Thanks for everything duly Neymar

I saw Matt off onto Eurostar and then Ying into a taxi for Charles de Gaulle, and then Claire and I went for a favourite wander along the bucolic pathway that eventually leads to Bois de Vincennes, although we didn’t quite make it there this time. As we set off in the direction of home with the sun in stealthy retreat, I was thinking that no matter what happens I’m glad I’m in Paris right now, and just then we crossed the bridge near the Jardin du Reuilly and witnessed an impossibly skinny model in 19th century gigolette garb with her naked breasts on display in the evening sun being shot by some hip young slinger (no doubt for one of those £10 magazines full of advertising that nobody buys that only exist in shops in Soho). Only in Paris, I thought to myself (or possibly Shoreditch).

I got home with half an hour to spare before the World Cup kicked off, and within minutes I was cursing Andy Townsend and wishing I’d bought a flat screen for the occasion. My nachos and dips and bag of Maltesers made my four year old iPad look rather an inadequate portal to watch something as historical and majestic as a World Cup in Brazil (via two apps and a dodgy VPN connection). We have an orange box tucked in a TV cabinet with all of France’s telly on it, though the cabinet itself may as well be used for shoes given that Claire accidentally broke the TV a few months back by tilting it (or maybe it was me having hung our wet socks on it).
I have lived without a television before and they were happy days indeed, but at times like these you need a decent box (or slick, wafer-thin symbol of working class aspiration), and so I have resolved to furnish our front room with one in order to enjoy every second I can of the GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH. I went to DARTY earlier and had a look around, and I surprised myself by how excited I was by TV screens. Previously I would bark “darty” in my best Irish impression as I walked past as an admonishment of those of easy virtue, but now here I was actually inside realising that it’s an electrical store par excellence, or at least it’s a bit sexier than Dixons. Corr, big telly’s and stuff, I never realised I was such a flippin’ geezer. Look at the LED backlighting on that etc…

So despite some cheating from the Brazilians it was a fairly entertaining opening game, though I do hope FIFA don’t let them win like they did the French in ’98. Neymar played alright in a haircut I had when I was going to Trash in 2002, Oscar played brilliantly, Fred deserved an Oscar for his dive, and Croatia should feel hard done by though I’m not too fussed as lots of their fans are fucking racists. I’m hoping there’ll be plenty more incident to distract me over the next 30 days, and I’ll probably write about it from time to time here, which I’m sure you’re just thrilled to learn. Best of all, if I do get a TV and plug the orange box into it, then I can improve my French by listening to les commentateurs français and I won’t have to listen to Andy Townsend’s thick bullshit while I’m at it. Le bonheur absolu.

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