Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wombling Free





Okay. Now my transplantation is officially getting quite hard. Lovely as it is in western Victoria, I have to admit that doing without blanket coverage of Wimbledon is tough. I can go cold turkey on the Tate and Paris can wait, at least for a year or two. But Wimbledon? I'm sorry, I've broken down completely. Below is our local tennis court. I think you'll agree it doesn't quite have the atmosphere of SW19.




What I wouldn't give for a plastic jar of warm Pimms and an outrageously priced punnet of limp, sour strawberries in a congealed mass of non-specific dairy substance right about now. As the evening closes in and I gaze out upon the alarming behaviour of the farm's chickens, who are incidentally what might have resulted if Fassbinder had cast Chicken Run, I can only draw on the memory of past balmy afternoons spent reclining on the sofa at House of Pants scrutinising Roger Federer's face for a flicker of expression. 

Being there is even better, not least of all because you're too far away from Roger Federer to see his face clearly. For years I had a pact with a tennis playing friend to enter the public draw. If one of us scored tickets, we'd take the other. We managed this roughly every other year. Unless you own a telecommunications company or a home county, the only way to get into Wimbledon is by lottery or joining the queue, the end of which you locate somewhere in Brittany but it miraculously deposits you under the magic ivy before play begins. I've done that a few times as well. A bagful of ham and cheese baguettes and a flask of Fair Trade coffee and, if you're lucky, only six hours of relative darkness and the time flits by as you get to know the several thousand people on either side of you intimately. 

Wimbledon is a little time bubble encapsulating what England must have been like in the 1930s. It's all straw boaters, candy stripes and people being jolly decent to each other. You don't generally get that anywhere else in London, at least not anywhere the hoi-polloi are permitted to assemble for any length of time. Given that watching tennis for eight hours requires epic concentration and no small amount of patience, especially if Roger Federer is involved, grizzling kiddies are mercifully thin on the ground. By London standards, that makes it an oasis of epic proportions.

I know that for about a tenner I could sign up to get the whole thing streamed to the farm's vile AppleMac but I can't see that sitting on a secretarial chair in front of the gas fire with an Afghan rug over my knees in the middle of the night is going to satisfy my need for the authentic Wimbledon experience somehow. I don't know that I'll ever learn to love watching world-class tennis on anything but grass. The huge fuss made over protecting the courts is one of the highlights of Wimbledon. There have been years when the covers going on and off has been the most exciting thing about the tournament. How do they maintain Rebound Ace - hoover it? Who wants to watch that?

The chickens have all gone off to bed after an exhausting day of failing to implement the latest conflict management techniques. At least they've produced an interesting combination of coloured eggs. I'm not sure I've seen an olive green egg before. I hope it's not anything to do with the leftover asparagus rolls from last Sunday's post tennis lunch I gave them. Like the Wombles of Wimbledon Common, they are left to their own devices to wander where they choose so they could be eating anything. Oh Lord, I just had a thought, I hope they haven't devoured my souvenir Wimbledon balls...




33 comments:

JahTeh said...

You only watch Roger's face? Talk about missing the best bits. If it helps I'll punish myself and watch him at Wimbledon for you. It means staying up late and eating bad things to keep myself awake and going to bed with Roger on my mind.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Jahteh

Hardly! Do I come across as that warped? Oh. I get it - you're that warped - orrriggght! Peace be with you.

xxx

Pants

nmj said...

hey pants, i feel guilty cos i could watch wimbledon so easily (on tv) if i wanted to, trouble is it has no appeal for me at all. (i did used to enjoy watching bjorn and macenroe, but that was obviously not recently.)

your post made me smile, esp. queueing all the way to brittany...

ps. i've never tasted pimm's either! x

Dysthymiac said...

That local court is very conveniently located though.

Foghorn Lleyton and Federer Leghorn
could be moved there
for The Barongarook Lawn Tennis Hen's Singles if you like.

Reading the Signs said...

Your local tennis court looks just fine to me, Pants. But then, I'm with NMJ on this - never did see the point of it, or any sport, come to that. I accept that there's probably something wrong with me. But I did used to like the run-up to the old Booker Prize contest.

That's So Pants said...

Hi NMJ

Mr T emailed me to let me know that he as at that Venus Williams game - four rows from the court. Thoughtful of him. Friendship is vastly overrated in my opinion.

Hi Annie

Yes - well you would know. Chicken tennis - now there's a concept.

Hi Signsie

Sorry, I've turned into an Aussie. The Booker Prize - well that certainly is competitive. I witnessed Ian McEwan being horribly mean about Ann Enright in Jaipur - plenty of topspin on that one.

xxx


Pants

Wisewebwoman said...

Funny this, Pants. I used to play a lot, a lot, of tennis and can't watch it on telly at all. Love being physically present at a match tho, there's something about the thock of the balls and the murmuring of the ump and the grace and beauty of those delicious youthful bods.
It seems like Oz may be finally settling around you like a not too comfy blanket?
XO
WWW

That's So Pants said...

Hi WWW

I was only ever into going to Wimbledon. I used to say every year must go to Queens this year but never did. Re Oz - we'll get used to each other I imagine, given time and a little fair weather.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

She'll be okay, it takes ten years to settle back on the farm after GAY Paree, and some never do settle of course, or there wouldn't be a Latte Set.
And ten bucks to keep up with the world huh?

Golly.

The way of the applemac.

R.H. said...

"Set."

Goodness, I've never been so on topic.

That's So Pants said...

Hi RH

Yes - what's wrong - you on the sensible pills or something?

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
That's So Pants said...

Hi RH

Touche! I had no idea I was so vacuous. The self-esteem sure is taking a battering these days.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

What? I've no idea what you mean.

That's So Pants said...

Oh! These comments were not directed at me?

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

Well since when has the western district been the inner suburbs?

ha ha ha, don't be ridiculous, you do this all the time, no RH editorial has ever been about you.

That's So Pants said...

Sorry - thought it was my blog - how foolish of me.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

I thought they were ALL mine.
(until Miss Brownie told me different)

Okay, this is for you: Miss Pants was quite a dish a few years ago. And mind you, she can still turn heads.
(But so can the tennis.)*

-Robert.
On topic.


*Hoping you'll know that's just a little joke for your audience and you are one of my favourite witty most interesting bloggers.

R.H. said...

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Plus!- an ice cream with hundreds and thousands on it!

-Robert!

That's So Pants said...

You see, a diplomatic climb down is often very effective and can lead to ice cream. Win/win.

xxx

Pants

Andrew said...

Pants, please save me from UK tv. I am tired of seeing a bloke kneeling down every morning and counting blades of grass. And 22 deg on the court is not a boiling hot day.
Andrew.

That's So Pants said...

Andrew!

Can we swap places please, like, now!

xxx

Pants

Dysthymiac said...

I have finally figured out this:

in an alien environment
Pants consults TV guide and sits before screen for Wimbledon at published time.
No Wimbledon.
Pants rants off to bed in disgust ....
because regional TV lags 30 mins behind the guide times!

and I have tagged you with a Hemingway meme because you've been to Cooba!

That's So Pants said...

Hi Ms Annie

Oh yeah - but you left out the part where I have already fallen asleep watching all the other disgusting TV.

Happy to do anything Hemingway by the way.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

Why don't you buy a caravan.

Davo's caravan park always has vacancies.
(Since Davo moved in)

But don't go to the Blue Mountains -unless you want to hear Gerry's booming voice all day...

ha ha ha.

True.

ROBBERT!

That's So Pants said...

Hi RH

Being here in isolation has made me realise just how dramatically overrated the concept of having neighbours is. I am right in thinking, am I not, that caravans tend to be very close to each other and have rather thin walls? Not for me. If you know of a rickety cabin on a cliff top, preferably a safe distance from this Davo bloke, please would you let me know. Ta.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

Low density housing is unsuitable for a Peeping Tom, but I do agree with you, and look forward to it for when I retire (or get caught).
My mad sister owns half of Bairnsdale, but I don't recommend you go there, unless you want a landlady who scavenges through Coles dumpmaster.

Don't write Davo off too quickly, check out his blog, Wombat's Waffles: http://wombatswaffles.blogspot.com/

Caravan living is full of life's challenges -especially with a fatgut in the van next door.

That's So Pants said...

Hi RH

Thanks for the link. I didn't mean to disparage Dave. I just don't fancy having neighbours of any kind. I've liked the ones I've had in the past well enough but it is such a luxury not to have them - playing music really loud being just one of the enormous benefits. Of course I used to do that once without thinking about how it might impact on others but I'm now mature enough to wish other people simply didn't exist.

xxx

Pants

R.H. said...

If you were the only girl in the world and I were the only boy!

ROBBERT!

R.H. said...

Don't worry about disparaging Davo.

I've tried, it's impossible.

R.H. said...

I even called him an old c--t. And he turned it into a compliment.

nmj said...

Hey Pants, I have to admit I watched the Murray - Gasquet match on TV yesterday and it was pretty enthralling!

x

That's So Pants said...

Hi RH

Good to know - thanks!

Dearest NMJ

I think I'd even have watched Andy Murray I'm that desperate!

xxx

Pants