Sunday, June 22, 2014


To Wimbledon again for the real pleasure of spending some time with our middle son and our youngest grandson.  Another visit to Bassett House on the site of Wimbledon FC`s Plough Lane ground and once again I was reminded of Dave (Harry) Bassett, Wimbledon legend and former Southampton joint manager, for whom the `development` is named.  I could almost hear again  Claus Lundekvam being encouraged by Dave to `get up his dirtbox,` such was Dave`s gritty style of football management and vocal exhortation.

It was a good afternoon, one we enjoyed almost despite a couple of minor irritations.   The first was entirely my own fault, for I simply don`t `do` London.  I think there`s something in the air and the contrast between the streets of even rather refined Wimbledon and the clean sea breezes of Cornwall that I breathed last week was very marked.  Anywhere near central London and I taste the air as well as breath it - it has an acrid, curry-flavoured taste and also my eyes feel as if they have been sprinkled with grit.

We went to the big park close to the All England Tennis place and I should not have been surprised but there were queues forming already for tickets to the opening day of Wimbledon fortnight which starts tomorrow.   Now I know it`s part of the English summer season but the attraction of queueing up and paying all that cash to watch a game where people hit a ball across a net until it stops coming back to them, is lost on me.

Now our English season isn`t going particularly well.   We have lost to New Zealand in the Rugby; there might be a glimmer of hope for the cricket against Sri Lanka but the football in Brazil has gone tits-up (another Dave-ism) and some reporter today seriously suggested that our sporting summer now seems to hinge on a recalcitrant Scot winning Wimbledon again, thus lifting our English spirits.    To whom will such desperate reporters turn if Scotland vote to leave the UK, I wonder?   Well, there`s always Dave Bassett.

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