Wimbledon. It’s back! Does it feel as it should? No, of course not. Nothing does. As if to mirror that fact, the weather was awful. The outside courts were all covered, umbrellas were everywhere and the rooves of both Centre Court and Court One were shut ensuring, once more, an over-riding feeling of confinement amidst the gloom. Wimbledon is sunshine! I know, if being literal, that is often not the case but, on the many occasions we have been lucky enough to attend over the years, we have never had rain! Strangely, on opening day of that wonderful tournament, so quintessentially British, in its famous little pocket of SW19 to which one clings, unchanging, there was no sunshine; no brightness. Just another reminder of a changed world so desperately in need of healing.
There was confusion. Coverage began at 10.30am heralded by the comforting sound of the familiar opening music, thankfully unchanged throughout time. The All England Tennis Club is more than aware of its magic, steeped in a history forever synonymous with gentlemen, ladies, elegance, etiquette, class and, above all, sportsmanship. Throughout the years, it has offered sometimes much-needed escapism from a world too willing to succumb to pressure; too ready to drop its standards to appease the masses; today, too scared to oppose the onslaught of the aggressive activists embodied in everything ‘woke’. Wimbledon is Wimbledon. Borne of a past when Britain was Great, it has succeeded in upholding the standards which have, largely, disappeared in everyday life. Thus, the opening always pays tribute to those who have left their mark through the years, who gloried in reaching the pinnacle of the tennis world, whose names are forever engraved on the coveted trophies and whose images are emblazoned on the tunnel wall leading into Centre Court. One hears, once more, the wonderful voice of Dan Maskell, he who was quintessentially British, in the montage of carefully chosen old footage as Sue Barker speaks the words of a script, at once, so evocative and beautifully written. I salute those who, year after year, create just the right ambience and ensure one is immersed, once more, in the anticipation of a fortnight of magic; magic borne of the bubble that is that little pocket of SW19; unchanged; ever constant; a reminder of everything good.
Still, there was confusion – in its BBC coverage. BBC. Wasn’t it once a broadcasting corporation worthy of respect? Perhaps, before COVID which has only served to highlight its obvious bias, strict party line and aversion to open and balanced debate. However, I digress. As I said, coverage began at 10.30am on BBC 2 when, among other things, one was told of the Order of Play. As is tradition, the Men’s reigning champion always opens play on Centre Court and, thus, Djokovic was to due to come on at 1.30pm along with his first opponent, the 19-year-old Jack Draper. Meanwhile, the first match of The Championships was to be that of the Ladies – specifically, Sabalenka against Niculescu – on Court One. This was showing on BBC 2. Confused yet? Well, it quickly dawned on me what was happening: upholding tradition, Djokovic’s match was to be the first of 2021 on Centre Court. Of course, but in order to appease any potential backlash, the ladies were to claim the first match of 2021! Sadly, necessary? Sadly, I have little doubt. Anyway, suffice to say, this did lead to confusion and our missing Djokovic and Draper walking out onto Centre Court. Supposed to switch over to BBC 1, we did so, only to find that the opening was, actually, being shown on BBC 2 while BBC 1 seemed content to miss it, showing instead a repeat of Carol Kirkwood and the weather! Classic. Thankfully, we fought on, regardless of the trauma and bore witness to a superb match. Jack Draper is definitely a name to watch.
Come on, Andy! Yes, we wallowed in an entire day of tennis and roof shut, lights on, Andy proved in four sets that, in his four-year absence, he had lost none of his talent, expertise nor characteristic fighting spirit. Huge respect. Yes, Wimbledon is back in all its glory. How I wish we were there but even this well-loved sporting event is not immune to the ravages of COVID and the accompanying hysteria and, thus, we shall watch the excitement on the small screen, for now, content in the knowledge that we will be back. After all, as Johnny Logan says, what’s another year?
Matt Hancock must be wishing it was another year, one would hope, but in all the coverage, continuing from the weekend, notably absent has been any apology to his wife and, moreover, any sign of remorse. Still caught up in the excitement of the affair – lying and cheating, now, second nature and a necessary evil – he is, apparently, now living with his mistress who, too, has left her husband and three children; read, been thrown out! Any thought left to the far-reaching destruction in their wake? Do those capable of such deceit ever care? Certainly, not enough to keep their clothes on! Brain dislodged, somehow, they believe in the happy ever after this time, regardless. Good luck with that. Check the stats!
Martha Hancock has been amazing. Apparently told by her husband, on Thursday evening (night before the exposé) that their marriage was over, she has exhibited nothing but great courage and self-worth. She neither ran nor hid, choosing, rather, to salvage some normality for her three children; putting their interests before herself. Novel concept, Matt and your fellow cowardly adulterers! With journalists and photographers camped outside her door and surrounding her each time she ventures forth, she has held her head high, shades on and walked. You go, girl! However, much of the narrative I have heard dismisses the affair, rather focussing on the deceit of the public who, willingly, baaed like sheep in his wake! Why? Perhaps selfishness dictates the disregard of any repercussions which have no direct bearing on oneself? The justification offered is one never knows what goes on behind closed doors. A quaint little line used, I suspect, largely by those guilty of the same. For the rest of us, who not only possess morals but, moreover, abhor cowardice …
A few words courtesy of Tim Stanley in The Telegraph ‘Comment’ of yesterday, 28th June. Entitled ‘Matt Hancock’s adultery is not a private matter’, he wrote:
‘We can call it private if that helps, but the whole world is talking about Mrs Hancock’s husband: adultery has very public consequences for the partners, for the kids and for the weasel himself, whose honour is forever in doubt. If a politician can lie to their family, to the people who are supposed to matter the most, why do you think he wouldn’t lie to his constituents?’.
Amen to that. Perhaps Martha Hancock should consider writing a book?!
Before I go, I must address the item on the news, recently, claiming Accident & Emergency departments are being inundated by parents worried about their children. There is no element of surprise in this, whatsoever! Of course, they wheel on doctors who go round in circles in a bid to explain the phenomenon, all the while avoiding the bleeding obvious: aside from the inevitable hysteria arising from incessant brainwashing and scaremongering, there IS nowhere else to go! One has no access to GPs anymore, patients being unable to break through the wall of the suitably inhuman receptionist. ‘There are no available appointments for the next three weeks?’. ‘A phone appointment? No, you can’t speak to your usual doctor but you can book an appointment with one of our locums for a week on Friday at 8.30am.’ … ‘Oh, your baby has a high fever and is not drinking? Give her some Calpol, sponge her down and, if there’s no improvement, phone NHS 111.’
You cannot be serious? Oh, yes, I am! A&E departments can’t cope? Tough! With most GPs now consigned to history, A&E is the only face-to-face access to a doctor and, when worried about your child, there is NO substitute for that. No caring doctor could/would/should turn you away …
‘What’s the difference between God and a surgeon? God doesn’t think he’s a surgeon.’
Anonymous – but true!
This is Trish, signing off.
(Apologies for any errors – couldn’t face reading over it again!)