When I was at school I always bunked off PE. (And double maths, double science, RE…) I hated anything to do with sport, apart from tennis. I had lessons when I was very young and played with Mark on Saturdays for a while, although I was always quite rubbish. But I loved watching Wimbledon. I’d rush home to spend hours lying on the grass with the TV propped up by the window. These were the Chris Evert and Bjorn Borg days; by the time McEnroe had finished throwing his tantrums I had less time to laze around in the sun.
So when my American cousin said she’d fly over for the Men’s Winter Championship I immediately secured first tier seats for the final. (Thank you Gill!!) And yesterday, we drove excitedly.to the O2. A security guard approached us in the car park, suspiciously eyeing my bottle of water. “They won’t let you in with that,” he informed us in a very I-am-important voice.
“Next you’ll be telling me I can’t take in my emergency bar of chocolate,” I joked. He looked horrified! “No, you can’t!” We laughed at the ridiculousness and headed off towards the arena. Inside, a bouncy, cheerful person thrust protein bars at us – free samples containing peanuts and chocolate. I took two.
Next came the security regime: bags, keys and phones in the box, walk through the sensor archway. “What’s in your coat pocket?” The security man demanded. “My free protein bars.” He looked even more shocked than the guard at the Eiffel Tower who was scared of my salted caramel. “You can’t bring those in here!!”
I think I must have screeched a little as I told him in an exasperated voice that his colleague had just given them to me. He rushed me through in a swish of panicked arm waving, obviously before his superiors could see that he was a willing accomplice to this crime… And thus, I sneaked my illegal bar of Divine dark chocolate with raspberry pieces into the O2 arena, where it sat scarily in my pocket whilst Andy Murray thrashed Novak Djokovic to retain his world title.
The match was excellent. The players were brilliant. I started off feeling a bit sorry for Djokovic, with 19,000 people cheering for the other guy, but a reminder that he’s won prizes of over £104 million made me a little less sorry for him and a little more sorry that I hadn’t attended PE classes after all.
The winner’s trophy was delivered to Murray with David Bowie singing Heroes in the background. This was a fitting end to a weekend in which I’d also seen Bowie’s last piece of work – Lazarus, a dark musical currently running at the Kings Cross Theatre. Unlike the Guardian review I read on the train, it wasn’t confusing; it was interesting, visually stunning and, of course, a feast of Bowie songs for his die hard fans.
Whether you’re king, queen, lovers, a tennis superstar or a small business owner traipsing through London in the November drizzle, “nothing, will drive them away – we can beat them, just for one day.” I’m staying in for this one day, out of the rain, finishing my illegal chocolate. But you can still find me here: @WeekendWitch.