Tuesday July 8
A nasty bout of conjunctivitis has grounded me and prevented me from going to the semi-final in Belo Horizonte, but I am hoping to be fit for the final on Sunday.
As it turns out, I am not sorry I wasn’t in the stadium to see Brazil humbled 7-1 by Germany.
Symbolically, it is raining heavily in usually sunny Rio as a nation’s hopes are extinguished.
What had begun as a party is now a damp let down.
The sound of police helicopters circling the sky suggest the authorities are worried that the mood might turn ugly.
But, on this night, people seem to be too stunned about what they have just seen on the football pitch to think of much else. A total of seven arrests for violence along the Copacabana is quite mild considering the circumstances, although there are reports of more widespread trouble in Sao Paulo.
Thursday July 10
Two days after the Nightmare of Belo Horizonte, Brazil is getting used to being out of its own World Cup.
But every Brazilian you meet fervently hopes that Germany beats their bitter rivals Argentina in the Final.
I am preparing for the match at the Maracana after an improvement in my vision (the consultant I saw prescribed some drops which seem to be working but it cost me £100 – eye-watering in itself!).
It’s now time to reflect on the last seven weeks which has taken me from Miami to Rio and to Manaus, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Fortaleza in between.
The country has some stunning sights.
Brazil has massive potential but huge wealth and abject poverty stand separated by a mere few streets.
It’s been hairy, scary (don’t ever drive in Brazil unless you must) and great fun.
It was a privilege to be so close to the England team even though it ended so disappointingly on the pitch.
And at least I made some new friends.
I am due home by the middle of next week and am longing to get back to Scarborough. You know, I really need a nice cup of tea.
For those who have read my rantings over the past few weeks, thank you for putting up with me.