A Travellerspoint blog

England

Brawn and Brain

rain

Brawn although it's so mental too

We got in to wimby just slightly earlier than Friday, at about 7am. We were directed to k10, a row down from Friday though, and it seemed more crowded. I was already fearful that my Murray hopes would be dashed; nonetheless there was nothing to do at that point but wait. So we slept under a beautifully burning morning sun for several hours til we were called in at 11.10, which was actually earlier than Friday.

We got through security and the ticketing counters and rushed over to the resale ticket line. It was just before 12 and the line was about 20m long. We parked ourselves at the end and had a chat with the guy regulating it, he said we would probably be able to get center court tickets, but only at about 5 or 6 :( on the other hand, court 1 tickets might be gotten at 3 plus.

At that point my hopes of seeing Murray in the flesh were dashed. Sigh. Well I knew it had been a possibility, I'd discussed what to do with K for like a hour the night before. Sucks but what can I do? So the new plan was to try for Sharapova on court 1.

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Queuing rules for resale are much more relaxed than for entry, so K went off to try for Lopez and isner on court 3, while I walked over a few metres to court 18 to watch safarova own her opponent, and then to enjoy the first bit of chardy vs cilic!

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It's really quite fun to watch a live tennis match because there are so many things to see. The match, of course, but also the ball kids, professional and precise as clockwork, the line judges switching seats as the players switch serves, the spectators' heads whipping from left to right to left to right, TV presenters with their camera crews on the balcony, Rod Laver being interviewed 20m away... And things you don't notice on TV because of replays, like how picky cilic is about the balls he gets.

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Wimby strawberries and cream! Woohoo! Tradition fulfilled

It rained for 45min at 1.30, but after that it was back to being bright and sunny. Thank God for the good weather, seriously, I was so afraid that it would turn out miserably again like Saturday. While it rained we sat in our ponchos on the grass, and I stuck my head and arms inside so I could blog lolol. We managed to get Court 1 tickets at about 4pm, and we skipped happily to our seats. Sat beside this lovely old couple from Yorkshire, and watched Dimitrov vs Mayer. Or we tried, because it started pouring at 4.30 and they had to stop play. It was great though that we were seated high enough to be sheltered and to not have to vacate!

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Nonetheless there was no hope to really watch anything, so we left our 5 pound resale tickets with the security guard (to be passed on to some lucky people - we regretted and wished we'd sold it to someone still queueing outside for like 30 pounds lol) and made our way to Queen's Theatre.

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Brain or ears? Heart?

We collected our tickets with ease (we were all freaking out cos I'd bought them with my dad's credit card, which obviously I didn't have on me) and then ran over to Four Seasons for some 6.5 pound (14 sgd???) duck rice. Yes it was great but so overpriced. We ate on the red gate hahahaha where i dropped my food, lucky my box landed right side up and I only lost a drumstick, which I seriously considered eating, but then my bro ate it for me and gave me some of his hahahahhaa. Again, this only happens to me.

Went into Queen's Theatre, had a bit of drama when one of our food boxes didn't go into the bin right and we were scrambling on our knees to clean the fallen rice up. Hahahaha. But the musical was starting so one of the attendants told us not to bother (we were almost done anyway) and rushed us to our seats.

And it started, and it was awesome, I teared when I dreamed a dream came on. Eponine was awesome, she's so much cooler than that pansy Cosette. Okay strong words, Cosette can't help being so sheltered, but dude, don't fall in love with someone based on 5s of looking into his face, okay? That goes for you too, Marius, even if you are droolingly cute. You should've gone with Eponine.

And then, just as one of my favourite songs On my own began, the mikes went out and the stage lights went out, and a murmur broke out among the crowd. After a moment, the curtains came down and a technical fault was announced. It took them about 15min to rectify the issue, and the song restarted. Eponine! They still went on to have the intermission though. I almost cried when Gavroche died :( sho shad.

Overall, the songs were well done, loved them. They also made really good use of the revolving platform on the stage, like making it look like people are walking faster than they are, and for scene changes. Javert's fall was really cool too, he basically waved himself about weirdly in slow motion on the spot and then on the floor, while wavy lights danced around him. And the huge blood red flag was present three or four times times, once in the background moving eerily in and out of the fog, and later under Enjolras as he sprawls dead on the barricade. I also love how they use the fog machine, for the flag (as mentioned) and also to make people fade in or out just by walking forward or backward on the stage. Very very cool.

Eventually it was over, and I was a little sad because it was my last night in London, and my last night outside Hamburg before my July trip. Oh well.

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All the poetry of the evening manifested in the window of the bus back. Red poppies behind a black iron fence, a man's face half lit by a streetlight, the twitch of a mouth, the stories of the people passed on London streets. I think I need to read more.

I'm still sad that I didn't get to see Murray. Sigh. Maybe USO? (: kidding, where got money? I did manage to watch some men and women's singles and sit in Court 1, so that's not too bad. And anyway Murray lost in the next round to the very same guy I watched in Court 1 haha. I really believe that Murray has it in him to win big, but I also know how inconsistent he can be. That's why I didn't even expect him to win this year's Wimby. But we shall see what Mauresmo does for him, maybe he'll win USO hmmmmmm.

Also, this will probably be my last post for the next three weeks while I study for exams, except maybe one on Amsterdam which I still have yet to write!!! Boohoo, grounded for 3 weeks. Haven't stayed in the same place for so long since April hahaha. Wow, I've gotten spoiled.

Posted by seaskimmer 10:06 Archived in England Tagged london england murray wimby lesmis Comments (0)

How to watch Wimbledon

rain

The Queue

1. Arrive at Southfields station early, like 7am
2. Walk ten min to the start of the queue while trying to overtake people on the way
3. Get into queue and get a queue ticket and be happy about it then realise that it's the ticket for the queue and not for the tournament
4. Sit/lie/sleep on the grass while waiting several hours to get close to the entrance
5. Wish you'd brought a mat because it's a beautiful warm sunny morning
6. Wish you'd brought a poncho or an umbrella because it's a miserable rainy cold late morning
7. Worry about losing your thermos flask because they explicitly say no thermos flasks allowed
8. Be relieved when the security guards don't really care that much
9. Hand over 20 pounds quite willingly because WIMBY
10. Rush over to the court of your choice (that'd you'd already chosen based on the order of play the night before)

The Other Queue

1. Realise that even a match of small fry will have a crazy queue (even if it was a significant and pretty awesome match of kyrgios vs vesely)
2. Squish into the staircase leading to the seating area of 3 rows and try to see the court
3. Rejoice when some people leave and you can squish in deeper and then comfortably see half the court
4. Be a little bit slow on the uptake when a point is scored because you can't see the other player
5. Feel sad when it starts to rain again

When it Rains
1. Head over to center court to pee
2. Try to get in as far as possible
3. See Nadal from under a guy's armpit and take pictures that way, even if you can't really make out his face from that distance
4. Finally give up and go out to buy a wimby poncho
5. Queue to get into main store. Manage to grab the last one in the store, then queue to pay
6. Head over to Murray mount for the atmosphere

Just Choose a Court
1. Just choose a court eg court 3 is a good idea
2. Sit down comfortable and dry in the rain in a poncho and watch Sharapova own Riske on the big screen
3. Fall asleep for most of the match
4. Wake up when the rain stops and the ball kids begin to prep the court for play
5. Cheer when ball kids come out
6. Cheer when cover comes off
7. Cheer when person comes out to check the grass
8. Cheer when umpire comes out
9. Cheer when line judges come out
10. Wait impatiently for more to happen
11. Cheer when players come out
12. Enjoy the match!
13. Wait impatiently for the next match
14. Wonder why everyone is leaving when the next match is Lopez vs Isner
15. Groan when 2 young girls appear on court
16. Watch some of it but shift seats to watch the other matches over the side of the court (ie nishikori vs bolleli and jerzy vs robredo)
17. Get chased out at end of match
18. Attempt to watch other matches through people's heads
19. Leave when play stops because of the setting sun
20. Crowd into the train
21. Be very very tired but still blog while charging phone because WIMBY and also there are only 2 plugs in the room and also you forgot to bring your sd card so you have to use your phone to take photos
22. Go to sleep wwithout showering

Actual Tips
1. Bring a poncho unless you're prepared to come with an umbrella and waterproof jacket and pants and shoes
2. Bring a mat to queue and sit on Murray mount
3. Bring lots of food
4. Bring extra things to be warm in
5. Look through order of play the day before and strategise, unless you have data
6. Consider if you are aiming for resale tickets and prepare to queue for it (court 18, depending on weather, start as early as 12)
7. Be prepared for disappointing London weather

Posted by seaskimmer 15:56 Archived in England Tagged london tennis murray wimbledon Comments (0)

London

The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane. 

- Stephen Fry

First impression of London: inefficient. They overbooked the buses from Stansted to London! I ended up missing my 1pm tour sigh.

Beyond that, it's a very strange and interesting mix if old and new, even more so than in an other country I've been to. EG the guy had to print out and staple a ticket and a receipt (that he kept) when he was doing our oyster cards for us. I mean, if you're gonna be contactless and electronic why not go the whole way? And the City feels like that too, that cabs are slightly ancient looking (which I love) and the streets look old too, when the tarmac and cars are disregarded. I could almost see black beauty and ginger straining with their loads, and Oliver twist running away.

Finally met up with z and p. Met yz for Burger and lobster. Very yummy lobster, but paid 20 pounds for it sigh.

Went shopping, sort of at top shop and primark. Went back to shower and sleep. Did some research, created exco WhatsApp group.

Woke up early at 8 to shower, do more research. And wanted to have my free breakfast but thwarted. Sad. Angry. I wanted food. A lot of food. For free. Oh well.

So the plan for London second day was 11am sandeman, 2pm Bricklane, 4pm natural history museum, 6pm goldmine dinner, drinks after.

Here's what actually happened:

P and I went out to get breakfast (got the timing wrong and missed the free breakfast, I was very angry about that haha), ended up at a 5 pound 'English breakfast' that we sped through so that we could make the 11am sandeman. Made it, even a bit early, stared at the moleskin shop longingly while avoiding the customary group photo. Interesting tour as usual. Realised that there wouldn't be enough time to do all that we wanted and also we decided that we might want to do another (paid) tour.

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So we ended up taking a bus to Liverpool Street station, and walked a really long time in the hot (actually hot!) sun to Bricklane. And finally made it at 4pm lol. Bought a bunch of stuff for relatively low prices (jacket for two pounds hehehe) and then everything began closing (at 5pm) so we tapaoed dumplings and fried rice and teriyaki chicken for our early dinner. Then met t, z, and d at the green patch to hang and eat our dinner. Sun was still shining, someone was playing reggae, a million people hanging out on the grass. Nice.

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P and I rushed back off for our 6.30pm grim reaper tour. After some (more) detours we made it on time and rested our weary limbs for a mere 5 min before the tour started. Very interesting, it was about death in London, and that included plagues, hangings and murders (ie jack the ripper). Then back to the hostel where we'd left our bags, waited downstairs in the lounge for t to return, and watched 21 jump Street in the lounge while waiting for our 1am bus. Unfortunately we had to leave halfway. I need to finish it!

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Weary way to Victoria coach station, had my 7 chicken wings! The guy gave me an extra piece, don't know if it was by accident or he was just being nice :) or if he just had a lot of leftovers that he couldn't sell finish haha. But okay, a bit gluttonous, should have only gotten 3. Oh well, good supper. It was even spicy, haven't had chilli in ages.

London is a city I would actually return to. There's so much to do and see there! Unlike some other cities in can think of haha.

Posted by seaskimmer 08:47 Archived in England Tagged london uk Comments (0)

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