SO we're just hours away from The World Cup. The biggest tournament on the planet. But do you care?

While some can't wait to see how it will unfold, others will be dreading the back to back TV coverage, sight of St George Crosses everywhere and the weight of expectation that will hang over the country.

So rather than lock yourself in a darkened room, here are some alternative ways to spend the next five weeks:

Bournemouth Echo: SUTT: Mayor hosts Brazilian carnival themed event

1. Learn a new language

It’s the ideal time to finally time to sign up to those Portuguese/Spanish/Italian/French/Russian/German/Japanese etc lessons you’ve always said you’ve always wanted to do.

Bournemouth Echo: Brazillian recipe: Caipirinha

2. Have a food revolution

Mix up meal times and try making a specialist dish from each of the 32 nations taking part in the competition. Why not kick off with a Feijoada, the national dish of Brazil, washed down with a Caipirinha then eat and drink your way around the globe.

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3. Take up a new hobby

Knitting is cool (even Ryan Gosling does it) dust off that sewing machine or mixing bowl to perfect your Victoria sponge. Alternatively become immersed in a new sport or fitness class – at least you’ll feel better and not be bored silly.

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4. Go to the cinema

If you really can’t stand the World Cup and you’ve got some time to spare you could try watching Modern Times Forever, the 10-day long art film.

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5. Go shopping!

Think about it; Castlepoint, Poole, Bournemouth town centre, all devoid of shuffling males, moaning about how long it all takes and clogging up the revolving doors. And they’ll be too fascinated by the footie to notice how much you’ve been spending. And it’ll be easier to park.

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6. Make THAT call

Get your telephone banking/HMRC complaining/holiday booking call made. Well no one else will be, will they.

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7. Discover the joys of obscure Sky/Freeview TV channels

Russia Today recommended for general Communist lunacy and OMGness, Gospel channel also good if you like a nice tune


8. Relive our 1966 victory

Read the autobiography of Sir Bobby Charlton, find the BBC’s magnificent Bobby Moore tribute on YouTube, and watch a DVD of Our Glorious Victory in 1966. Because we will not be walking that way again, will we?

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9. Meet up with friends and eat out somewhere new

As most of the early England matches will be during the evening and sometimes later, get a group of like-minded friends together and go to a restaurant you’ve never been to. You can check out our latest restaurant reviews here


Bournemouth Echo: Andy Murray celebrates winning his first Wimbledon title.

10. Watch Wimbledon

Football isn't the only sport that will be gripping the nation this summer. Remember when Murray mania swept the country last year when Andy clinched the men’s single title? Can he do it all over again? We’ll soon find out as Wimbledon begins on June 23.

Bournemouth Echo: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

11. Work your way through some classic novels

How many 'must-read' novels have you read? with the TV schedule being given over to sport, there's never been a better time to sit down and lose yourself in a classic.

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12. Get outside

Whether it's for a run, bike ride, walk or simply just to people watch. We live in a beautiful part of the world and it's summer, so what more excuse do you need?

Will you be watching the World Cup? If not, how will you be avoiding it? let us know your suggestions below.