Hints & Tips
It’s that time of year. Sunshine, green striped lawns, panama hats, athletic men in white shorts grunting like warthogs, ladies in sweatbands grunting even harder than the men, the sound of yellow balls being thwacked across the court, Hawkeye, line calls, lets, Sue Barker getting progressively more and more excited and flirtatious as the competition continues and desperate shouts of ‘Come On Andy!’, every time the British Number 1 has a minor lapse of concentration.
Yes. It’s Wimbledon fortnight.
Personally I love it. I know you may think I am the kind of person whose idea of mixed doubles is a large Campari and Soda, but this time of year I get very excited. Of course, I do love the refreshments too, what’s not to love? Strawberries, cream, bubbly? How could I not? “Come on Tim!” Sadly, though, it’s pretty much a straight sets victory for the calories if I’m not careful. (Mr Prosecco – 40 Miss Ashcroft – love). Of course, if I mowed my lawn a bit more often or did some more raking or just ran around the garden waving my arms a bit I might actually fight them off.
I was wondering how much exercise I would need to take in order to enable me to get through a bottle of prosecco and a Wimbledon inspired snack with no visible addition to my thigh circumference, so I looked up the calorific value of my favourite tipple. It was like reading a horror story. My blood turned to ice-water and I visibly shook as I found out that there are around 490 calories in a bottle of the bubbly stuff… yes it shocked the ‘hic’ out of me I can tell you. And there are around 200 or so in an average sized bowl of strawberries and cream. I also found out that you burn around 350 calories an hour mowing the lawn and doing the garden in general. So I am going to have to work very hard – two hours at least – just to enjoy my tennis snacks without becoming the shape of a tennis ball.
I do actually play, of course, and I have decent forehand, although my serve is rather like offering the ball to someone so they can hit me in the face with it… and I have played on grass, but my local club is all hard courts and clay. To be honest though, one doesn’t always get as much exercise as one wants… the tennis at my club is rather more social than you’ll see at the All England Club, with games occasionally stopping for a moment so the opponents can discuss paella recipes and share home-made buns.
I was looking at my lawn today, thinking about the whole Wimbledon thing and how we love stripes so much, and I noticed our colleague Dick has written about how to get the right, smart and crisp stripes on your lawn and, as any fule, know, including him, it is achieved with cylinder mowers with rollers. Nice. Quality. But Wimbledon fortnight or not, I’m no Sharapova and I don’t think I am going to be creating a professional standard tennis court in my little townhouse garden any time soon. Not with my little electric machine. Maybe next year. I do however like the idea of a stripy lawn, a sun-lounger, some Wimbledon snacks and perhaps dragging the old flat screen out through the French windows so I can have watch the progress of the white clad gods and goddesses in the sunshine. And if by some very slim chance ‘he’ doesn’t make it into the second week… I shall have the perfect partner to watch with…
I will actually be at Wimbledon during the second week, at least for one day, and I shall have a good look at the courts and see how lush they really are… then it’ll be be off to the Pimms stand and the bolly barrow and then some more strawberries and cream. Well, you have to really don’t you? See ya. Holly.