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[Blog] Island In The Sun - Paranoid Betting Tips for Euro 2012
Written by SE1blue on Tuesday, 5th Jun 2012 11:14

I''m writing this article as I lie on a beach on the small island of Kea, about an hour boat ride east of Athens.

My Greek partner and her family have just started another of those Mediterranean 'the best way to do X is' conversations that sounds like an argument but is really only an excuse to wave your arms, tut in an over-exaggerated way and pretend you know best.

I never join in as I can't speak Greek and, if I'm honest, these kind of discussions are no place for a sunburnt white man with underlying anxiety issues and a fear of raised voices. 

And there are moments when I wonder if they're talking about me...

Greek 1: Have you sorted the insurance policy?
Greek 2: Yes. We kill the Englishman tonight.
Greek 3: It'll look like an accident. 
Greek 4: Misadventure with fruit!
Greek 1: No! We stick to the plan. 
Greek 2: In his sleep.
Greek 3: A burglary.
Greek 4: Just one banana?
Greek 1: I've cut a spare key.
Greek 2: I have the mask and torch.
Greek 3: I got the gun.
Greek 4: I'm off to the supermarket.

I hope this is just paranoia as I lick a Cornetto.

I find myself enjoying the sun on a large towel  in Greece, after what's been a very difficult year for the family having a heated discussion  beside me.

My partner's mum was diagnosed with cancer in July 2010 and passed away in March 2012. We came here a week ago to scatter her ashes in the Ionian Sea. 

I can't write anything new about cancer and I'm sure everyone on TWTD has either known or knows someone with cancer. If its the latter, have a virtual hug from me, I know what you're going through.

So, last Friday we drove to a very secluded beach to say our final goodbyes to Mina. 

The sun was blazing as I climbed down the really, really steep rock face towards the beach trying to ignore the 50ft drop. I was wearing just a pair of swimming shorts, flip-flops and that face I usually save for roller-coasters, confined spaces, tall buildings, job interviews, big dogs, dentist appointments, aeroplane take-offs,  public transport, hairy spiders, gymnasiums, conversations with Greek men in Speedos and magic shows. You get the idea.

But this was one occasion where fear would not win. Mina fought cancer with incredible strength and dignity, so I was not going to be bested by a few rocks and my fear of heights.

Twenty minutes later Mina's ashes were scattered into the sea and we watched them float away with the tide. It was a beautiful, touching moment and another lovely memory to hold onto of Mina. Now we only have memories left, but when you lose a loved one, the memories are the best things that you keep.

The rest of our stay here has been filled with ice cream, Mythos and trying not to lose the rental car deposit on a stray goat. 

However, I think the family have now decided on the best way to kill an Englishman, so I'll leave you with my Euro 2012 predictions:

Winners: Germany
Runners Up: Spain
Tournament top scorer: Podolski
England will draw their first two group games and win the last one, only to exit in the next round.




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BlueFinn added 14:34 - Jun 5
There will be three straight goalless draws for England and after that Socrates, Plato,Homer and Aristotle will discuss whether nought is better than thought.
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Dozzells_Bobblehat added 17:18 - Jun 5
Dont worry, If you dont come back , we will phone the police. Great blog. Spain to win, Germany runners up.
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Garv added 02:36 - Jun 6
Great blog once again. Sorry to hear about the loss in the family.

Always holiday around Greece so it was nice to picture the scene of the beach/hills/sea in my head. Thanks for that.

Do you drive when you're there? I don't know how anyone does it with those cliffs, especially people only on holiday or whatever.

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Garv added 02:36 - Jun 6
Great blog once again. Sorry to hear about the loss in the family.

Always holiday around Greece so it was nice to picture the scene of the beach/hills/sea in my head. Thanks for that.

Do you drive when you're there? I don't know how anyone does it with those cliffs, especially people only on holiday or whatever.

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Garv added 02:40 - Jun 6
For the Euros...I want to say Spain but without Villa maybe they will struggle.

Germany? Mmm, quite possibly. Holland?

Can see a surprise somewhere along the way.

England to go out in the quarters. Standard.
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sonian_blue added 10:33 - Jun 6
Sympathy with the loss, great blog as ever and look forward to your weekly views/tips next season?
Germany or France to win, with many draws during the group stages, I know you target the draw doubles.
Fill your boots my friend and give those bookie chaps a beating.
Be lucky.
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SE1blue added 19:16 - Jun 7
Thanks for comments guys.

Garv... I refuse to drive as the roads in Greece is akin to a human version of Mario Kart. My other half drives and I think my Greek swear words knowledge is complete.

Sonian...I've got the opening game as a draw...fingers crossed.

DB...unless I'm about to meet my sticky end at an ice cream parlour I should be ok, but thanks!!!
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Garv added 02:02 - Jun 9
I don't blame you!
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TimmyH added 23:03 - Jun 21
Yeah nice blog, sad about your loss - I too regularly go to Rhodes/Crete so I can picture the scene. I think you've got the finalists correct but I believe Germany will win.
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