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.