Monday, June 14
"Hello Justin? We will begin the radio interview after about twenty minutes if that is OK."
It is 8am and I have just woken up with a shocking hangover. I am due to be interviewed live on the BBC Leicester breakfast show. When I agreed to doing the interview a few days ago I hadn't factored in a night of drinking with a gang of forlorn drunken Aussies and crashing in bed about four hours before the BBC called.
It is a beautiful Durban morning, with birdsong filling the air. As I wait for the interview to begin I can hear the weather report for Hinckley and Uppingham going out live to the good folk of Leicestershire. It's all a bit strange first thing on a monday morning, a dead snake lay on the road, as I pace up and down outside Smith's Cottages trying to prepare myself so I don't sound hungover on the radio.
The interview seems to go very well with BBC Leicester kindly encouraging their listeners to send in football shirts to the studio so that they can become part of 'the shirt'.
The rest of the day looks like it's going to be a write off. I can't remember the last time I felt this tired and spaced out. It's been an intense last few days and all I feel like doing is being as lazy as possible and enjoying the great hospitality of Gary, Keith and their family.
My phone doesn't stop ringing all day with a number of TV companies and newspapers getting in touch about The Shirt's arrival in Cape Town today. It appears to be creating quite a buzz. Even South Africa's premier TV channel, SABC, are on the case requesting that they can film the shirt being erected at Cool Britannia on tuesday.
With Bjorn and Marianne flying down to Cape Town from Joburg, Robin and I were planning to bus it down to Port Elizabeth, grab a ticket for the Portugal v Ivory Coast game, and then catch another bus down to Cape Town early morning on wednesday. But having spoken to several backpackers staying at Smith's Cottages, who have travelled up the coast, it seems like we seriously underestimated the travel distances involved. Plan B is a direct flight from Durban to Cape Town on wednesday afternoon, a day of watching football at the cottages today and several hours of blogging and media work on tuesday in Durban.
Netherlands ease past Denmark; Japan look much better than Cameroon; a gang of twenty of us cheer on Paraguay in unison against Italy in the back yard bar. We haven't left the cottages all day, but it has been a perfect home-from-home recuperation, ready for the madness to begin all over again in the coming days.