Ed’s comment – July

Disappointment sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.

That’s the dictionary definition, but being reminded what it means is no help in dealing with the emotion itself. Despite a record number of people having received their vaccinations, Freedom Day and the Covid restrictions being lifted on June 21st has been delayed, due to the impact of the latest variant. Data not dates, so the roadmap now has a diversion taking us on a round journey of another few weeks to enable as many of the eligible population to be vaccinated as possible. Most restrictions still remain in place.

If that wasn’t enough of an emotional roller coaster, we might have to prepare ourselves for more massive and traditional disappointment. Traditional? We have learned over many years to cope with the specific disappointment of our national football team qualifying for international competitions and then failing at different points. We haven’t won a major tournament since the World Cup of 1966. As for the European Cup, the best most recent ‘success’ was thirty years later in 1996, when England reached the semi-final. They didn’t even have to qualify as they were the hosts, but lost to Germany on penalties – the famous time Gareth Southgate missed his spot-kick. Fate has given him a chance to make amends as manager. There’s a man who knows how to cope with disappointment.

The lead up to these competitions is tremendous. Sales of flags shoot up, big ones for the house, small ones for the car. Sales of drink go up. An interesting fact is that the UK is the only country in the whole of Europe which saw sales of alcohol rise during Covid restrictions and the lockdown, with all other continental countries seeing their sales go down! Sales of national football shirts, pennants and banners go up too. All with the heightened anticipation of a good tournament, success and, dare to dream, final victory. The supermarkets win, sports shops win, Off Licenses and the pubs that are left win. Hopefully England will win too, but in case, here is a little Bugle guide to coping with, and getting over, disappointment, if, as history has proved, we need it.

1. Face the truth of the situation: Be honest, we haven’t won anything since 1966, is this going to be any different? Maybe, it’s just a good start!
2. Allow yourself to mourn a lost dream: Yes, it would have been brilliant, joyous, amazing, but like all dreams, they end and we wake up to the real world!
3. Don’t feel like a victim: It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t play, you’re not the manager, you shouted at the TV, but no-one listened!
4. Check if your expectations were realistic: Was this time going to be very different? Is our national team as good as or better than 1966?

However, at this moment let’s stay optimistic and hopeful for a brilliant run. If you want success and don’t want to be disappointed, stick with our very own Bildeston Rangers, a team that got through to a final, played so well and came so close to the ultimate victory in a major competition.

Read the latest July edition of the Bugle online.