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Hello friends,

This email will land in your inbox at roughly the same time I touch down in Australia, so if you have any good jokes or comforting pics of baby animals to take the edge off the jet lag as I wander teary-eyed and exhausted around Sydney, they’ll be most welcome.

I’m writing this on Tuesday morning. I’m getting ready to leave, which involves a lot of careful thought. It would be quite helpful to have a calm head for this moment, so it’s great that I’m oscillating really gently and reasonably between searing anxiety and excessive excitement.

This week I was destined to be at my most highly-strung, but a less-than-relaxing trip to my village Co-op yesterday evening nearly tipped me over the edge. All I wanted to do was buy some British foods to give to my friend Fiona, who fucking loves Britain and also snacks and is kindly hosting me while I’m in Sydney.

We met in 2016, when we worked at the same school for a few months before she moved back to Straya and each time she’s visited since she’s brought me TimTams, which are basically Penguin bars which taste ‘better’ but have no jokes or drawings of penguins in novelty costumes. I’ll let you decide whether it’s worth the space in her suitcase.

The same may sadly be true of my efforts to return the favour since, as it turns out, absolutely nothing is sacred. We all love the way that you can go to every corner of the globe and speak English but when it comes to bringing unique gifts to pals who live in countries we colonised, it becomes the source of some stress, as my search history will attest.
The answer to literally all of these questions is yes.

Yes, I’m told you can even buy a Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer in your local Woolworths or Coles Down Under.

When I saw a lorry bearing those iconic red and gold stripes on the A580 between Liverpool and St Helens on our Gary Speed fundraising walk in June, reader, I fangirled. But what I in good faith believed to be a twee offshoot of bonny Scotland I now understand to be a grim symbol of globalisation.
A Tunnocks lorry in the wild
Look at it. On its way to everywhere. Don't be fooled by its nostalgic geometric design. Merseyside was but a pit stop on the long Tunnock's journey to world domination.

Anyway, if you can believe it, this capitalist hellscape we’re all rolling around in wasn’t the most pressing concern of my Monday night trip to the Co-op.

Remember how great it is when England are competing in a major tournament and you go to the nearest shop to buy emergency bog roll and there’s a cardboard figure of Raheem Sterling personally welcoming you into the store, affixed to a stack of Budweiser crates? Exciting, isn’t it?

Well, this was the only merest whiff of a hint that something vaguely football-related is happening in a week’s time.
A 9 pack of Warburton's crumpets
Thank you, Warburtons. It’s kind of cute. And really, you didn’t need to make any further reference to why these crumpets are adorned with footballs 😉 No need 😉 If you know, you know 😉

Where is the Women’s World Cup?

Big Tesco knows. The one in Bar Hill is no less than 100,000 square feet but they still generously found a wittle bit of space for these striking designs which I don’t need to tell you are available EXCLUSIVELY in the women’s section. Yawn.
Some feeble World Cup t shirt designs
No, fair enough I guess, most brands are too tired from a hard month’s virtue-signalling to actually get behind some queer people. Personal gripes aside, it’s their loss, too. In the summer of 2018 I surrendered a high percentage of my student loan to the High Kingsdown Co-op when they celebrated the World Cup with a two pizzas and four Budweiser for £5 deal. Those were the days.

The fridge of my village Co-op right now. Just imagine how pissed I’d be getting tonight if any single one of these beers had a photo of Lucy Bronze’s face on it. It doesn’t bear thinking about.
A disappointing fridge of beers
One business who knows well the commercial value of Lucy Bronze is Marks and Spencers, whose stylist had the good sense to dress her majestic rig in a waistcoat for England’s customary suit shoot before jetting off to Australia, causing one fan to lead a raft of thirsty Instagram comments with ‘I want Lucy to crush me with her forearms, pass it on’.
Lucy Bronze with guns to make you cry
Hard to disagree.

In more wholesome news, I’d like to personally congratulate whoever was running M&S’s promotional shoot for managing, in both a figurative and literal sense, to coax Lauren James out of her hoodie.
Lauren James is moving her hips
Watch her go!

That’s enough poring over the Lionesses for one day (probably). I should go and rest. This weekend I’m attending the Football Writers’ Festival. I’ll be meeting footie fans from lots of different countries, and so will likely have to re-run the same conversation about how the Lionesses’ hopes have faded so fast a few times and I’d like to be able to do so without bursting into tears from fatigue.

I hope you’re getting excited for the World Cup. I’ll be in touch again really soon!

Flora xxx
Georgia Stanway on her way to Australia with jet lag glasses
Don't forget you can just hit reply to say hi 👋 or let me know which team is going to win the World Cup or emotionally decompress from seeing Katie McCabe interacting with a baby on Ireland's Instagram story. I got you.

Also, if you're having fun, pass me on to your pals please! Because I'm really bad at sitting still and I had to do that for more than 24 hours so I could get out here to spawn these newsletters for y'all. Think about THAT.

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