Saturday, July 01, 2006

Today's The Day

So, my Father's parents were both German Jewish refugees, who escaped to London in the 1930s and brought my dad up as an Englishman - there was little talk of the homeland, apart from fond memories of the Weimar Republic. I have little feeling of being German, and have never been there, despite the origin of half my genes. My Mum, on the other hand is French, and with trips to visit granparents in Paris and Macon, and my aunt and cousins in Lyon, I've always felt quite French. And of course I was born here, in England, and lived most of my life here, apart from a couple of years in Zimbabwe and another couple in Wales. So I feel very English.

Above all though, I strive to not find attachments in nationality, but to see myself, as cliched as it might sound to cynical ears, as a citizen of the world, as part of the human family, as much a brother to an Innuit as a son of the Green and Pleasant Land. But today that's going to be stretched a bit as the two teams I have supported all my life, who brought tears in 1986, ups and downs in 1990, inglorious anonimity in '94, glorious vibrant mulitcultural triumph in '98 and crushing disappointment in Saipan in 2002, take to the quarter final stage against two countries entwined by history and culture, and indeed a manager. By the end of today they could have set up the semi-final I couldn't have hoped for at the beginning of the tournament or they could have left me clutching at genetic straws and supporting Germany.

So allez Les Bleus, and Come On England, let joy be unabashed, but if it's not to be, at least have a proper go at it...And if it is not to be, at least let me remain fairly even keeled about it, remembering that it's only a game, and we're all only human beings and we belong to the earth more than any specific part of it...