Sometimes being English can be hard, especially when living abroad (cos there's always someone to apologise to). But occasionally, the sons of Albion can stick out their chests (and stiff upper lips and beer-bellies) in pride without guilt. That's the joy of beating Australia at cricket.
To illustrate, here are some messages from delirious Englishmen spread around the nations, as found on various ball-by-ball commentaries:
John Smith: I am an Englishman living in China…. oh what joy, what bliss just to hear the deafening silence and to read the front page of the Aussie papers in the coming days………
Rod: I'm following the action from Sabah in Malaysia, thats the former British North Borneo for those who don't know. I keep updating every 5 minutes on my phone, so its hard to get much work done.
Dale from Billericay, living in Austin Texas: Well, I don't know which demolition job was more thorough – the English bowling attack or the thirteen family members that we had round for Christmas Dinner!
Geoff Purdy: I am sitting on an oil rig in the Arabian gulf and until this morning bemoaning my lot about having to fly out here on the 23rd of Dec and missing Xmas. Don't care now.
Dave Foster: I'm an Englishman in Jakarta. Just waiting til we get the lead and then go and meet some of my Oz friends(?) down the pub and give them some stick.
Chris West: Spending Christmas in Maui where 99.99% of the population doesn't have a clue what's going on just 3 time zones away at MCG. Come on England!
Stuart Cornberg, ex-Brummie in Israel: Woke up, looked over at Jerusalem heard the score and went back to bed. My best dreams were not as good as this, checked all possible ways to ensure that that I was alive.
Melanie Clegg: I'm tired, I'm living in a foreign country, and I'm beginning to lose my grasp of the English language. Here I sit, nearly as far north as you can get in Norway, diligently following OBO while I repair dog harnesses. Difficult to share either joy or despair with a Norwegian, when they don't have the faintest idea about cricket. Here it's all handball. Why make a sport out of a foul?
John Butler: Christmas day in New Delhi: tried Indian port – absolutely disgusting. Tasted like off Vimto. Crawled to the TV at five holding off the urge to vomit – a few hours later I've made the perfect poached eggs. Deep saucepan, water simmering, splash of vinegar, spin the water, as the vortex slows gently drop the egg in, leave for three minutes then pick it out with a spatula and check white is hard yolk is soft. Slam it on toast cracked pepper, a grating of cheese and a generous helping of Aussie wickets. Absolutely divine.
Ed, Essex: Let's face it cricket fans, the best present at Christmas comes right at the end of the day and is most certainly the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
Richard: Just finished Christmas dinner here in the Cayman Islands and while the rest of the family are watching some film that I have never heard of, I am following the cricket on TMS but I cant help but wonder if anyone knows of a sports bar open in Grand Cayman that I could sneak off to under the pretence of going for an after-dinner walk.
Gerard Ross, in sunny Yorkshire: Best night shift ever.
Tom: Just taken a helicopter flight up to view the Himalayas in Kathmandu. Logged on and saw something even better – Australia all out for 98! Does it get any better than this?
Brian in Siberia: You've got to hand it to Straussy… what a call to put the Aussies in again after getting hammered doing it in the previous Test!
Lee Westwood [via Twitter]: Will somebody please pinch me! I must wake up soon! I knew I shouldn't have eaten all that cheese! 98 all out? Have there been any calls for a Shane Warne comeback yet? It's about that time!