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ExtraVirgin August 2010

Bafana Bafana might not have won the World Cup - which is very strange, because R Kelly said we would, and he's seldom wrong about soccer - but in the month that followed the final whistle, South Africa has been showered with praise from all corners of the world as host to perhaps the best Cup ever.

It is here: the time to feel supremely self-congratulatory. Reading reports around the world of how well we handled the World Cup has been about as much fun as the tournament itself. Each headline singing our praises was like another Bafana goal.

Certain paranoid news stories that seemed over the top at the time now just look silly. The journalist at London's Daily Star must surely cringe now when he revisits his piece, "World Cup War: Machete Threat to England Fans". It does however put things in context to note that on the day I write this the headline of said newspaper is: "Hate Mob Fury at Jordan Sex Show". We're not dealing with The New York Times here.

The England team's results were so dire they would have been more terrified of what was to become of them when they arrived back home. Being chased by a machete wielding mob is easily more pleasant than the grilling their local press gave them. This was a team who played with about as much passion as a bunch of grounded teenagers. They arrived home so early their families might just as well have waited for them at the airport.

It is doubtful whether anyone even saw a anything as dangerous as a sharpened mielie during the World Cup. The scariest group of people at the tournament were not criminals but shirtless US supporters who spent the month funnelling beer through vuvuzelas and speaking only in chants. Or maybe it was Wayne Rooney's paleness. One of the two.

In this month's home section, we turn our attention to extending the same courtesy to house guests, while our money man lists the economic spin-offs created by the tournament and wonders how else we will benefit in the future. Elsewhere, we feature the best clips from comedian John Oliver's coverage of the tournament, while in the Green section there's advice on how to be lazy and an eco-warrior at the same time.

Matthew Freemantle