Soon I will be an Englishman abroad. Yes that’s right, I will be nipping over the English Channel for a 10-day holiday in France.
Now I love a bit of French culture. Indeed, no matter where I go in the world, I always like to immerse myself in the ways of the country I happen to be in – whether that is trying to speak the lingo or helping myself to the local delicacy.
But there are some things I cannot live without – which you can only get from back home.
So along with my socks, shorts and T-shirts, I will be making sure I pack a box of PG Tips in my suitcase so that I can quench my thirst in the morning with my regular brew complemented by one sugar.
You just can’t seem to get the stuff abroad no matter how hard you look.
On a trip to Paris earlier this year, a request for a cup of tea was met by the cafe assistant asking if I wanted earl grey or lemon.
You see, a nice cup of tea is quintessential England.
It is the reason why I smiled to myself when USA footballer Alex Morgan celebrated scoring (right) what proved to be the winner against England during their Women’s World Cup semi-final by pretending to sip a cup of tea. The goal celebration naturally opened up a can of worms with many venting their ire on social media and the like, accusing Morgan of being disrespectful.
Was it cheeky? Definitely. Distasteful or disrespectful? Certainly not...well in my opinion anyway.
Of all the things to be offended by, Morgan’s mocking of England’s tea-drinking culture was not worth getting too hot and bothered about.
Maybe if captain Steph Houghton had stuck that late penalty away for England to bring the scores level at 2-2, she could have wheeled away pretending to chomp on an imaginary box of popcorn.
Unfortunately, Houghton’s spot-kick was woefully weak – a bit similar to those English breakfast tea bags you find abroad and which are pale imitations of what you get back home.
It would have been interesting to see if Houghton had stuck the penalty away as England had given as good as they got against the pre-tournament favourites. Indeed, the game should have been all-square at 2-2 before Houghton placed the ball on the spot.
Ellen White saw her equaliser ruled out by VAR for a offside. TV replays showed the striker had a boot in an offside position!
Now I’m sure before VAR came into existence, assistant referees were instructed to give the benefit of the doubt in offside decisions to the attacking team.
Maybe the law should change so that if any part of the body is onside then the goal should stand.
After all, we want to see goals scored, not disallowed.