Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Some corner of a foreign field, that is forever England...

The tragically short-lived poet, Rupert Brooke, most certainly had a very different location in mind when he wrote 'The Soldier' back in the early 1900s, but for me, that corner of a foreign field that is forever England, henceforth will always be the corner spot of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where England's national soccer team camped out for the last three minutes of their game with Slovenia, desperately determined to hold on to their 1-0 lead, enabling them to claw their way into the Round of 16, and their ultimate humiliation at the hands of the German national squad.

For me though, those final three minutes were the true pinnacle of that humiliation, and even as a native Scot, it gives me no pleasure to recall it. Up until that moment, I had done my level best to will my English cousins to greatness, despite the inordinately poor performances over the three matches leading up to that point. The media triumphalism that immediately emerged from what ought to have been a moment of great relief and self-reckoning however, having only just managed to scrape past the least-fancied and smallest nation in the World Cup Finals, finally put paid to my new-found allegiance. That and the fact that England's next opponents were to be my mother's national team, Germany. Which meant I needed no other excuse to abandon all wafer thin hope of England progressing any further in the competition, along with my rapidly diminishing support. To be honest, that was my own turn to experience great relief and self-reckoning.

I have to admit that throughout the game against Slovenia, I was drawing the following piece, knowing that if it wouldn't be relevant immediately after that particular game, that it almost certainly would be at some point during the following week. And so it was.

I won't pretend that I didn't enjoy its creation, far more than the game itself, and I do hope my good English friends will forgive me for it.


  1. A cracker, Steve. I love the little touch of the acacia tree in the distance.

  2. Ta muchly, Roger - I'm so glad you spotted that.

    [memo to self: "It's an acacia."]

  3. Great cartoon Steve. You seem to be getting into this blogging lark!

  4. It's a doddle, Clangers, as you well know. Tap out a couple of random lines, throw in a doodle, and you're off... morceau de gâteau, as they say in Barcelona.