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Let’s get one thing straight: I know that there are a lot of people who are very interested in the World Cup. I know some of those people personally. I may not agree with their life choices, but I am mostly tolerant of their World Cup obsession. (By “mostly”, I mean that my tolerance levels wane slightly when my parents are over for dinner and the World Cup fan refuses to eat in the dining room because they want to see Brazil beat whoever-the-hell they were even playing.)
The World Cup ruins date night
It does, however, occur to me that each and every time these football events – the World Cup, Champions League, Premiership, the Euros – come around, there are more than a few evenings, which may otherwise have been spent together, that I’m now having to fill with something else. (It’s pathetic, how confused I am when my cosy little routine is disrupted.)
Also, I have made the point before that whoever coined the term “football season” was entirely full of crap because football season has neither a beginning nor end. Like God, it is all-knowing and everywhere. Football is infinite.
So I thought that you, like me, may be at a bit of a loss as to what to fill all of this World Cup time with. And I came up with a few ideas.
1. Read some feminist books
I mean, honestly? That’s my answer to just about everything – but there is nothing more satisfying than killing someone’s post-World Cup boner by filling them in on the latest feminist theory you’ve just learned to argue really effectively. I’m kind of joking, in that World Cup fans can be feminists too (hashtag not all World Cup fans) – but honestly, I find it so helpful to read about one piece of feminist non-fiction for every three other books I read, mostly because, every time I do, I realise all of the things I’ve been wrongly assuming or misunderstanding. They make me want to be a better feminist. Right now, it’s Testosterone Rex*, which also happens to be the book choice for the How to be Sound book club! You can join by pledging $1 a month on Patreon. Or just read it, and let me know what you thought.
2. Listen to a podcast (or 100)
I recently wrote a blog post about a few podcasts I’ve really been enjoying, but since then I’ve added Casefile and Heaven’s Gate to that list. Casefile deals with a different case each week, and the most recent one outlined the murder of Elaine O’Hara in 2012 by Graham Dwyer, while Heaven’s Gate is, I think, an eight-parter about the Heaven’s Gate cult of the 1970s. Thirty-nine people ended up dying by suicide in the mid-1990s, in what was then (and probably still is now) the largest mass suicide in American history. And they all wore brand new Nikes. It’s just a nuts story and the podcast is really well done.
3. Watch Love Island
I’ve kind of surprised myself by not writing an entire post about Love Island yet. It’s not that I’m snobby about Love Island – and, in fact, it drives me a bit mad when people who clearly watch it, deny watching it. I think it’s just that it moves on so quickly, so by the time I’d got my thoughts down there would have been another recoupling and it would all be up in the air again. It is such incredibly easy watching. Sure, some might call it brainless drivel, but who cares? It appeals to all of my voyeuristic tendencies – and, if I watch a few episodes back to back, I almost feel like I’m in Majorca myself. (Bonus points if you also listen to the Love Island podcast, like I do.) P.S. I detest Adam. He is the type of guy who would get into a five-year relationship with someone, then leave her for someone else – and you’d then all find out he’d been doing the dirt the whole time. He’s awful.
4. Keep a weekly spending diary
It’s very time-consuming, writing down every single thing you spend your money on – let me tell you that. An excellent way to while away the time while the World Cup continues its inexorable race to the finish in the background. But you may just shock yourself with what you discover. I know I did! I’ve decided to make it a weekly feature on the site, so watch this space – next Sunday night I’ll be uploading number two. I’m frightened already.
5. Gather up all of your spare change
I mean, this is such a basic bitch way to spend your time – but I recently gathered up all of my spare change and brought it to the Coinstar machine in my local Tesco and sure, wasn’t I delighted with my €13? (I, clearly, raid the change jar far too often – I thought it would be way more but €1 or €2 coins rarely last the night in there.) The machine takes a 9.9% coin processing fee, which isn’t insignificant, but I guess it felt worth it to me because you don’t even need to count them. You just lob them in, it counts them up and Bob’s your uncle! While he was watching the World Cup, I was getting rich.
6. Go shopping in Kildare Village
So this is very 1950s housewife. “While your husband is watching the World Cup, why not go and do some discount shopping?” But I don’t care! I love Kildare Village. It’s where you get cut-price Le Creuset and Nike, there’s a really nice Le Pain Quotidien (although there’s also a new one on Molesworth St; they do a really delicious avocado on toast, which I’ll never get to taste because I’m not eating out again until I’m 60). The thing about designer outlets is, they’re still designer; the really swish stuff is still way out of my budget. But I like to totter around all the same – and my other half hates it, so this is perfect timing.
7. Go to see Hereditary 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
It’s really, really good. I haven’t seen a horror as good as Hereditary in as long as I can remember – and, for once, the trailer doesn’t give the entire plot of the film away. There are loads of good twists, Toni Collette is amazing in it and Gabriel Byrne plays her husband, for the love of God! Just go see it. Then let’s discuss.
8. Do something from Sarah’s list of Things to do in Dublin
I check in on this post on the regular – Sarah from I Come Undone compiles a list of the best things, both free and ticketed, to do in Dublin each and every week. The main thing tickling my fancy this week is a beginners’ ballet class in Coiscéim. I love the idea of trying ballet again; I’d say it’s great fun and it’s really good for improving muscle tone. That being said, I would definitely look ridiculous doing ballet. I’m off the hook for this week, anyway, as I’m teaching another class at Lift – but if it’s on next Wednesday, I may give it a go!
9. Take a vintage tea tour of Dublin
Okay, so now this is just a list of things I want to do, but this has been on my agenda for so long that I can’t quite believe I haven’t got around to it yet! There’s a bus tour you can take of Dublin on a little vintage bus (very twee Cath Kidston vibes) and have dotey afternoon tea while you’re at it. It’s exactly the kind of thing I’d love to do on a Saturday afternoon, especially if it’s a choice between that and sitting at home gazing at a green telly.
There you have it! Nine wonderful things to do instead of watching the World Cup. And listen – if you’re a World Cup fan, more power to you! Just don’t act like watching men kick a ball around a field is in any way morally superior to watching hot stupid people fight over each other and we’ll be all gravy.
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Main pic credit: Wilfred Iven via StockSnap