If your other half is obsessed with the so-called “beautiful game,” there are ways to avoid staring hollow-eyed at the TV for an hour and a half.
This World Cup has dragged on a bit, hasn’t it? Football’s not for everyone, and if you’re stuck with someone who watches every single match, this quadrennial tournament can feel like – well, like four years!
But you don’t have to mope around for days on end. There are other great ways to tide away 90 minutes.
Explore the World and the Skies Above
Apparently, São Paulo is a real place. Who knew?!
Okay, so I knew too, but I know very little else about it. That’s one good thing about the World Cup: it expands our horizons. Football really is played on an international scale, and if seeing all those people from all those countries united in playing a game inspires you to explore the world a bit, that’s surely a good thing.
And you don’t have to clock up some serious air-miles either. The obvious place to turn to is Google Earth. The iPad app essentially turns the world into your backyard! Aside from simply gazing at Times Square for a few good minutes, you can also track the sunlight turning night into day across continents, and learn about the beautiful constellations decorating the sky.
But one of the greatest resources on the Web, without doubt, is National Geographic. Their monthly magazines are incredible and their website reflects the astonishing amount of work they put into observing, documenting, preserving and enjoying the planet. Let’s take a look at São Paulo, for example — eye-opening pictures aplenty, and features that take you into the day-to-day lives of the Brazilian people.
You will have to create an account if you do feel like exploring for 90-odd minutes, but it’s free and you’re likely to spend more than just a sole football match discovering what lies beyond the seas.
Read Classic Tales Online
Another great way of exploring the universe is through stories. There’s a strong case to be argued that stories make us human. Fortunately, the Internet is rife with great storytelling (and, admittedly, some bad too!), whether you’re after fiction or non-fiction.
Notably, there are several sites where you can read the classics – completely free. Might I suggest H.G. Wells The Time Machine, or one of his short story compilations, like The Door in the Wall? Tales that have become deeply ingrained in our society can be read over at the Library of Congress’ Classic Books; these include Dracula, Æsop’s Fables and Pinocchio. Or if you’re in the mood for a bit of bone-chilling poetry, try The Raven.
And don’t forget to check out these five fantastic short stories.
If you’re inspired by football (but just can’t get deeply invested in it if your country’s now out), you could read a couple of stories at Motivation 4 Athletes. Try heading to your favourite author’s website too: they often upload PDF previews of their work alongside a regular blog. Michael Morpurgo’s Cool! may be primarily targeted at younger readers but no matter what age you are, it’s a brilliantly heart-breaking tale of a footie-loving boy in a coma. Read a sneak peek and head over to Amazon; you won’t regret it.
Update Your Social Network Sites
Social networking eats up the hours with ease. I could’ve written three War and Peace-length novels with the time I spent on Twitter. You can use it to your advantage though.
90 minutes is a great amount of time to polish your social networking.
LinkedIn, particularly, could benefit from an hour-and-a-half of finesse. It’s mainly used as a business network and can help you find new contacts or new jobs. If don’t have a LinkedIn account, we have some tips to get you started. If you want to polish your profile, we’ve got a few pointers to make your profile irresistable. In fact, we published an entire guide on LinkedIn!
Otherwise, you could revisit your Facebook profile and make sure you’re not tagged in any embarrassing photos or status updates (handy hint: everyone is tagged in something embarrassing). Twitter’s hashtags (because no one actually uses Facebook’s ones, do they?) can be utilised to get you further followers: moaning about the football can even gain you new friends. Here’s all you need to know about Twitter hashtags.
I know. It’s a depressing word, isn’t it?
It’s easy to criticise players who spend 90 minutes (plus a break during which coaches shout angrily at them for being rubbish in defence) running up and down a huge pitch; but I got down on my knees to search for batteries in the cupboard and subsequently struggled to get up again. Mind you, I’m not paid millions, and it is a weekend.
Sitting at the computer all day isn’t the healthiest of activities: any office worker can attest to that. However, it could help you find your nearest sports centre.
Spogo searches for your nearest place to exercise in the UK and you can filter results to a specific sport too. There are a few blindspots, unfortunately; nonetheless, it’s a handy tool.
90 minutes can whizz by. Trust us. Don’t you dare turn to Candy Crush.
And don’t worry. The World Cup is nearly over. Honest.
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