Monday, July 08, 2013

Wimbledon 2013

Well – who could talk about knitting, on a morning like this? And yet it’s odd, not at all like the year-long glow that follows one of Scotland’s rare wins of the Calcutta Cup. What does Mr Murray do now? He’s got all the money a young man could require, and a pleasant girlfriend, and he’s won Wimbledon. Does he go on with the gruelling routine?

In what might be called my Commonplace Book, I have a clipping from March, ’89, when Desert Orchid won the Cheltenham Gold Cup. His owner said, late that evening, “Success is a funny thing. It sort of dissolves in front of you.”

Rachel was there. She enters the Wimbledon draw every year – if you get anything, you get what they give you. This year, she got Men’s Final Day – a seat on Number One court. We’ll never know what was going on there, because of course she spent the day on Henman Hill. And had a good time, I think – she phoned in the evening, sounding cheerful – despite the fact that she doesn’t like Mr Murray or his mother or his girlfriend, and was cheering for Djokovic.

“Which would you rather?” I said – “to tell them in years to come that you were there when Djokovic won his second Wimbledon title, or that you were there in 2013, when Andy Murray won?” She wasn’t impressed.

On Henmen Hill, you can hear the crowd shouting on Centre Court, and watch the action on a huge television screen. She says that when the camera strayed to the Prime Minister, as it occasionally did, Henman Hill boo’ed. Interesting, I thought.

And I was proud of Mr Murray for speaking of his victory as a British win. Rachel said he had to, but I feel you don’t have to do anything, when you’ve just won Wimbledon. He could have ranted on for Scotland if that had been his choice. I thought Mr Salmond looked a bit ridiculous with his divisive saltire. But then, I don’t like Mr Salmond.

Well, what else?

We had a successful few days in Strathardle, brilliant weather. ‘Successful’ means, nowadays, that we got back and are still on our feet. It's scary, all right. It is sad to see my vegetable patch in such a state of dereliction. But on the other hand, we saw deer three times (maybe four) in those few days. If one saw mice in one’s kitchen in that concentration, one would have to conclude that one was infested.

I have probably said here before that I don’t begrudge their coming down from the hills and polishing off the Brussels sprouts in the winter. But all-the-year-round deer are a new and a most unwelcome phenomenon. And one cannot hope to grow vegetables, in the circumstances, without a deer fence.

But I’m making progress with Welsh onions. My aim is to have so many that I can dig them up whenever I want “spring onions” to cook with. I’m making progress. The deer ate them down to the ground last autumn, but they came back, as I thought they would. Hat, the Babington leeks are looking poorly, but they’re there, safely ensconced in the vegetable cage. I crawled in and weeded them tenderly.


  1. Don't be too disheartened at this stage. The B. leeks will die back and come again next year - with seed heads possibly. Mine grow mostly with weed status in with my autumn raspberries and I've just pulled up the ones with a seed head forming. At the base they have large garlic like cloves -rather strong tasting but nice pickled or blanched and frozen for use in winter soups.

    I'm carefully nursing my everlasting onions back to picking proportions.

  2. Dear Jean,
    I so enjoyed Andy's success. The semi finals were thrilling and the actual final, for Andy fans, was heart-stopping. Never mind the 77 years business, in the end I am just pleased for him, he wanted it soooo much. He won convincingly in 3 sets against the world number 1. "Legend" in the current internet talk :) And I genuinely am going around work today with a smile on my face.

  3. I was watching the match and thinking of you, Jean. I hoped you'd made it back in time to see Murray win, and Djokovich fall a few times with no shoelaces involved that I could tell.

  4. i watched and was happy for Andy - after the last year he did deserve it - he obviously has worked very hard and it showed in so many ways.

    however, LENDL deserves as much credit - for taking Murray on and forcing him to focus and GET OUT OF HIS OWN WAY.

    for years i have hated watching Andy play - but the transformation in the last year has been astounding ... very little of the old whining self flagellating behaviour is there now and all that energy has been focused... with the reward in that score yesterday.

    those last six points were the most heart stopping i have ever seen (and rank up there with that marathon match at Wimbledon from a few years ago ... but that's another story).

    so well done to Andy and Lendl and congrats to Scotland and Dunblane!

  5. It was bloomin' marvellous wasn't it? You could hear the cheering drifting about the empty streets from open windows. And, who cares about Salmond and his flag? Murray is the complete package now, and I agree with Southern Gal about Ivan Lendl. Too bad that he never won Wimbledon...

    And, the Lions won in Australia (even if BOD wasnt playing). And, there are the Ashes to look forward to as well if you like that sort of thing (I do!)