perfect for enjoying the football and we have two weekends away booked for this month. This may also be the month when Covid restrictions end, which will be a strange and curious time. Infections are high but the vaccinations are working well and people are less ill with the virus, however I’m not sure how I feel about the ending of restrictions, only time will tell.

Have a happy week and lets hope we’re singing 3 Lions next Sunday.

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