Well, what a weekend… My wife Barbara and I were fortunate enough to get tickets for the Olympics tennis on Friday (semi-finals day) at Wimbledon. We travelled from North Yorks via Cheltenham by car, train and tube, marvelling at the countless volunteers in London with their foam hand pointers showing us which way to go out of the tube station, then had to take off our belts to go through the depressing airport security check. My trousers didn’t fall down this time, anyway.
Once at the venue things got worse: we’d applied for tickets for the men’s semi finals and were told that we’d got them. The tickets arrived and we were glad. We duly spent hundreds of quid for travel, accommodation and food as well as the tickets. And then when we looked at the order of play for Number One Court, it turns out we weren’t going to see a men’s semi final – they’d both been switched to Centre Court. Not happy. No explanation or anything. In fact, there was no up to date information at Wimbledon about any of the matches, results, order of play or anything – people had to look on the BBC website with their mobiles or phone home to hear how Andy Murray was doing!
We saw women’s doubles instead, which turned out to be good. The women’s singles was boring (Sharapova won easily in a match of no rallies) but the men’s doubles was fab, so the day was rescued. The weather was wonderful and the atmosphere great fun, so we were very glad that we’d made the trip after all. I’ve never been to Wimbledon before and it’s well worth it.
‘What about the stadium, was it full?’ I hear you ask. No. At some points it was only half full and even when busier it was only 80% full. There were two block of those premium view ‘Olympic family’ seats which were empty the whole time: over 200 seats with a fantastic view of the action – while thousands of people milled outside desperate to get in. What a disgrace.
I’ve enjoyed most of the Games – the actual sports bits are wonderful. What a pity we have to put up with the Cokedonalds corporate commercial hospitality people.
The weekend was extra special for us, however, as we visited out wonderful new granddaughter in Cheltenham. Two months old but an alert, chubby-cheeked smiler already. Oh, what joy a baby can bring.
And finally, I read the first newspaper review of ALL TEACHERS WISE AND WONDERFUL TODAY: http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/lifestyle/entertainment/book-review-all-teachers-wise-and-wonderful-by-andy-seed-1-4793692