Benicasim cowboys go Gdansk
As I drew to the conclusion of Day 2 of my mammoth translation effort - paid work is becoming an increasingly rare thing, so can't turn anything down - I closed down Termium, linguee and a couple of other software packages and opened Facebook. There, in front of my eyes, were the beaming faces of Frédéric, my friend in Spain (last seen in the extra photo here) and his son Borja.
They were dressed in some garish outfit and holding a scarf that seemed to say Villarreal on it. Then it all came flooding back to me. It was the Europa Cup Final, and Villarreal were playing some obscure mid-table team from a remote island off the coast of Europe. I just had time to fire off a quick "Vamos Villarreal" (Borja was a goalkeeper there for a couple of the junior teams, before turning his back on football and opting for a life of academia) and go Dazn to see what the score was.
I arrived just in time for the end of the penalty shoot out. What a crappy way to lose a game that is - but the obscure mid-table team from a remote island off the coast of Europe gave it a good go. It was 8-8 when I arrived and 10-10 when I realized what was going to happen. It happened. And Villarreal became Europa League champions and the obscure mid-table team from a remote island off the coast of Europe weren't.
For a moment, I felt a bit sad for the obscure mid-table team from a remote island off the coast of Europe: they have a couple of good players, and Marcus Rashford is one of those people who you can't help but admire. Some of my friends are supporters of that team too, they even have tattoos and flags saying things like "Love the obscure mid-table team from a remote island off the coast of Europe, hate glass manufacturers" - which shows what a good sense of humour they have.
But then I remembered Spain and the long lunches I shared with Fred and his family in Barcelona, and I was happy for them again.