So you decided to study in London – well done to you. If you’re planning on staying here over the summer – or at least spending some of your time here – you’re in for a treat because Wimbledon starts next week. Now please be aware, you are in for some rainy days and you may have to endure multiple reruns of Boris Becker winning against another tennis player who no one remembers the name of on TV, but most of the time the sun shines and you can watch people knocking a bouncy green ball back and forth until one of them misses too many times and loses.
If you’re feeling particularly lazy you can stay on the sofa (or in your bed [this is not generally a good idea to do everyday]) and watch game after game of top class tennis. It’s great – you can choose between different matches via the red button (does that still exist?) on your TV. Extra points go to the most obscure match watched – my bet is, it will go to whoever manages to find a stream of the first round of the mixed doubles.
Don’t just settle for watching it on the sofa. Head down early one morning and get in the queue for Grounds Admission tickets. The queue is legendary, but not because it’s really exciting, just because it’s really long. Ignore that and concentrate on being able to watch the world’s best tennis players at their favourite tournament (well most of them say it’s their favourite anyway).
You can also try and cunningly bag a resale ticket for some of the main courts when senseless people leave the grounds early. They start becoming available from 5pm, but you might not get one till a bit later. It is still worth doing because there are usually matches go on until half 9 and the tickets are much cheaper than they would have been if you went through the ballot.
Then there’s the Pimm's and the strawberries and cream – two things you ingest that have probably, worryingly surpassed tennis as things that you would consider synonymous with Wimbledon. Pimm's is alright but don’t buy it at a pub or at Wimbledon itself because that doesn’t really go with a student budget. Make it at home. You’ll need: Pimms, fruit of your choice (ideally some strawberries), maybe some mint and lemonade. Mix it up, and serve. Bon appetite.
Those are the basics. You can always go and play tennis. There are tons of free courts around London and you can pick up rackets from ‘discount’ sports outlets for around a tenner.
Cmonnnnnnn Tim! Sorry if you don’t like tennis.