I have a confession to make. It’s very odd, but for the first year ever, since I was about 11, I have no interest in Wimbledon. I don’t know why this is: it could be the football which means the BBC have given it less than their usual dedicated coverage; or the fact that Murray is out much sooner than he ought to have been – whatever the reason I have seen a few matches but it has failed to excite me. To understand just how weird this is, you have to realise that Wimbledon has been a feature of my calendar every single year since 1966. I have only missed a couple: once when I was living Up North and didn’t have a TV, and once when I was living in Madrid and only had access to channels like TVE 1 and Telecinco. Every channel in Spain has adverts on; and the news is so frenetic you can’t follow it at all, never mind the sport. Which reminds me, have you ever tried listening to the tennis on the radio? It’s something else. By the time they’ve described a back-hand cross-court volley with top-spin which lands just short of the baseline, about three more shots have been played. Weird.
Today I have been mostly… finishing off my memoir. Yay! I have now reached the requisite 50,000 words (that’s about 150 pages) and have reached it in about six weeks starting from a base of 6000. Now begins the work of revising… Still I think I shall give it a rest for a week or two as I have to do my tax return and reapply for tax credits. Joy.
Have a good weekend. We shall be going to the cathedral to see the new garden and to Serenity, a Sci-fi event, on Sunday where I shall be poeting.
I start with some joyful news. Mafeking has been relieved! Our endless financial fast is over: no more making do and mending; no more repetitive checking of my precarious bank balance: the Tax Credits sont arrives! The sense of relief is palpable; for we have now been upgraded from ‘desperate’ to ‘hard-up.’
To continue: Charlotte Church this morning was heard to berate the ageing sexists in the music industry: it is time these exploitative dinosaurs were taken to task and I’m pleased to hear her do it. She was giving the John Peel memorial lecture:
and she argued intelligently and cogently. The fact that this was something of a surprise would seem to prove the very point she is making about her dumbed-down and sexualised image.
The very sound of John Peel’s name causes me to feel a mixture of affection and sadness. He was truly ‘one of us’ – in a universal, not a narrow social-class, sort of way: I caught a glimpse of him the other night as I was watching the BBC retrospective about Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells (see my review of this coming on Thurs) – there he was on the Old Grey String Vest or one of those programmes, sitting in that characteristic hunched-over pose, long hair falling over his face and scalp already balding, completely unaware of the cameras and softly strumming a guitar.
I miss the man.
And what a contrast with his fellow-DJ whose name has become a byword for infamy and disgust! Savile was on the news once again as yet more victims seem to have come to light: the very sound of his name makes me shudder.
Two very different legacies…