Britain's Traditional Instrument

My World Cup tourettes has fast disappeared and been replaced by a self-help mantra.

I had spent the last few weeks randomly shouting 'come on England' at the sight of a St George's flag but now the nine year-old boy inside this middle-aged man has grown quiet and ever so slightly melancolic.

I have replaced my football chant with the one my wife regularly used in the lead up to the competition. Trying to convey that she didn't know what all the fuss was about she would offer 'it's only game'.

Before England's demise I would take the time to explain why she was mistaken in her view. Now it seems to offer only the slightest amount of comfort.

Mrs M, in an attempt at soothing my disappointment, removed all the England flags from the car whilst I was otherwise distracted.

It was a caring thing to do but the car, once proud, patriotic, and positive, now looked sad and ordinary.

It seems we were not alone in wanting to remove any reminders of our defeat. The streets around our home, which were once a proud mass of red and white, are all now as plain as my old car.

We have just started a few days away at a holiday camp in Norfolk and I am hopeful that this will restore my otherwise positive attitude.

On arrival I became quickly aware that there were no St George's flags to be seen. I presume that the the holiday camp managers followed my wife's lead in hiding anything that might disappoint.

My hope now is that I might meet some French or Italian supporters: I will feel it is my duty to encourage them by offering the reminder that 'it's only a game'. We are fellow Europeans.

If I come across some Germans (not sure of it counts as Europe) I will feel the need to be magnanamous in defeat. Even if Lampard's goal had been allowed we still looked second rate compared with their skill.

For now I will pick up my vuvuzela and shout 'Come on Ghana!'

The instrument, that made every game sound like it was being played inside a hornets nest, was allowed because it is said to be a traditional instrument.

If we ever host the World Cup in this great nation we should employ our traditional
instruments and turn up at the stadium with a pair of spoons or a paper and comb. That would show 'em!

And if they complained about the noise we could remind them that 'it's only a game'.