How can you tell?
Simple. The Panini World Cup Album is here!
Yeah, I am one of those sad people who spends endless amounts of time (and unfortunately money) completing a sticker album for the World Cup. Been doing so for about five World Cups now, and it's just part of the whole World Cup celebration.
One of the silly things I tend to do is 'predict' who the winner of the World Cup will be, based on, of all silly things, whose team I complete first. Mind you, I am fully aware that quite a few of the players which are in the album will not be in the World Cup.
Worthless, to be honest.
But I won't take away from my fun. So, I shall take you on a step by step guide of how the groups will pan out (based on this weekend's sticker count):
Group A: Buoyed by hosting the first African World Cup, South Africa win a very tightly contested group, barely edging out France, who also pip Uruguay to qualify. Mexico discovers that African soil is unforgiving.
Group B: The Koreans prove that their third place in 2002 was no fluke, surprising everyone and topping group B, followed by Argentina. Greece prove tough opponents for everyone, and Nigeria disappoints once more.
Group C: England win the group by a mile! (the cards do not lie). Algeria surprise many by claiming second, while the US manages to edge out Slovenia out of the basement.
Group D: Serbia powers through as group leaders, with Ghana close seconds. Germany disappoints, while the Ausies finish last (sorry, the cards again. I merely interpret them).
Group E: Cameroon steal the hearts of World Cup fans by winning the group, with the Danish narrowly edging out a slumping Dutch (more internal problems again), while it's bottom for the Japanese.
Group F: If the Italians are involved, you know it will be boring, low-scoring, and odds are they will win. They do here, with Paraguay second, and New Zealand and Slovakia joint last.
Group G: El Grupo de la Muerte. The Group of Death. As predicted, Brazil make it first, but the big surprise is to see the Ivory Coast second. A shocked Portugal only barely manages to get past North Korea.
Group H: SHOCK! (Or maybe not) Honduras wins the group! Switzerland comes second! Chile third and Spain last (again, the cards in the album do not lie...sort of)
Last 16: A spirited South Africa take Argentina to the wire, before losing in the penalty round. England powers through a determined Ghana. Serbia steam roll Algeria. South Korea does the same to France. Cameroon sets African hearts racing by overcoming Paraguay. Brazil barely edges out Switzerland, and Italy barely survives a late Danish comeback. In a pulse racing game, Honduras edges out Ivory Coast.
Quarter finals: Argentina meets their makers in the form of England. Serbia edges out South Korea in the penalty round. Cameroon stuns the world by knocking out Brazil, and Honduras continues the trend by knocking out Italy.
Semi finals: England just manage to lose out to the darlings of the tournament, as a last minute winner give Cameroon the victory. Serbia finally ends the Honduran's dream World Cup.
3rd Place: In a good old fashioned slug-fest, England beats Honduras.
Final: A tense, vibrant final sees Cameroon become the first African World Cup champions!
And there you have it.
Remember, before you start criticising this, it is a prediction based on stickers in an album.
And if it does come true, just remember who told you so!
Now for some pics!
The Maize Morado is getting HUGE! Close to four feet high!
Orange Habanero pods. Yup, it has started again. :-)
The Orange Habanero (left) and the seedlings for this growing season already showing good growth.
The Madame Jeannette. It is growing seriously fast.
Black Nagas growing up strong!
One final item before I go (nursing a really awful headache at the moment). One of the blog readers (Hola Cote) wondered about learning about how to control 'pulgones' (aphids). This was one of those things I sought advise from when I started growing peppers. Best of that advise I can pass down is this: Pulgones are the sort of annoying pest you cannot eliminate 100%. Bet you can do is keep them under control. I pick them from the plants by hand using a brush with some tape on the top third of the stick. I carefully go all over the plant searching for the little annoying pests, and afterwards, I spray the plant with a little soap water solution. It is labour intensive, but you do get a bit of a sense of accomplishment after squashing the little pests.
Solo espera a que tengas que controlar caracoles y babosas. ;-P