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Italy v France June 18, 2008

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

Not as nice as the pictures I see at Café Galerie in my local supermarket, where everyone who’s anyone is trying to get exhibited, but they’ll have to do. Buggered if I know how to edit the photos now. WordPress locutus est.

A special grazie to Pino who told me how to spend a day in Milan when I ended up there and knew nothing about the city. A blogger in need is a blogger indeed. Not in any of these photos, mind, as the memory card, or whatever it’s called, from the camera, which would have allowed me to take more than one (or thereabouts) photo, had carefully been forgotten at home.

Can anyone tell me if I’m morally obliged to continue reading Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française? I’ve been picking it up and putting it back down again for months and while I don’t want to be disrespectful to her memory ‘n all, I’m finding the book an awful chore.

Football has already lost my interest. Attention span deficit post-traumatic syndrome, I think. Though a Germany v Holland final would be nice, if you’re Dutch or German, perhaps.



1. wyndham - June 18, 2008

I’ve been thinking of investing in that book for a while but don’t think I will now – thanks for the heads-up, Bib!

2. Geoff - June 18, 2008

I’m hoping Portugal make the final, as Lambeth is full of Portuguese – there’s even a community centre just across the road from me – and they get terribly over-excited whenever they win. Even at the group stage the streets were full of cars driving around beeping their horns and waving huge flags out of the window.

Although I hear this level of celebration was mild compared to the partying in Hackney when the Turks made it through to the next round.

3. bowleserised - June 18, 2008

You can put down Irene (‘Put down Irene, Awww put down Irene’) if you pick up Andrei Makine.

4. BiB - June 18, 2008

B., thanks for the tip. I’ll happily put her down and pick him up. What of his do you recommend, or just everything? Don’t know him at all, and was preparing to get annoyed by the French transliteration of his surname – an e on the end indeed! As if! – until I read his biog a bit and had seen he’d gone native.

Geoff, the Turks have a pretty good line in noisy celebration here too, which is good. I was on the street when they played Switzerland and heard fanatical roaring late on and couldn’t work out who the roaring was for. The Germans roaring for their Swiss cousins or for their newer Turkish cousins(-in-law, perhaps). Turned out to be for the Turks, of course, or there are more Turks around these parts than I realised. I was gutted they knocked out the Czechs, though.

Wyndham, I hope someone else might also give their view because I’d hate you to rely purely on my unauthoritative word. Though maybe B.’s stamp of approval for putting down Irene is an indirect diss, in which case I’d say, “Save you money.” Or I could post it to you, but that’d be rude, seeing as I was sent it in the post myself.

5. Liukchik - June 18, 2008

It has to be Croatia/Portugal v Netherlands/Spain. I am an unashamed purist. Anything but the functional Germans and uninspiring Italians.

6. BiB - June 18, 2008

Liukchik, with you on the Italians, though I am trying to revive my love affair with the Germans in the spirit of 2006’s Sommermärchen so will root for them tomorrow. Is it against Portugal? I can’t get excited about the Portuguese, perhaps because I’ve never been to their country and the association with Manchester makes me think of Bet Lynch. I want the Dutch to win, but apparently they’ll play the Italians again in the semis (if that’s how things turn out) and I’m imagining a dreadful revenge scenario.

7. oyebilly - June 18, 2008

I’m hoping for Croatia. For no apparent reason.

8. BiB - June 18, 2008

Billy, it’s lovely, in a way, talking about football, isn’t it? It’s comforting and familiar. Sort of like masturbation.

Haven’t forged a relationship with Croatia yet, though my ex’s ancestors came from there, so that could be an excuse to half-heartedly support them. I’ll put them on my b-list.

9. wyndham - June 18, 2008

The ex-wife’s family were from Croatia so they’re my fave team. Another ex is from Holland and they’re my other favourites. Both women could have happily strangled me in the past. Oh, the irony.

10. Sylvia - June 19, 2008

I just hope the Italians don’t win. They feel superior enough as it is.

11. Arabella - June 19, 2008

Love those tiles – such colors!
I think it was Doris Lessing in the foreward to The Golden Notebook who said it is always best to stop reading any book found wanting, whatever the reason. You might think: well, Doris isn’t exactly a joke a minute, so that’s big of her. I did.
So, put down the book and find one that amuses and engages you; you might pick it up again one day and it’ll seem right.

Sorry to interrupt the footie chat – I’m enjoying it. The chat, I mean; not much footie talk in Texas, as you can imagine.

12. BiB - June 19, 2008

Darling Arabella, so lovely to see you again. Tell me, how is life post-blog? I need to know. Or are you going to come back to us in another guise? … They’re lovely tiles, aren’t they, though the ones in photo 1 (or 23) could do with a bit of a scrub. (Isn’t it awfully clever how the photos open and become blog-posts of their own? I can claim to have blogged 20 times yesterday, which is roughly my blogging for a whole year done in one fell swoop.)

Sylvia, I always like to go for underdoggy teams so could never support a big team like Italy. Unless it’s England or Germany. But England is a footballing minnow now, isn’t it? But the only team arousing my passion in this tournament so far is Holland, so I hope the Russians don’t spring a surprise whenever it is they play.

Wynders, if we’re doing it by exes (and presents), then I can support Croatia, France, England and Russia. Or how close does the connection have to be? I’ve got a feeling the ex may have had an Italian great-grandparent. And the Russian vaguely claims to be of Swedish origin, though I think that’s bollocks.

13. Marsha Klein - June 19, 2008

Photos look nice. Can’t stop and look properly at the moment, as I’m being nagged to “get of the computer, mum. You said you’d only be 5 minutes”!

Never persevere with a book that’s become a chore. What’s the point?

14. BiB - June 19, 2008

Marsha, thank you. I will now feel utterly vindicated whenever I decide to put down a dreary book. And can also now mull over which one to pick up. Perhaps it’s time to give Don Quixote another shot. I am 37, after all.

Right, my tip to you now. It is a good one, and will improve happiness levels and might even achieve perfection. More computers. I know, I know. Money and all that, but it’s worth getting into financial trouble and going to court or having to be bailed out by a richer relative for. The Russian and I have four computers and there are only two of us which, I agree, is wilfully excessive. But, darling, the good thing is, when you each have computers – *looks round conspiratorially to make sure no-one else can hear* – you never have to speak to each other ever again.

PS. Marsha. Look! You’ve insouciantly left someone else’s link. Had I better change it to yours in case you’re accused of trying to steal someone’s online identity?

15. liukchik - June 20, 2008

I have once thought of a word with the letter “g” in it. And I have drunk beer on more than one occasion. Therefore I will suppport Germany;)

16. BiB - June 20, 2008

Liukchik, precisely. Those are good enough connections for me.

A fun thing about being in a country with some footballing success is the celebration. I never remember England ever winning a match, really, so can’t remember a second of celebration there. Here, on our humble street, there is quite a lot of roaring and even fireworks when “we” score a goal. And then there was some yippeeing at the final whistle, which died down in a very orderly fashion after about thirty seconds, which made me think there’s probably a rule about how long so-called unbridled outbursts of joy may be whooped along to.

A Germany-Turkey semi-final could make for a very noisy evening indeed.

17. mary - June 20, 2008

If the book is a chore, put it away. There is no need to finish it just as there is no need to look at a picture or to go to the cinema or whatever.

18. BiB - June 20, 2008

Mary, thank you. I’m going to file all that guilt away with the unread book. I feel like going further and actually having a bonfire, but then book-burning is rude and we don’t have a garden. Maybe it can just sit on a shelf looking pretty instead.

19. Pino - June 24, 2008

I’m happy you had a nice time in Milan, an underrated city, I should say. Not as beautiful as Venice or Rome or as warm as Palermo, but still worth the visit, at least for shopping :-) With more time there you could have also experienced the vibrant nightlife.

About the Euro2008: I don’t like Italians either, for the same reason Sylvia pointed out. But I’m Italian and eventually I support them and I feel disappointed they lost against Spain.
Germans are really mad at Italians because of the semi-final of 2006. The fact that Germany was the hosting country doesn’t mean they were supposed to win :-) But they feel anyway betrayed. That’s unfair: Italy played a very good match against Germany and deserved to win. The final against France was dreadful, to be honest. But you know, sometime it’s also about luck!
Personally I feel ashamed about players like Materazzi who has more fascist tattoos than a neonazi… Zidane was probably too kind with him.
Now I’m supporting Russia: did you see how good they played against the (stupid, as I learned while I was living there) Dutch?

20. BiB - June 27, 2008

Pino, disgracefully, I hadn’t seen any of Russia’s matches until last night’s defeat to Spain. The commentators kept saying how they were only a shadow of the team they were against the Dutch. The Russian was disgusted that I was daring to support Spain, though I’d have been happy with either result, really. Now I’m passively hoping for a German victory on Sunday but like Spain too. They’d be deserving winners.

Thanks again for your Milan tips that day. The Duomo was such a brilliant discovery. I found its beauty staggering. And I had such a nice walk. Through that castle and into the big park behind where beautiful men were playing football with no shirts on. It was a very good day!

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