Monday, June 29, 2009

My Wimbledon obsesssion

It's Week Two of that tennis Grand Slam tournament called Wimbledon. And I love it. If I could be bothered to add it up, I would be ashamed to admit to the hours spent sitting on my arse watching blotchily tanned adults whack a ball up and down a bit of knackered grass.

There is something so soothing about the backdrop of sights and sounds at Wimbledon, mixed with all that green and purple, oh and strawberries. I can so easily fall asleep to that sound which kind of defeats the object of turning on the TV really, but maybe you know what I mean? The hours can pass by in blur of greens and brilliant whites - shorts that are too long, dresses that defy fashion engineering, grunting that breaks the sound barrier, and flying, fluorescent, fuzzy balls - interspersed with great tension as I shout at the screen and clench my fists. Invariably the Quarter Finals or Semi's are the best matches - last year's final between Nadal and Federer being the exception - and I just lap it up. Then it's gone ....

And I don't watch another tennis match all year.

And I do like tennis, I really do but there is something cold and distant about watching other competitions on the screen. I don't like blue or red courts. I don't like the sounds, I don't like the fact that the fans sit too far away in harsh metallic seating. There is nothing personal and cosy and intimate about other Grand Slams. The camera angles are all wrong. I love my familiar and comforting BBC coverage.

I used to live about 30 minutes away from Wimbledon. It always felt very local and personal to me and as I sat on my sofa basking in the sunlight coming in through the window, it would be a mystery that the ground staff were pulling on the covers during a torrential downpour.

This momentarily reminds me that I often think all sport is a complete waste of time. Well, it is really - c'mon. Grown men chasing or hitting or whacking spherical objects around courts, courses and rinks. Freakishly muscled females running or cycling or hitting things in the pursuit of deadlines and points. Are we all mad? And I sit and watch it, from the comfort of my squidgy, unfit body and marvel at their dedication. Armchair critic, me.

But sport does bring out amazing feats of strength - strength of body, of mind, of dedication. And I marvel at their sheer skill and endurance. Something I have absolutely none of. Playing on the school hockey team (that's 'real' hockey folks - on grass, not ice) made me feel momentarily invincible - strong and fast and happy - part of a team. Then I got to 18, went to college and it all faded away through apathy on my part. And that feeling never returned. I am not a competitive person at all - apart from board games - don't touch that dice! - but have over the years enjoyed swimming, walking and learning to ski (badly) but I really don't care for speed, time trials and black runs.

Sport is a great way of getting together with people, of staying fit and healthy (ish, till the injuries kick in), and to just get out and 'do something' but it's not for the faint-hearted, or those without a competitive bone in their body. Well, not team stuff anyway.

And don't even get me on to classification of what is sport ... I'm sorry, but you cannot compare a snooker player to an Ironman triathlete ...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The boring but necessary part ...

First post on a new blog - oh, the pressure of writing something worthy and witty is beyond me right now, so the usual waffle and piffle will have to do. You have been warned.

Should one write an introduction to oneself? OK, too many 'one's' there already. Bad start off the old blocks there love. Concentrate! if only for a few meagre minutes of your day, so as to be able to compose something vaguely literate and potentially interesting. I know, the standards are high and the competition is staggeringly competent.

I feel like I'm making a movie - the camera pans around and must grab the viewer's interest from the get-go. Woah, the pressure of being a director, I need to sit down in my funky monogrammed chair already.

So, OK - Me!

Forty-something years old. I'm not being coy, I just don't remember. It takes a lot of effort to work out the years nowadays. Married - very happily (yep, one of those smug-marrieds - sorry!) to a gorgeous, unselfish and kind-hearted guy with whom I have been in love since the very first kiss. Celebrating 16 years this year.

Two children - girls aged 11 and 9 - both beautiful, of course, and who at the same time are challenging, pride-inducing, frustrating, delightful and a pain the backside - not necessarily in that order. My impressions of a screaming banshee have become few and far between in recent years, but hey, you'd have been impressed a couple of years ago. However, I fear that as teenage years approach, my ability to remain a calm influence and mature guiding light to my offspring will go out of the window on a regular basis. Let's just say I'm not relishing the thought of two teenage girls in the house - but then who would? ("Two teenage boys" as your answer does not count).

And finally, we have two dogs - Smudge and Honey (though I am self-confessed cat-lover and still quite haven't worked out how two mutts are now in my life - oh yes, my husband is allergic to moggies - that'll be the reason then) who are the most lovable, noisy, annoying, adorable poop-machines you ever did meet. Who needs a good quality lawn when you have two dogs and two kids?

Born and educated in Surrey in the south of England. Moved to Alberta in Canada in May 2007.

There - that's enough to be going on with, do you reckon? Succinct, not quite completely boring (but nearly) but did my opening shot grab your attention or have you in fact already clicked on your mouse and buggered off to pastures new and more riveting?