Up until this week, I've always thought that Freddie Flintoff was probably a bit of an arse. Obviously, I had no facts to base this on. I don't understand cricket (it apparently isn't just rounders played in doctors' outfits) and I missed the whole Ashes win as I was pregnant and had my head down the loo for two months straight.
The only two things I knew about him were that a) his name isn't Freddie (I know, confusing; I assumed his brother Andrew looked eerily like him and had the same occupation), and b) that he got ratted on the top floor of a double-decker bus about two years ago.
Anyway, this weekend, Freddie really blew it and got pissed and capsized a pedalo in the Caribbean. He's been sacked as England vice- captain and he feels mortified. Now, anyone who knows anything about pedalos (strangely, I do as I once fancied a boy called Helmut who ran the most popular pedalo stand on Malaga beach - don't ask) knows that it's actually quite hard to capsize one. Sure, you can splash on one and fool around but to get it to actually spin upside down is quite a feat. He must have been plastered.
I've never totally got that sporting British drinking thing. Swigging beer till 3am, throwing up on your girlfriend, ranting a few hymns and then guzzling a lambs penis wrapped in pitta on the way home is just, in my world, no way to spend a Friday night.
Other than the fact he's the love of my life and blah blah whatever, I'm sure I married my husband because he has no interest in sport. Nothing, nada. You can tie dancing girls with matching nipple tassels on Ferraris and make them race round Silverstone while Thierry Henry tries to score penalties in a World Cup Final, staged on the moon, all at the same time, and he'd still opt to watch The Daily Show. No boozy-lunchtime-game-watching-benders for him.
At university, I once went on a date with a rowing captain. He took me to a pub with all his friends, they roared "RAAA" at unsuspecting strangers, they all peed on each other at midnight, and as he tried to take my bra off he got momentarily distracted and broke into song and chanted "Jerusalem" at my chest for an hour. You see, it all makes me feel slightly queasy.
Anyway, so that's the way I'd viewed Freddie. I was slightly sniffy about his raucous behaviour and I thought that if he HAD to have an extra shot of tequila, he should …