I do not, as a rule, imbibe. In public houses where I am known when I walk in they put the kettle on.
A cup of Lyons is my only man.
However with the correct ambience I can be tempted by a good wine.
I called by my local wine dealer this evening; he is a friend of mine.
He almost always has something worth buying, something worth savouring.
Tonight I knew the vintage that I wanted to uncork.
As usual I wanted something French.
I love the French and you won’t find a more confirmed Francophile.
I have observed the English French rivalry all my adult life.
My take on it is that the English antipathy to their Entente Cordiale allies is based on envy for what they see as a superior culture and civilisation.
English cuisine anyone?
Given a choice between living in France or England it would be no contest.
All that said like most Irish people.
No, start again, that’s wrong.
Like ALL Irish people I wanted France to do badly in this world cup!
The ultimate Irish double bind in this World Cup would be France playing England.
Which team did we want to lose most?
Thankfully that will not happen.
France are out and deservedly so.
I didn’t meet anyone this evening that didn’t share my view of France’s early exit.
Over the three matches the French team “played” as if they knew they shouldn’t be there.
Thierry Henry, of course, cheated with a double handball to create a goal for teammate William Gallas.
In doing so the French won the match and progressed to South Africa.
What they did not accept is that they lost all honour in doing so.
Perhaps that finally DID sink into the players when they arrived in South Africa.
Certainly they did not take to the field with any conviction or, apparently, any self-belief.
I watched them this afternoon singing La Marseillaise and the French players mumbled the words.
Were these Sans-culottes too embarrassed to storm the Bastille?
For the historically literate among you it will not have esc aped your attention that it is almost 70 years to the day that France fell to the Wehrmacht.
In South Africa they surrendered again.
The wine was excellent this evening.
I had waited since November 18th to uncork this particular vintage.