World Cup Fever is upon us here in England in a big way. It's almost as if it happens every four years.
Each time, when England qualify that is, there's an air of optimism, a feeling that this could be the one, well the second I suppose. But this year there's something different about the optimism. It's an optimism that's more tangible and realistic than ever before. England go into the finals as one of the leading contenders and, with Fabio Capello in charge, there's a confidence in the team that the nation has lacked for so long.
Second generation types like myself must feel a zillion different ways, perhaps even two zillion. For me there's an immense pride in my Britishness and my support of England. I never consider myself English but Sri Lankan and British. My feeling is that the Enlish thing is about the bloodline and heritage and that's where I'm Sri Lankan.
Will I be supporting Engand?
Too fucking right will I.
Yesterday I bought my St George's flag which is now proudly flying from my car. Every other car here, whether driven by black, white, brown or yellow sports a St George's flag, with the occasional stray vehicle flying a dodgy foreign one.
There's something about the whole thing that makes me proud of the cosmopolitan nature of England. Hardly anyone looks at a person's colour and questions their credentials, their right to support the team and fly the flag. I heard a rumour that there's some brown fellow in Borehamwood wondering the streets wearing a sarong with the St George's cross on it!
I've been wondering how it would work if someone printed up a load of dual flags, Sri Lankan on one side and St George's on the other. I'd buy one immediately and fly it with one hundred per cent pride. Let's run it up the flagpole and see who salutes shall we?
Good luck England!