(Nearly) 40 Love

Roughly a year ago, at the age of *ahem* 37, I took up tennis.  It sounds such a middle class thing to do doesn’t it?!  My eldest daughter had been playing for a couple of years and as I stood watching her one day, the coach approached a couple of us Mums and said that he was trialing an initiative to get people into, or back into tennis. Feeling brave, a few of us signed up and within a couple of weeks found ourselves on a tennis court at Olney Tennis Club on a friday night in May.  I never played tennis at school so was a complete beginner but most people hadn’t played for around *cough* 20 years so I didn’t feel at too much of a disadvantage!  The initial lessons were 2 hours long and we did a 6 week course.  A year on, we’re all still playing but for just an hour.  I’m loving it and we play in all weathers, (sometimes all the weather happens in an hour!) but I really need to get more court time.  In a perfect world, I’d love to play everyday or at least 3 times a week but that just ain’t gonna happen at the moment so I’ll make the time for another session in the week on top of my lesson – I promise coach!

I’ll be honest, before I started playing I wasn’t too bothered about watching it on tv except for maybe the finals of Wimbledon.  Now, I watch as much as I can, for training purposes obvs!  In my head, I know how to play like Sharapova but the reality is far from this – our poor coach has the patience of a saint and luckily, a very good sense of humour!

Having watched most of the tournament from Queens (well played Andy Murray) there was the Rally Against Cancer.  An amazing charity and bucketloads of entertainment with Andy Murray and Tim Henman vs Ivan Lendl and Tomas Berdych then celebrity players Boris Johnson (with a wooden racket), Jimmy Carr, Sir Richard Branson, Jonathan Ross, Michael Macintyre and Eddie Redmayne joining Andy Murray and Tim Henman.  At one point, the celebrities were playing trebles against each other – the way forward?!

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to Wimbledon and getting out there myself a bit more –  my husband has now joined the club and the younger daughter is keen too so watch this space for the next future champions!

I’ll leave you with this, for no other reason than I quite like Vampire Weekend and the video has a tennis theme.. – nothing to do with Jake Gyllenhaal in shorts…nothing at all…

Throwback Thursday

Two good friends of mine are off to Sweden today to ride in the Vatternrundan tomorrow evening.  300k on a bike around a lake overnight.  They are doing this to raise money for Cyclists For Cancer who give adapted bikes and trikes to children and young people affected by cancer.

To celebrate this good cause and their efforts, today, I give you this… Good luck guys and  Just keep Moving!

A Wave of Awesomeness and No Jam

This is a very long overdue post.  Waaaay back at the beginning of May, myself and the husband tootled up the motorway to Birmingham O2 to see Alt-J ∆ – (if you’re interested, the setlist can be found here).  There were 2 support bands, Hundred Waters (who we pretty much missed but the last track was good with Bjork style breathy vocals and synths) and Princess Chelsea ( I was taught that if you have nothing good to say then don’t say anything……….)

Alt-J themselves were just as I had expected and it was a joy to hear the album live, although due to the amount of background chatter it was hard to hear much.  I don’t understand why people pay to go and see a band and then stand and chat all the way through, just stick the album on at home people! *eye-roll*

My favourite track of the night was one of the cover tracks which is a mash up of Kylie and Dr Dre – no, really – it happened.

At the end of May we popped up to Birmingham again, this time to see Lucy Rose at the tiny venue that is the Library at The Institute – I think it was about 300 capacity and as always was such a privilege to see live music at such close quarters. Lucy has such a beautiful voice (you may have heard her backing vocals on Bombay Bicycle Club albums) and her band are amazing.  There was a much more funky feel to the gig than on the album and she played some new tracks which sounded great. She had some really good banter with us all too.

At both these gigs, it was rare that there was no tall or wide people in front of me *nod of approval* but the thing that struck me was that no-one danced or even jigged along.  I did at Alt-J but there was literally no-one near me even nodding in time at Lucy Rose so I refrained.  Maybe it stems back to my old skool raving days but music of any kind just makes me want to move…just me?…OK then….

This was my favourite track

You might be wondering what the No Jam in the title could possibly refer to… At her gigs, Lucy sells the usual t-shirts and bags and also her own blend of tea called Builders Grey (2 parts English Breakfast and 1 part Earl Grey) and homemade jam. Those of you who know me will know that this really appealed to me so, I queued up but there was only the large t-shirts left, and no jam…