We can all feel it. The awkward, dejected stares as the kettle boils silently each morning, the limp flag hanging in your neighbour’s garden, the legions of un-swappable football stickers cluttering up your house.
The world cup is over. It’s hard to take, we know. The glory days of collective joviality – Brazilians aside – have ended and we are all left facing endless days of unguided conversation and empty calendars.
All is not lost. Here are 5 reasons why we’re all better off now the football is over:
1. 8pm exists again
For an entire month 8pm has been a no-go zone. Friends peeled away from long planned events with flaky excuses. Conversation became limited to ‘ooh’s ‘ahh’s and ‘just shoot you idiot!’. One mate even cancelled due to NSPS – Neymar Sympathy Pain Syndrome. Thus, August heralds the return of 8pm, the return of uncompromised events and above all: the return of undivided attention. Well, at least until the season starts again. For those of you emerging blinking into the light once more: a table at Megaro Bar is here for you. 0203 432 5150 / firstname.lastname@example.org
2. We no longer have to look at Adrian Chiles and co’s terrible beach attire
Whoever decided ITV’s pundits would be more appealing to the public awkwardly crammed round a couple of Ikea tables on a precarious piece of decking ought to take a long hard look at themselves. We couldn’t decide which was more traumatising: waiting for one of Adrian Chiles et al’s team to slip backwards into the sand and leave us with nothing but ill-fitting khakis and flip flops to stare at, or the jaw clenchingly appalling opening credit song. Advert breaks have never been so welcomed.
3. We can stop pretending we know the words to our national anthem. Or care.
Okay, we admit, watching the a cappella Brazilian national anthem was rousing stuff. Watching Gerrard mumble along to ‘God Save The Queen’ was not.
4. The crying has stopped
If you’re Brazilian we’ll forgive you on this one, you well and truly deserve a good tear, however we’re grateful the rest of us can move on with our lives. Now, don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with a little sob now and again. But when it comes to the lip wobbles after your country drops out following an expectedly miserable performance, you’ve only got yourselves to blame. Heck, you’ve spent the last 4 years bemoaning the selfish/lazy/disorganised diving idiots anyway.
5. We can eat & drink what we want
We never thought we’d say this but we’re sick of barbeques. And caipirinhas. Okay, maybe not caipirinhas. If like us you have spent the duration of the world cup approaching barbequed goods and cachaça with the same gusto as Mexico’s Miguel Herrera’s celebration routine, we’ll all be welcoming the return to normality. Our favourite world cup hangover cleanser has to be our refreshing Hokkaido Collins: smoky Japanese Nikka Pure Malt whisky built with yuzu, lemon, barley water syrup .