I'm so jealous of the Dutch. The useless English football team failed to qualify for the European Championship, so they've all gone off to somewhere in Italy for Wayne Rooney's wedding. Meanwhile, proper footballers are fighting it out in Austria and Switzerland. I was in Amsterdam last Monday night, when the Dutch beat (in fact, battered) the current world champions, Italy. It was 3-0, and the Italians were lucky to get 0. Everywhere you looked in Amsterdam there was bright orange, carousing in the streets, happy drunken people (with none of the menace that would be associated with same in the U.K.) and flag-bedecked bicycles and mopeds going up and down the road. Brilliant, but tinged with bitter envy from the Brits in the bar.
I noticed an interesting sartorial difference between our two great nations when in thrall to international football competitions. In Eng-ger-land, everyone goes to the pub to watch a big match wearing the national team shirt. In Holland, everyone goes to the pub dressed in orange: orange dresses for the ladies (or jeans, T-shirts and hi-visibility jackets with bright orange stripes), orange shirts and pants for the men, but relatively few team shirts. Wearing the colours is paramount, wearing the official Nike £50 team shirt isn't.