Nothing but tennis here – goodness! what a day that was!
It was a tough day on the home nursing front, and I thought several times of all those fortunate old ladies, many younger than I, clutching their tea mugs in the day rooms of their care homes, and watching the tennis without interruption. Not really: I’m better tottering about on my own feet in my own house, but the temptation had some appeal yesterday.
The matches were mirror images of each other. In the first, Southern Gal’s friend Mr Federer lost the first two sets and was love-40 down on his serve half-way through the third, and looked to be fading gracefully out of Wimbledon. Then he won that set and the next two. When Murray and Tsonga walked on for the next match, they met the unusual spectacle of half the centre court seats empty. Everyone had gone to lie down in a darkened room.
In his match, my friend Mr Murray won the first two sets – the first in a titanic struggle, the second rather easily; and then lost two. The crowd had come back by then, as well they might, and mercifully, he won the fifth easily, 6-1 I think. My nerves couldn’t have taken much more. His opponent, Mr Tsonga, was really rather good.
My first awareness of Andy Murray, as a teen-aged sensation, was the year of my cataract operations. You’ve probably heard this already. I had the first operation on the first Saturday of that Wimbledon, under a local anaesthetic. I was knitting the Princess shawl at the time, and had progressed far enough that I knew the edging pattern by heart. It took about 50 repeats before that was true.
I recited the pattern to myself during the operation, using “take” and “cast” in my head for k2tog and YO, as Amedro had taught me. I was anxious only to get it over with so that I could go back upstairs for the tennis.
I couldn’t see at all, when that happened, but I could lie there and listen. Murray won the first two sets that day, and lost the next three. When he is in a parallel situation, as he was yesterday, he must surely have memories of that match, as I do. I have felt ever since that a bond of suffering connects us, although neither losing at Wimbledon nor having a cataract operation counts as suffering on the world stage.
Yes, thanks, Cat – Mungo’s achievement means he got top marks in every single subject, even the ones he’s not particularly interested in and the ones with boring teachers. The IB doesn’t let you drop subjects the way A-Level does.