Amazingly we were only ten minutes early arriving at the pick-up point for our Day Trip to Wimbledon.
This was doubtless because Mr B (who, as you all know,
always, but always, has to arrive far too early wherever we go) failed in his bid to get me out of the house by 8.20 a.m. It was, in fact, 8.23 a.m., a full three minutes late, as we pulled out of our drive. This provoked a "you just
can't get the wives nowadays" tirade as we wended our way down to the sea-front where our coach (of course) was not yet waiting for us, too early as we were...
Our Trip Organiser arrived and started,
well, organising us. Apparently he used to be a Music Teacher and it showed. Our whole trip was quite beautifully orchestrated.
Because, as new members of the Questers Group, we had
been the last to sign up for this trip, we found ourselves sitting on the back seat. An excellent position as far as the all-important leg-room was concerned. Mr B was well-pleased. However it also meant that we were sitting next to the Emergency
Exit. "Break Glass With Hammer" read the somewhat alarming instructions, in large, imperious, red letters, on the window.
Well, I did have a quick look round for a hammer. (Nothing
to worry about - we didn't actually have an emergency so there was no need to break the glass, but I wanted to Be Prepared. I should have been a Boy Scout.) No sign of a hammer anywhere. Perhaps I should have brought one, tucked in my ruck-sack
along with my camera, bottled water, Mr B's reading glasses and the large pack of Werthers Originals to keep us going on the journey? How would I have managed, I wondered, had I been required to actually wield the (non-existent) hammer and break
the glass? No problem - I'd have passed the hammer to Mr B. You don't have a dog and bark yourself, as he is fond of telling me. (My answer to this comment is usually "Woof!")
later and we have arrived at the Home of British Tennis, the hallowed ground on which, for two weeks only, once a year, the World's Best compete in the World's Most Famous Tennis Championships. Waiting for us is Sweet Caroline, a Blue
Badge Guide Extraordinaire who takes us on an amazing two hour tour of the whole site, including the places, like the Press Room, where other tours don't reach. Caroline's the gal for facts and figures, for anecdotes, for inside stories, for behind-the-scenes
sorties. I'm starting a new page on this website giving the detail of our Questers' trips - starting with Wimbledon - so look out for it in a day or so.
Mr B, as some may remember, was
a Ball Boy at Wimbledon in 1958, 1959 and 1960. The Son And Only, hearing about our trip a few days ago, expressed his sympathy, in advance, for all our fellow passengers who would be regaled by tales of Championships Past. But everyone seemed to
enjoy Mr B's reminiscences. He was, I like to think, considered a Bit of a Hero.
Not quite as much a hero, however, as our Trip Organiser who gave us each £4 back on our homeward journey
because the whole excursion turned out to be less than he had originally budgeted for.
What a (Wimbledon) Champ!