Cheering for a team;
Simple thrills, forgotten joy -
Return to childhood.
Part of the very special (and rather dangerous, for someone as emotionally brittle as me) appeal of watching football on TV is that this is one of my earliest and most potent memories. More than almost anything else, more than a favourite book or film first encountered at that time of my life, more even than a heart-straining visit to my hometown, a game of footie on the box will transport me back to the sensation of being 8 or 10 years old (watching Leeds beating Arsenal in the Centenary FA Cup Final in 1972, Holland faltering against Germany in the World Cup Final in 1974). [But of course, Paul Whitehouse captured this feeling best in a classic Fast Show monologue which I've posted on here before.]
These three weeks glued to the magic and drama of the European Championships are not only physically gruelling, but emotionally a bit of an obstacle course too; these recollections of the peace and comfort of 'home', of the lost and unrecoverable world of childhood innocence, are rather too taunting at a time of such uncertainty and insecurity in my life.