Now I can watch the World Cup without worrying. My team are out with the usual bad luck, can’t take penalties, don’t seem to believe they can win attitude which usually dogs an English football team. Mind you, I wouldn’t want to be C Ronaldo when he steps out to play for Man Utd this year-I suspect he will be heckled from coast to coast for his behaviour on the field.

I’ve always had a soft spot for dear old Becks-despite Mr Kate’s constant heckling that he had to come off the pitch because someone touched his hair. Becks was born about a mile and a half down the road from where I grew up. I could’ve babysat him.

Watching England and telling my son that I thought they would lose brought up a very interesting difference in the English and American mindset.My kids don’t really remember much about England and have grown up with a Californian view of life which brims with optimism and self-belief. I, of course carry the legacy of an old knackered country which has done everything and come out believing the worst. My son thinks I always look on the dark side and I think he might have a point, even if it is just about football.

Self-belief-how can an English team ever find that ability to transcend their national pessimistic streak and believe? Maybe it’s time to send a few Californians over there…

On to cheerier news. Mr Kate is back from China. He even managed to bring some decent chocolates back with him this time. We still have a beautiful gold box of Chinese premier chocolate that he brought back about 6 months ago that no one will eat. Now in a house with s teenage boys and me that’s saying how bad it was.

I got some very nice bookmarks for Planet Mail from Printing For Less who are based in Montana. I had a very interesting conversation with them about Montana, and England and job satisfaction which made me want to visit Montana and see why someone would give up his well paid computer job just to return home.

Planet Mail comes out on Wednesday and I’m looking forward to it. I’m especially proud of this one because I wrote it when I was in the worst writing slump I’ve ever had. I decided to write something fun and not edit it as I wrote-just keep writing until I got to the end which at that point was very liberating. Of course, I had a lot of revising to do later and it’s not a method I would always choose but it got me through that slump.

I have to thank Maria G for reading PM and pointing out some major plot problems, my mentor Julia Templeton for her helpful comments and lastly Pam Trader who helped me write, well wrote, the blurb. I’m so lucky to have such great supporters around me. Of course I’m sure you’ve already guessed that that’s Mr Kate on the cover…