I probably shan't be blogging all that much for the next three weeks. I won't be doing anything about sorting my life out either. I am currently on an indefinite vacation... and greatly enjoying the reckless self-indulgence of that.
Having a major football tournament on, and being able to watch it in a convenient timezone (for the first time in 10 years!), is yummy icing on an already delicious cake.
At the weekend, I launched a Euro 2012 discussion thread on my disreputable drinking blog. Please go and take a look at that if you share my passion for the game (and might like to hazard some predictions of how the various competing nations will fare).
I am feeling a - probably foolhardy! - rush of optimism about England's chances. We have the best balanced team we've put out in a decade, and finally some promising young blood coming through.
And I fancy a speculative wager on Croatia as a 'dark horse' challenger. They have been absurdly underrated by the bookmakers, and have a very good chance of making it at least as far as the semi-finals.
Anyway, I have offered more detailed prognostications over on that comment thread. Now, to get us in the mood... here is THAT Paul Gascoigne goal: the spark of genius against Scotland at Wembley that kickstarted our tournament for us when we hosted the European Championship in 1996. [Not very good picture quality; but it seems to be the only full clip available at the moment. And it will probably get removed from YouTube soon, so enjoy it while you can. Hmm, maybe I should try to find it on the - less well policed! - Chinese video-sharing site Youku instead...]
Marvellous as that goal was (I've celebrated it on here before), I think the greatest and most sustained ecstasy I have experienced in supporting England was our drubbing of the Dutch in the next game. Shearer, Sheringham and Gazza were rampant - this is the best my national team has played in my lifetime.
Come on, England!!