Sunday, June 22, 2008

Football, Pus And Treaties (An Ordinary Week Then)

This past week hasn't been particularly great with bad news accumulating wherever I seem to look. First off were the Irish who rejected the EU Lisbon treaty. As a committed Europhile I was naturally disappointed, but also very surprised. I would have understood it if the British (had they been given the chance to vote) had rejected the treaty as they are notoriously jingoistic and stubbornly cling to silly notions of sovereignty that have no basis in reality. The Irish, on the other hand, have been the great beneficiaries of the EU. From being an economic and social basket case from its foundation well into the 70s it now has the second-highest GDP per capita in the world (as a measure of PPP) thanks, in no small part, to access to European markets and EU subsidies. One would therefore expect that the Irish would be huge fans of the EU. Obviously not. Which is a shame as the treaty was supposed to deal with many of the criticisms that detractors levelled at it, such as being unwieldy and nothing but a talking shop. Obviously the EU has an image problem and perhaps needs to spend a bit of money on PR to launch a charm offensive.

The second piece of bad news was slightly more painful, at least for me personally, as I developed an abscess in the muscle at the back of my neck. All last week I had a slight discomfort and then on Friday, all of a sudden, it got really painful. In the end I had to go to A&E to get it lanced which was not a particularly pleasant experience to say the least. In fact I was amazed that so much pus came out of me. So it was on the antibiotics for me this past week with regular trips to the nurse to squeeze out more yellow goo. Better out than in as they say, despite the pain, although it has been hard to get the pus out at home due to its location and so I've had to enlist the help of my mother and brother, although they're not that much help as they can't bear to be ruthless enough to push out the gunk as I'm writhing in agony. But that's enough of those gory details (I'll spare you the photo).

And finally there's the football. Not only have the Czech Republic crashed out in embarrassing circumstances at the last minute, but it also seems that every other team that I support gets beaten. Possibly a handy skill I suppose - if you're planning a little flutter on a game just ask me who I'll be rooting for and then bet on the opposition. Ah well, let's see what this week'll bring.