Friday, July 06, 2012

I think even my husband understands that today will be devoted to tennis. This is the day when Murray was expected to meet Nadal. Obviously, no one who gets to a Wimbledon semi-final can be despised as an opponent. Equally obviously, Mr Tsonga is not Nadal. A chink of light.

I knew that no British man has won Wimbledon since the 30’s. I don’t think I knew, until this week, that none of them had even reached the final.

The other semi-final will be interesting, too. I shall be cheering for Federer.

The first time I ever saw top-flight tennis was when my father took me to Forrest Hills to the second day of a Davis Cup encounter between the US and Australia. The Americans had won both singles matches the day before, so it was do-or-die that day for Australia. The doubles match which we saw was utterly thrilling. I was cheering for Australia throughout (they won), and have been humming “Waltzing Matilda” under my breath ever since. It occurred to me last night that Google could find the details, and here they are. I had just turned 16.

I am a few rounds short of the ribbing of Alexander’s sock. The tennis should suffice to carry me a long way towards the finish.

I have had an email from some who wants to send me – as one of the “UK’s top craft bloggers” – some yarn on which I am to let “creativity run amock”. It’s a competition of some sort. I must mention the name of the company (as yet unknown) and include links as we go along. Although instinctively suspicious, I don’t see why not.

Thank you for your sympathetic comments on my attempts to grow vegetables. Roobeedoo, you’ll have to join me in growing Good King Henry -- one step up from nettles. Knitlass, runner beans are among my failures, too. They’re always precarious in Strathardle, but it’s fun trying, and I have occasionally had good crops in September. This year I ordered plug plants, and they came too early, and promptly died. Fair enough. I then planted seeds, and early in June they looked fine, all coming up nicely. This time, although they had managed quite a bit of growth, they appeared blasted – as if by cold? But no one else was complaining of that. They weren’t exactly dead, so I left them, but without hope.

I have been enjoying the news of the Higgs boson. I think I am right in saying that he – Professor Higgs – lived in Drummond Place rather briefly in his youth.

A.E. Housman concludes his introductory lecture to the University of London in 1892, where he had just been appointed Professor of Latin, by saying:

“It is the glory of God, says Solomon, to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Kings have long abdicated that province; and we students are come into their inheritance: it is our honour to search out the things which God has concealed. In Germany at Easter time they hide coloured eggs about the house and the garden that the children may amuse themselves in hunting after them and finding them. It is to some such game of hide-and-seek that we are invited by that power which planted in us the desire to find out what is concealed, and stored the universe with hidden things that we might delight ourselves in discovering them…”

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