Andy Mitchell from Radio Wave - July 11, 2018

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Well here we are then on arguably the most important sporting day since, well the last one.

England having made it through to the semi finals of the World cup - a prospect many would think as unlikely as Mitchell writing about football in the first place.

It will probably come as no surprise at all that I’m not exactly the biggest football fan on the Fylde coast, yet it’s hard to resist being carried away on the current wave of feel -good euphoria. I’ve stopped short of draping flags down the outside of the house, but it was difficult not to experience a certain amount of national pride on hearing the result of the last two games.

This sort of summer optimism is just what’s been needed in the town for a very long time, and coupled with the extraordinary weather, it wouldn’t be impossible to imagine Blackpool in full swing with happy shiny people enjoying the ride while it lasts.

Back at Castle Mitchell, I’ve been allowed to plug in my beer fridge, and stocked it with all the trappings of an extremely macho summer. I haven’t a clue what the neighbours must think when they see me relaxing with a Budweiser, but I’d venture to suggest it’s probably not what they’d usually surmise.

The condition of drinking beer, according to the current Mrs Mitchell, is that it has to be decanted into a suitable glass. “you don’t know where those bottles have been in their crates,” I’m told. “rats could have done their business on them.”

And so my extra masculine summer continues in the surprising way it began.

It reminds me of the summer of 1977 when I was allowed to be a punk at the weekends, so long as I kept my vest on. Life is compromised.

When England square up to Croatia tonight, I may even find myself dressed in a football top, cracking open more cans of Stella or Budweiser, engaged in animated chat with the other menfolk of the neighbourhood about the finer points of the off-side rule, whatever that is, while turning sausages on an outsize barbecue.

Or, I could do what I did on Saturday afternoon when the streets were similarly deserted, and get the shopping done.

Come on England!