How a Football Fan was Born....

Where were you.... When Ray Houghton put the ball in the English net?

That's a question I heard asked recently, just before the Euro 2012 commenced. And it got me thinking.

I remember exactly where I was because that's the day I was converted.

As a show-mad dancing gal, twinkle-toeing my way through a myriad of dance shows and classes, I had absolutely no interest in football at all. None whatsoever. Nada.

I was vaguely aware that Ireland were playing England in the 1988 European Championships that Monday night. See, I knew it was Monday because I had my long-running, all time favourite dance class to attend that night.

I saw no reason not to attend the class as usual, the challenging football  match between us and our nearest neighbour, with all it's accompanying *ahem* history, had nothing to do with me at all. Nothing whatsoever. Nada.

So I drove along to class, in blissful oblivion, with thoughts of the previous weeks' dance steps in my head. Nothing was more challenging to me than getting the very complicated dance routine right.

I was very suddenly aware of my surroundings. I was driving through streets empty of other vehicles. Not a human being or even, a dog or cat to be seen on the streets. It was like a ghost town, a willowy tumbleweed whispering by would not have surprised me in the least.

I arrived to find only the dance teacher and four other Dancing Fools in attendance.

What to do, we pondered as we stood there in the cavernous silence of the dance hall that momentous Monday night, with strains of chat and cheers trickling down from the bar above. Well, we did the only thing we could do and cancelled the class.

Two of us found ourselves drawn to the overhead chatter. What is this football hoo-hah  all about anyway, we asked as we followed the noise strains up the stairs. We found ourselves in a packed to the rafters small, social club bar. The crowd looked friendly, very friendly, they didn't bite and we came in peace, so we stayed. For a club orange, you understand.

We sat, us two, amongst the maddening crowd who were jumping up and down, shouting at the screen. We figured Ireland was the team dressed in green. The team, we learned that was led by a quirky Englishman who had found lots of Irish grannies that allowed him to entice lots of English footballers to play for Ireland. Against England. Aha.... now we get it!

It didn't take too long before we were up on our feet cheering on The Boys in Green. Didn't matter that we didn't know the rules, we sure learned the lingo real quick. And when Ray Houghton scored that magic goal against England, well we stood on our chairs and Ole Ole'd with the best of them!

Ireland won that game .... and two new fans were born. We were hooked.

Within a week I had bunting outside my house and dressed in green when I went to watch all further Irish football matches in that tournament.

It would be another few years before I would meet and marry football-loving Mr Jazzy. I would even attend real Irish football matches. In a real stadia, with real fans and loud raucous shouting.

And now here we are in Euro 12, down one match and 3 goals. Not a good start.

Time to cheer on The Boys In Green as they face their next match against Spain.

Maybe it's even time to bring back that quirky Englishman. Come on guys....

Put 'em under pressure!!

So, do you remember where you were that night?

Note: Those who were sitting on their mother's knees or were yet to be born may remain silent! Thank you.


Tough Love

It's hard watching her lie there, seemingly comfortable in her deep,deep sleep.
Seeing her wheezing chest rise and fall. 
And then it doesn't.
No need to panic, I eventually realise. It's a rhythm change that becomes the norm.
Maybe she slips further into her deep, deep sleep?

It's hard to read the signs of what each day brings and what the future may become for her.
Some days she's awake and alert, connecting with her eyes and even attempting some words.
Does she know what she wants to say
Does her brain think her mouth is delivering it's message?

How frustrating and upsetting that must be.
To not be able to communicate your needs and your thoughts.
To not be able to swallow.

I want to help but I can't.
I helplessly hold her hand instead.
And clean out her mouth with some disgusting, medicinal compound.

I prefer the upsetting alert days to the worrying comatose sleeping ones.
What does it mean when she goes form one to the other?
What does it mean when she's changed from a hospital gown to a nightdress on occasion?
Is it a good sign
Or a really, really bad one?

These are the thoughts that crowd my head as I cross the threshold into her ward each day.
Is today the day that something else will happen
Or will we be asked to make a difficult decision?
How do you agree to not give nourishment to the one who nourished you?

Whatever happens I pray that it will be in her best interests...


Do FitFlops STILL Flop for non-Flip Floppers?

Last year, in desperation, I wrote my Fit Flops Flop for non-Flip Floppers post lamenting on how hard it was to find blingified non-thonged fit flops, or tone-ups, for the summer. My tootsies were crying out for some fancy, toning footwear you see! At almost 1000 hits the above post seems to have been a very popular one.

So, what's new with Fit flops this year I wondered? Well, I looked at their site and checked out their 2012 offerings, on the hunt for more bling for us non-thong wearers. Unfortunately I didn't see much change. Although these from last year.....

appear to have been blingified somewhat to these..

Good start I guess.

So then I took a mosey on over to Skechers to see what blingified rarities they had to offer.

Remember this from my last year's post?

Well I checked out Skechers 2012 range and didn't see much to be honest.

However, over at Debenhams I found these, which look like a sequined version of the above..

And I found these lovely white ones too!
Hang on a second...don't those black ones look too similar?  Skechers have either sequinified them or they need a new photographer for their website!

Debenhams have great online sales most weekends and, as these sequined Skechers were at a 25% discount last weekend, I went and ordered myself a pair in black.

I think they're lovely but I still believe they can design them in a more flattering style. I made a suggestion in last year's post writing...

'It's not rocket science. You could still follow your trademark design of starting at the back of the shoe giving a deep V at the front you know. Instead of two bands going straight across you could have them crisscrossing .... and BLINGIFY them.'

And this year I found a sample to demonstrate what I mean...

Look at the pretty flowers!

Anyway, I'm happy that I finally found some jazzy footwear for these, non-thong wearing, Jazzygal toes of mine.

 And I don't care what this so called summer throws at me weather-wise, my frozen tootsies will finally be adorned with blingified non-thong flip flops and I shall dance between the rain drops, in style! So there.