Sunday 27th June

Up early(ish) and catch a cab up to Midtown to watch England play Germany. Over a cranberry juice and coiffee, I witness England’s pathetic display of ineptitude and notice that the entire bar erupts with joy as plain-clothed German fans celebrate their inevitable goal. I shout at the flat screen at Lampard’s scandalous disallowed volley lands two kilometres over the line, but eventually hope Germany score a couple more so that no more excuses can be made and FA heads will roll.

We are crap. It’s embarrassing. Too much baggage, too many closeted lifestyles if you ask me. Fabio did not have the guts to drop Rooney, there was too much nervousness, no fire in the belly unlike the young German team or indeed, the Japanese. You pick a team that will win, not who earns the most or gets the most column inches in the tabloids.

New York Mardi Gras. It was like being in a Pet Shop Boys video.

With World Cup dreams quashed, I walk up 3rd Avenue for lunch with the legendary Mannie Burke to discuss Madeira. He is a fountain of knowledge and we enjoy lunch within the austere surroundings of the Pierpoint Morgan Museum (chosen because he was a great Madeira aficionado.) Life goes directly from discussing 1836 Leacock Bastardo to a gyrating black transgender with inflatable breasts thanks to New York’s annual Mardi Gras parade on 5th Avenue. Under the shadow of the Empire State Building the city is awash with rainbow flags, lesbytarians, “bears” in studded jockstraps cavorting on back of fire engines and a noticeable number of episcopal churches who welcome those of any sexual persuasaion into their flock.

Sodom and Gomorrah? Doesn’t exist, especially not today.

I watch for about 20 minutes as an ambassador for my gay brother.

I catch a taxi back to the hotel, the drive obviously piqued by 5th Avenue being closed by a gays and lesbians, drives as if he is racing in a Grand Prix whilst cussing anyone who gets in his way. I watch the Argentina game back at the hotel and in the evening  I walk through the air so warm and thick you could spread it on toast, to West Village for a soiree organized by the delightful Cheryl. Of course, West Village is where the Mardi Gras is winding up, so I have to weave my way through a veritable sea of canoodling lesbytarians to get to Braeburn restaurant, where we enjoy a wonderful dinner accompanied by Chateau Latour 1978, Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1970, Cos d’Estournel Blanc 2005 and Malescot St. Exupery 1990. I weave my way home through the sea of now inebriated lesbytarians under surveillance from the bemused NYPD and get home around 11.30.

Tomorrow: Baltimore.

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