Sunday, 3 July 2011

Tennis & Trafalgar Square

I live in Wimbledon. I figure this sets me up for the inevitable question when I get back to Canada: "So did you go to Wimbledon?" I also figured it would be embarrassing to have to answer "No". So Josephine and I decided we needed to see some tennis. Despite the new tradition of rain as soon as school lets out, and the fields full of people camping who apparently all line up early in the morning, we decided to try to get in. Things worked out perfectly when I got called in to work an afternoon in a nursery class, that just happens to be the class that Josephine works in as a TA. After work, we jumped on the tube together and made our way to Wimbledon.
Southfields "tennis-fied"

Wimbledon is the place to see and be seen for Brits. Southfields station, which is closest to the gates, has had a complete make over to appear classy enough to welcome all of the schmancy tennis spectators. We walked to the gates and were shocked to walk right in. The man who handed us our tickets informed us that the next morning when playoffs started that lineup would have been about 20 000 people!
Since we arrived after 5pm, we got cheap grounds tickets that gave us access to unreserved seating areas for courts 3-19. So not the big centre courts, but good enough for us and our budget! We did get to see the hill that is always shown on TV where they have a big screen set up to watch centre court. We could also hear all of the fans inside, which was pretty neat as the stands have the capacity for 15 000 people!
We watched a few matches, there were juniors playing mostly. On the big courts were women's quarter finals.
Tennis "fan" - I googled how to keep score while we watched

Centre Court - the big clock up top is Rolex

It was an interesting atmosphere with a mix of tourists, like us, and hardcore tennis fans all dressed to the nines. Wimbledon Tennis Club itself is massive, beautifully landscaped and dressed. The clocks on the walls are all Rolex!

Friday was Canada Day! I took the day off work because I needed to get my final vaccinations for India. Also hit up the gym, which I haven't done in a couple months. I figured I was due for some strength training on top of all the cardio I have been doing. Though it was a great idea to go and just do strength for almost 2 hours, but now it is 2 days later and I can still barely walk. Not my brightest idea, but it did feel good. A good pain :)

Representing the homeland!
Back to Canada Day. I made my way down to Trafalgar Square where everything was happening after lunch. I did a quick look around, saw the line for Tim Horton's looked about an hour long and that they only had doughnuts for £1 and coffee for £1.50Then I ran into Andi, who had just gotten half a dozen doughnut and offered me one. Perfect!

We met up with Jen and stood in line for about and hour and a half for some free face painting. Since we had to wait for most people to finish work, and we met a ton of fellow Canadians while waiting, it wasn't so painful. Also helped that the sun was shining. We then explored all of the tents. Met the Canadian chef who was supposed to be doing cooking shows all day (he is apparently the 'Gordon Ramsay' of Canada). Well, he had gotten to drunk, so they cut his shows off around 2pm. We met him and he immediately had something to say about my Canucks shirt, so I gave him a piece of my mind. Then he grabbed one of Andi's remaining doughnuts and told her to take a picture of him and me while he scarfed down the doughnut she had just stood in line for 45 minutes to buy. Needless to say she was not so happy.
Probably one reason I don't have a real tattoo...

Slowly our working friends joined us and we enjoyed our national day surrounded by Canadian accents and more "excuse me" and "sorry" expressions than I have heard in over 10 months! Also finished up the night with a free concert from Blue Rodeo. Amazing! It is even said that Wayne Gretzky was there, though he didn't address the crowd. Mike Meyers was there too and went on stage to wish everyone a Happy Canada Day - indeed!

Hope everyone back home enjoyed the long weekend. I am just finishing up my packing because tomorrow I am heading to Spain. Running with the Bulls!!
My new drunk chef friend...

Trafalgar Square
Blue Rodeo!

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