Sunday, 1 June 2014

Celebrating Summer sports

Now the sun is shining and the days are longer there are lots of opportunities to get moving. Cycling, swimming, walking are all easily available Outdoor activities abound. It is also a time when there are lots of exciting sports competitions that involve sitting down. All you need is a television to take part in lots of great sporting events. I have lovely memories of lazy Sunday afternoons, the sound of the formula one cars droning in the background and sending my dad to sleep under his newspaper. The horse racing enthralled us, the commentators voice reaching an ecstatic climax as the race was run. Our uncle was  very enthusiastic about the horse racing. He was a great friend of the local Betting office. One year he told us we could place a bet. My brother chose a horse called Foinaven. the odds were 100 to 1. We put sixpence each way. That was in 1967 and is now in the history books of racing. Foinaven won the race, but only because all the other horses fell. We later learnt that my uncle hadn't actually bothered to place our bet, thinking it was so unlikely to win. My brother was really good at imitating the horse racing  commentaries as we went along in the car. "The Vauxhall is coming up on the inside, and now the Jaguar is in the lead, but the zephyr is gaining and  the Cortina is neck and neck with the Rover...  and he 's won ..!!" Our favourite was the Kenneth Wostenholme classic, "And England has won the World cup !!" "oh dear Germany has scored a goal",. Wonderful.
With my children our favourite spectator sport has always been the football. Every two years, there is either the European championships or the World cup. As a special treat we would eat watching the matches, getting to know the names of the players and the anthems of all the different countries. We would make charts and  have special rituals. One year a friend brought us a cake to eat watching the match. Every time Italy scored we would have a slice. On holiday in England we would get heavily involved in Wimbledon, eating strawberries and cream and marvelling about how it could be raining enough there to stop the match  while we were in bright sunshine just an hour away.
So here is a quick list for all the sports you can enjoy watching this summer and how to celebrate them.

Giro d'Italia,       glass of prosecco

Royal Ascot,         The Derby, Aintree, glass of  shandy or Guinness

Wimbledon,           strawberries and cream

Cricket,                 cucumber sandwiches

Rowing, regattas, Pims

Tour de France,        baguette and glass of wine

Grand prix,                   champagne

Golf,      cup of tea, scones with jam and cream

World cup, Brazilian cocktail like caipirinha or caipiroska

Rugby, mars bar and a Guinness

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