Things I learned on travels in France

1) Knowing a little geography helps!

While everyone was busy booking up places to stay in France with hugely inflated prices. Tournai (just over the border in Belgium) was closer to Lille than most (25 minutes) and cost peanuts.

2) We like to sing!

The French, the Belgians and pretty much every other side on the continent just don’t sing the same way as the home nations and our Irish cousins. I think this can be misunderstood as intimidating to some foreign police which may cause unnecessary friction at times. They just don’t get that ‘what’s it like to be a twat?’ is actually an affectionate chant!!

3) Our councils are shite!

The fanzone in Lille and Brussels were outstanding and yet incredibly simple. We’ve known for half a year that Wales will be at its first major tournament since 1958 and over this six months we have managed to organise turning the TV channel in Castle Gardens to BBC 1 for that match. Singleton park should have a huge screen with pop up bars at the side (in fact sod that; the beach should have it!!) and before you go on about the weather; it chucked it down in both Lille and Brussels and both places were packed; come on, sort it out for the World Cup!!

4) The English are alright! (when they win)

Controversial I know but the camaraderie between Welsh and English was outstanding and I left proud to say I came from the British Isles. Of course there were assholes but you get them everywhere but the incredibly vast majority were outstanding no matter what the media tell you!!

5)  Losing can be enjoyable

Don’t get me wrong; it was horrendous! Absolutely painfully hurtful, a complete feeling of saddening numbness!! But it was amazing! We got taken on a journey, like with a sad film and the un-segregated fanzone with twenty times more Saes than us just made it so much worse (which somehow made it more painful, more real and much better).