But wait, it was also Glastonbury a few days ago. What did you expect? British Summer Time? Hell, this is British summer!
The clever boffins at the All England Lawn Tennis Club have finally (after some 136 years) decided to stick a roof on center court (and soon #1 court too) so that we can actually get through a match without the covers having to be brought on OR endure a Cliff Richard rendition whilst we wait as rain stops play. Yay! Thank *insert appropriate deity here* for that!
But hey, let’s hope they actually close it in time – unlike our friends in Donetsk at the Euro’s last year *sigh* when they delayed the decision to close the embarrassingly expensive roof until they were under three feet of water and then realised that it takes over an hour to shut, by which time, the referees were wearing waders and Roy Hodgson had defected to the England synchronised swimming team!
So, for all of our non-British visitors, I thought I’d give you a little sneeky-peek into one of our most visited events of the year and show you why it is so adored here in Blighty…
During the Wimbledon fortnight the following are consumed:
- 300,000 cups of tea and coffee
- 250,000 bottles of water
- 207,000 meals served
- 200,000 glasses of Pimm’s
- 190,000 sandwiches
- 150,000 bath buns, scones, pasties and doughnuts
- 135,000 ice creams
- 130,000 lunches are served
- 100,000 pints of draught beer and lager
- 60,000 Dutchees
- 40,000 char-grilled meals served
- 32,000 portions of fish and chips
- 30,000 litres of milk
- 28,000 kg (112,000 punnets) of English strawberries
- 25,000 bottles of champagne
- 23,000 bananas
- 20,000 portions of frozen yoghurt
- 12,000 kg of poached salmon and smoked salmon
- 7,000 litres of dairy cream
- 6,000 stone baked pizzas
In the fourteen days of the tournament, some 378.8 million people will watch it on their televisions.
Almost half a million spectators will pass through the gates during the tournament.
At least one player will smash a serve in of more than 137 mph at their opponent and no-one will die. (hopefully)
660 matches will be played.
Over 40 miles of string will be used to re-string rackets.
6,000 members of staff will work for the duration.
25,000 households will be adorned with a new green and purple championship towel.
10,000 umbrellas will be bought and most likely, used.
And one man and one woman will be crowned Champions and have their name etched on that famous wall and trophy.
This usually leads to almost 63 million disappointed Brits – again.
But what about this year?
Federer – out.
Nadal – out.
Murray – still in (at the time of writing this)
…and possibly just one man stands between him and that elusive win. Will we be celebrating this coming Sunday in the sunshine, or will we be snarling a smile as someone else plants a smacker on the trophy once again? Who knows? But to us, it is summer, it is Wimbledon…
Wrong. Very wrong. There can only be one winner.
So, you are forgiven for wondering what any of this has to do with writing and publishing (a-ha, you knew there was a reason you came!). Well, I’ll tell you.
I am soooooooo bored of reading posts/rants/tirades of abuse relating to the tennis that is the ‘traditional’ versus ‘indie’ grudge match.
I mean, get over yourselves already. ALL of you.
I staggered across one highly amusing post here the other day. I won’t offer my opinion on the poster, he does a cracking job of removing all doubt for you in his replies and his other vitriolic (and highly unsubstantiated) blatherations against ‘indies’. It seems reading his other posts that the guy is highly knowledgeable and offers some great news and insight into e-reading and publishing. but like the perennial loser at Wimbledon, no matter how well he plays up until the final match-winning point, everything else that comes before it is irrelevant if you’re not kissing the cup.
Then there was, of course, the equally-sidesplitting post by Melissa Foster some time ago. Add that to your handmade, obviously second-rate pipes and smoke your not-quite-as-good-as-Golden Virginia-tobacco you wannabe writer plebs!
At the other end of the manicured court, just in sight above the perfectly aligned net are the ‘indie is the only way’ ‘traditional publishing is dead’ naysayers. I detest them with equal venom.
Let’s just get one thing straight here, guys: whether you label yourself with the latest cool author tag (anyone else hate ‘hybrid’? I’m a writer, not a car) or you stand with both feet rooted in one happy camp and your one and only song on your iPod blasting out on a repeatable 24 hour loop, you are in this crazy sport for one reason and one reason only. To write the best story/book/poem/screenplay that you can.
There should only ever be ONE winner.
Game, set AND match.