It's coming home, apparently.

I write the day after England's semi-final win over Denmark in the European Football Championship, setting up a final on Sunday, against Italy.

My wife was born and raised in London, but in an Italian family. This final is her dream tie. She'll be supporting Italy (loudly), but if the Azzurri are to lose, then to England at Wembley is the best possible other result.

I've always considered myself Scottish, taking my Dad's heritage, but I'm also part English, on my mother's side. I was schooled in England and couldn't sound more English if I tried. I'm not a football fan, and have usually taken the "ABE" route. (Anybody But England.) Predominantly, because this winds English people up. However, the older I've got, the less I care. Many of my friends are English, and I'm delighted to see them so excited.

Sunday we will be hosting three generations of England fans for "Pizza, Pasta and Pimms at the Pool." See what I've done there? English Pimms and Italian food. Genius.

I'm trying to persuade Mrs L to settle for takeout pizza, but her instincts may force her to spend days in the kitchen mass-producing incredible pasta.

Age has brought me some wisdom (not a lot) and marital sagacity requires that I be vociferously Italian on Sunday, but truth be told, I couldn't care less who wins. I hope that the game is entertaining, although I'm told finals are often cautious, dour affairs. I'll keep the Pimms, beer, wine and spirits flowing and revel in laughter and company.

As Covid-19 persists, perhaps evolving towards Covid-22, I'm delighted that the football has provided an excuse to gather together, eat, drink and laugh.


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