Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Father’s Day memories of mine

And for the day that’s in it… Father’s Day memories of mine.

It’s funny what you remember from your childhood days but the European Championships from 45 years ago springs to mind.

And not just because it was the first Euros I remember watching.

Czech this out

On the King Charles Bridge in Prague

Or that it gave rise to the Panenka when Antonin Panenka chipped Sepp Maier for the decisive penalty in sudden death.

The first occasion when a competition was settled thus, and probably the last time the Germans missed one!

Sport was our thing Dad and I.

As it is for generations of men and their sons, and always the go-to subject for me and The Son and Heir.

A different Europe

Dad and lad: And look at that fancy footwork

But what set the 1976 Championships between West Germany and Czechoslovakia apart was that it was Father’s Day.

The fact that neither of those countries exist any more shows you just how long ago it was.

A 10-year-old at the time, I was just exploring one of the other great passions in my life (girls were to come later) – history.

For the people of the lands of East Germany and Czechoslovakia it is a relief that those countries have been consigned to history.

But it is refreshing too that Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia still mark that period of their history.

A new Europe

Wunderbar: With Ingrid in Dresden

Which I have seen first hand in east, Dresden, and west Germany, Hamburg..

Where our host Ingrid reminded us that when we try to airbrush history we condemn ourselves to repeat it.

While in Prague Martina gave a US family, with brattish kids, a history lesson they’ll never forget in the Astronomical Clock.

Now you’re smarter than me (not hard) if you’ve worked out who will play in this year’s final.

And no, I don’t know if Germany and the Czech Republic could meet in the final.

They did in the last game of Euro 1996 when Germany got some revenge.

And now for Slovakia

With Katarina in Bohemian Switzerland in the Czech Republic

They might, of course, meet Slovakia a pleasure still awaiting me.

Although I have enjoyed making a friend of Slovakian Katarina, who heads the Czech Tourism team in London.

We, my Dear Old Dad and I, loved spending two hours in the company of the Germans, Czechs and Slovaks 45 years ago.

When we munched on a quarter of midget gems (Scottish for bag of boiled sweets) which I’d bought him.

A treasure trove of memories

Life is just a bowl of cherries: Jim Snr

I made him find them in a treasure hunt around his usual places in the house.

So however you mark the day and I’m not expecting much, just a trip to the Caribbean, then savour them.

Just as I have with my Father’s Day memories of mine.

 

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