Everyone else seems to be having more fun then me at the moment: Catheryn is busy inviting people to the launch of Victoria and Lucinda's Flavour of the Month, and Rebecca is either reading, or researching charity shops or things music related (more on the latter another time).
But fortunately I have football to keep me going. I am thoroughly enjoying the 2008 European Championship and not solely because England aren't in it. It has now got to the quarter finals stage, and the matches are getting much more difficult to predict (not that anyone who watched the Czech Republic/Turkey game would claim that the group matches were exactly predictable). To help, I have turned, as I often (always) do, to books.
I have developed a system: literary five a side. Five 20th century (otherwise it gets too difficult) authors from each country in question are pitted against each other and then a judgement is made (by me) as to who would win. Marion Boyars authors will feature prominently of course - thank god that the French are out, that would have made for some very difficult decisions.
So tonight it's Germany vs Portugal.
Peter Weiss (striker)
Gunter Grass(who was trained rather energetically in his youth)
Arno Schmidt (who has oddly popped into my life fairly frequently of late. Not only did a nice man called Dirk order a copy of The Egghead Republic for a student prize giving but then the next day he appeared in a completely unrelated book that I was reading. In the book he went to visit James Joyce. Joyce was rude, apparently. After such a strong coincidence, I've got to play him.)
Erich Maria Remarque (to play in goal)
Fernando Pessoa (who is a very useful pick because he can play in a number of different positions)
Eugenio de Andrade (in goal)
José Cardoso Pires
Mariela Gabriela Llansol
Right, so how does this pan out? They're certainly both brilliant sides, I defy any team not to score a few goals with the creative talent of Saramago and Pessoa in the team. But then, Pessoa, in spite of his versatility, has been known to be fairly anonymous for long periods... I'm not that familiar with the final three players although I'm assured that on their day they can be as good as anyone. The big question for Portugal is whether they'd simply be a collection of great players or a great team.
For Germany on the other hand, I suspect that their teamwork would be their strength. With the two Nobel Prize winners, Böll and Grass, in the engine room they would not want for energy, and Weiss and Schmidt, with their unusual playing styles, would be a handful for any defender. There might be question marks about the goalkeeper, does he have the stomach for a fight (sorry)?
Nevertheless, Kit's literary predictor says that in spite of a brace from Saramago, Germany prevail 3-2.
Tonight we shall see if I'm right...