Across the land there will be the sound of loud groans as the World Cup kicks off on 11 June in South Africa. And no, they won't be groans as England miss another penalty.
These will be the groans of non-footballing fans faced with four long weeks of commentary, replays and discussions about England's performance, and that's just from their nearest and dearest.So what's a football adverse person to do? We've come up with a list of alternative activities to help stave off boredom and to put the fun back into June.
- Stage your own sports day. There is something perverse about the couch potato-like life many sports fans adopt at a time of the year that's perfect for... well, getting out and playing some sport. So ignore those shouting at the TV screen and stage your own sports day with these fun kits. Obviously you'll need a few bodies and some space but the parks will be empty and there are bound to be some like-minded individuals in your social circle.
- Get cooking. If you can't entice anyone away from the screen, it doesn't mean you have to sit there too. Get cooking and you'll be ensuring the footie fans in your family are at least munching on something healthy. The Hairy Bikers have some great ideas.
- Go camping. Possibly a bit extreme but an ideal way to avoid the football hype if you choose a pitch without electric hook-up. Unfortunately you may have to endure the cheers and boos of fellow campers who didn't and brought their portable TVs along too.
- Go for a picnic. Visit a National Trust property, head off to a spot by a river, go anywhere but just pack up some food, a rug and the kids and get outside to enjoy our fleeting summer.
- Be a tourist. Take the opportunity to visit all those tourist attractions that you've previously avoided on account of the crowds. However this needs careful planning to ensure it coincides with England's matches.
- Stage your own board games tournament. If the weather is a bit grim set up a board games tournament and challenge the family to channel some of that competitive spirit in trying to beat you and each other at a number of different games. The winner's trophy we favour in our house is a large double chocolate muffin.
- Visit the library. This will be the perfect time to pick up all those books that have always been previously taken and it means your children will get choice pickings too, as long as they avoid the football section.
- Film your family. Dust off your camcorder and produce your own, far more entertaining television viewing by filming your loved ones. You can get them all to stage a show (which will take up loads of time), perform for the camera (although this might involve football and endless keepie-uppie) or perhaps video them doing one of the activities listed above. Either way, come winter you'll have a wonderful memento of summer 2010 and much more interesting than memories of missed goals and blind refs.
- Enjoy your garden: Set up activities that positively invite you to get outside. A hammock, reclining deck chairs, swing seats, ice-drinks to hand, a good book, a paddling pool for the children and a freezer full of lollies will make a wonderful alternative to sitting inside with the curtains closed to keep the glare off the television.
- Make a baby. Possibly a little drastic, but if you don't want to create your own football team then practise making a baby.