I begin writing this as I sit doing what us Brits do best; queuing.
I’m waiting in the queue for Wimbledon, the start of the third Slam of the year. Big jumbos fly over to land in nearby Heathrow, whilst my pal and I play numerous games of Snap to keep ourselves amused. The Pimms are flowing, people are lounged out left, right and centre and the Tube rattles on past nearby. It’s all very British.
I have been coming to the tennis for a few years now, and I never get tired of the same old queue. Despite being up at the rather peaky hour of 4am, Wimbledon is exhilarating. I didn’t mind queuing for hours on end, because you’re not stressed at all. No-one is shouting in anger at the stewards. It’s an almost carnival-like atmosphere, with burger vans and pop-up tents to entertain you. You make friends with those next to you, even completing a crossword with them!
When you eventually make it inside the grounds, the tennis is of the highest order. There’s more queuing but during the first week of the Championships, there are plenty of big names on the outside courts to wet your appetite. I managed to see names such as Caroline Wozniacki, Marcos Baghdatis and Fernando Verdasco. You can soak up the atmosphere on Henman Hill (aka Murray Mound), look out for your favourite stars and get as many autographs as you can. Or simply drink Pimms in the sunshine all day long. Bliss.
It’s gotten so popular over the last two years, with a certain Mr Murray ending 77 years of pain. It’s a fantastic sporting spectacle but I have one piece of advice: if you’re wanting to queue, arrive early. Preferably before 7:30am, if you want to have a chance of getting in around midday.
So I end by writing on the Tube home, and I can honestly say that despite feeling horrific and falling asleep, it was all worth the wait. But as a steward wonderfully put: “we’re British, we like to queue.”