Everyone has guilty secrets.
One of mine is that I quite like the Cranberries, especially the voice of Dolores O’Riordan. I’m hardly alone, even at my advanced years; when my elder daughter was at Manchester Uni, the student mag announced that the release of their second album was time for undergrads to stop listening. Parents had latched on, the writer said, and the band was from now on uncool.
Dolores’s voice was not available when the band was due to play along the road from me in Nice earlier this year. La Chanteuse was malade, the announcement said. She had a throat infection.
Well, they’re back to fulfill the date. And without realising there’d be a clash with England’s second game – the Cranberries would hardly care about these things, thanks to the hand of Thierry – I booked tickets.
Floods permitting, then, I’ll be there tonight. I’m a bit annoyed, but no more than that. Missing an England game, even one that is quite important, simply doesn’t have the same traumatic impact as missing a Sunderland match.
Pete Sixsmith, who believes watching Black Lace in concert might have the edge on some of the fare we’ve been served up so far from South Africa, will be writing about the game. Exactly when Salut! Sunderland will get round to posting his thoughts, since Pete has not yet mastered the art of doing it himself, is not yet clear.
I am pleased with the extent and quality of our World Cup coverage to date. That is to a large degree due to the efforts and skills of Pete, Luke Harvey, Jeremy Robson, Bill Taylor and Rob Hutchison, plus the kindnesses of others. I hope readers have enjoyed what they have found here.
Standards may lapse this coming weekend, since I will not be in front of a screen long enough to keep up the rate of postings we’ve managed so far, and I must therefore apologise of behalf of the Cranberries, and Italy (to which I will be making quick visit afterwards) for the inconvenience and disappointment likely to be caused.
Among the features to look out for when normal service resumes is a third World Cup Who Are You?, with a Slovenian ex-player, who knows several of his country’s squad, already lined up to answer our questions.
But yes, in the meantime, come on England.
A slighty amended version of this posting appears at the main Salut! site.