Anyone for Tennis

Wimbledon Bus
I went to Wimbledon this week and was lucky enough to see what the BBC says is one of the best women’s matches they have ever televised. It was between the diminutive Mrs Date-Krumm and the colossal Venus Williams. A truly David and Goliath effort. Unfortunately on this occasion Goliath won – but only just. I don’t think many of us in the centre court on Wednesday knew much about Mrs Date-Krumm and so it was with surprise that I leaned that in 1996, as Kimiko Date she was number 4 in the world rankings. Having lost a semi-final to the great Steffi Graf she decided to leave the tour where she was unhappy, and married Michael Krumm a German racing driver set on having a family. Sadly this didn’t happen and twelve years later her husband persuaded her to return to tennis. How sad it wasn’t sooner, her elegant style of play would have graced many a court. While I was watching this match I scribbled my own tribute to Kimiko!


Oh Kimiko Date-Krumm
Fashioned under the Kyoto sun
Lithe of limb and fleet of foot
Strong in arm and true of eye
Rallying under Wimbledon skies
In your dress of driven snow
You were not to be outshone
To your charms we all succumbed
You so deserved the victor’s crown
The match was lost
But many hearts were won

(And you, nearly forty one!)

Strictly Albert

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I went to the opening night of Raymond Gubbay’s Strictly Gershwin last night. And what a wonderful toe-tapping night it was! ‘Swonderful Gershwin tunes, electric dancing from English National Ballet, the smoky tones of Maria Friedman and the iconic Royal Albert Hall. Because make no mistake this wonderful show would not have been the same in any other venue. The marvellous arena space was made for dancing, sorry prommers, and the sense of occasion you feel when entering the hall, is a theatrical experience in itself. London is so lucky to have this marvellous concert hall right in it’s very heartland. Opera, ballet, pop concerts, festivals, Christmas shows, tennis, boxing – the dear old Albert has been home to them all. And a few more besides. Thank you Albert. And thank you Raymond Gubbay for a terrific show – if you live in London, try and see it, there are probably a few seats left.

Tesco Troubles

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I see that Tesco in Stokes Croft, north Bristol has reopened. Well I hope they’ve learnt their lesson. Nearly 300 people expressed their dissatisfaction with the store in what has been termed a riot. I have to say that some of the actions did seem to go a bit far. Of course its annoying when you find your favourite brand of pickled Korean cabbage isn’t available. Or that there are only five sizes of baked beans on the shelves. But I’m sure a word with the manager would have sorted things out. I gather that the absence of any cooked meats caused several of the protesters to start fires in an effort to cook their own. What a resourceful race we are. One possible contributor to the riot was that prior to the opening of the store some 2,500 people had taken the trouble to send postcards to the council. These were, presumably, some kind of mass shopping list, items they wanted stocked in the new store. Of course, when people discovered they hadn’t been listened to they were more than a little cross. Maybe next time it would be better to send them to Tesco – or just shop at Sainsburys!