– Bluestone Room it was for England v Sweden at 7am. After negociating Auckland’s parking spots, we were in for 6.50am to order a ‘Beckham Big Breakfast’, an ‘Ericsson 4-4-2 omelet’, and a bottomless cup of warm brown liquid proffered under the description ‘coffee’. It was halftime before I saw my food, but otherwise they did an OK job, and no dodgy DJs at this hour. It’s fascinating to see people’s approach for these early games, from important looking guys in suits drinking pints, to backpacker types drinking pints like it was 7 in the evening. It’s hardly the town square in Hamburg, but it’s nice to watch with a crowd.
– This morning I got a text at 2.30am from a dodgy England fan in The Paddington, telling me he was tucking into his first Stella. Apparently there were 150 people there drinking piss at 3.00am of a Monday, and the atmosphere was electric. That is good action, and looks to be the nominated venue for England v Portugal – but I’ve got my own football to play the next day! Our forefathers died in the war so we can have these dilemmas.