The first week of July has been warm and sunny. Not very British at all, but you won’t find me complaining. I love the sun and I love any weather that doesn’t require me to wear a jacket.
Of course although the weather has been glorious, it is much better to be a North American than a Brit through the second official week of summer. Canada kicks the month of celebrating all things Canadian by lighting fireworks, drinking good beer, and charring mammal flesh on a smouldering fire pit. Then a few days later the Americans celebrate living in a country where anything is possible (even if one of those things is Donald Trump winning the Presidential election) by waving a flag, lighting fireworks and grilling anything that doesn’t run away.
Here in Britain though, there are no holidays; only scheduled days when the banks don’t open. Yet, all is not lost, at least not for me, because the first week of July means the start of Wimbledon; the British festival of tennis, tantrums, strawberries and Pimms. OK it isn’t as exciting as watching gun powder and phosphorus exploding in the night sky, but it’s better than nothing (unless you hate tennis, then it probably is as much fun as a tooth extraction with pain relief).
For me, and many like me, Wimbledon is the ultimate in tennis action. I don’t know why I like it so much more than any other tennis tournament. Perhaps it is because it is played on grass, the way tennis was played when it was invented. Or maybe it is the slight confusion of watching a sport where all the competitors are forced to dress the same (maybe not though, because cricket players dress the same and that bores me senseless). Or maybe I just love it because it reminds me of summer holidays when I was a kid. Wimbledon meant no school for a couple more months, and gave me an excuse for lazing indoors in front of the TV.
Whatever the reason though, Wimbledon is still pretty special in my opinion, which is why it irks me that so far this years tournament has been not up to scratch. The first week has been plagued with controversy; unfit players starting a match only to fall down after 10 minutes so that they can collect the £35 000 first round exit prize money. And then there is the sorry state of the courts. Certainly they are going to deteriorate over the fortnight of tennis, but these courts are almost to the point that they are not usable anymore… And there is still a week to go.
Hopefully the second week will be without too much off court incident but plenty of fabulous tennis. And if the tennis gods are with me, hopefully that miserable Scot Andy Murray will be dispatched soon making this year’s Wimbledon even more enjoyable.