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On strawberries and screen and a new doctor

Sporting events and me? Not so much.

Sporting events, me and a jug of PIMM’s? Sounding a bit better.

Sporting events, me, a jug of PIMM’s and Roger Federer? I’m listening.

Sporting events, me, a jug of PIMM’s, Roger Federer and an announcement for the new Doctor? SOLD!
Tennis! An excuse to drink PIMM's during the day!
Sporting events, me, a jug of PIMM’s, Roger Federer, an announcement for the new Doctor and finding out the new Doctor will be played by a woman? GET. OUT. SIGN ME UP. AM I IN HEAVEN?!?!

Big cities and big-ticket events go hand-in-hand. Melbourne in summer is all about the tennis and Grand Prix and music festivals, night markets and I can go on. But I must admit, the events during winter always made me more excited. Winter in Melbourne is the time when you spend hours going through the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) guide, promising yourself you’ll only see five films and end up seeing at least ten. It’s the time when the NGV pulls out all the stops for their Winter Masters, leaving you equally awed and annoyed. (Will female artists ever get equal representation, NGV?) It’s the time when buildings you didn’t even know existed, open their doors just for you, and when authors from around the world hold audiences in the palms of their hands. (Oh, and there’s AFL stuff, but, whatever.)

As for London? Well, I mean sure, there is more than plenty to do in winter, but why would you? Summer is when London truly shines and if you don’t love England’s capital from July until September, you never will. After months of grey misery, London bursts wide open. Every street swells with people spilling out from neighbourhood pubs from at least one o’clock onwards (I know this, trust me. I watch it from my new office window). The parks become sought-after destinations at the weekend, and diaries fill to bursting with THINGS YOU MUST DO THIS SUMMER. Which is why, post Scottish mini-break, I am more than happy to settle into the city for the next few months… or at least until the end of August when I escape to San Sebastian for a few days. (I know. You hate me. Soz.)

And Wimbledon is one of the city’s best big-ticket events to welcome the summer season. (As is watching Love Island, but more on that later). Or so I have been told. The joy of attending Wimbledon is something I am yet to experience first hand. But this being London, just because I wasn’t organised enough to enter the Wimbledon ballot years in advance, or line up for tickets in the wee hours of the morning (or overnight) doesn’t mean I had to completely miss out. Oh no!

As the day of the men’s final dawned, I got myself ready to head to Lewis Cubitt Square near King’s Cross where a giant screen had been erected for people to watch the tennis throughout the championship. And of course, by 12.30pm – a time we felt would give us more than enough of a head’s start to find four seats together – the place was already packed.

Zeroing in on a spot, we muscled our way through the crowd and flung bags and jackets where we could to bags spots for our group’s late(r) arrivals. And though the match was still a fair ways away from beginning, I was off to the drinks stand for the obligatory jug of PIMM’s. Which was followed by strawberries and cream, which was followed the start of the match and by being boozed enough to almost cry when Cilic cried after the first set. This was then followed by Federer’s absolute domination on court, and followed again by a quick pan of David Tennant in the crowd (on screen), which was the perfect reminder that following Wimbledon, the actor playing the 13th Doctor would be announced to the world. Too. Much. Excitement. For. One. Day.
Legend part 1
I’m not going to use this blog post as a ‘think piece’ on my thoughts and feelings about the Doctor being played by a woman. There will be (and already are) plenty of those around. I just want to add my utter delight at the announcement. I’m more excited about the new season of Doctor Who than I have been about the show for some time. Tennant was the pinnacle and while I loved most of Matt Smith’s reign, it did all go a little down hill towards the end. And Capaldi? Well, I love him as an actor and he did a great job, but it just never hit the right tone for me. (Plus I never got over the 10th Doctor’s regeneration sob.)
Jodie Whittaker aka the 13th Doctor aka legend part 2

AHEM! Sorry, non-Doctor Who fans. I’m back!

Getting to watch the men’s Wimbledon final as I sipped my PIMM’s and held my face up towards the British summer sun, I couldn’t help but feel pretty lucky and excited for what this new season will bring. A season that promises a bounty of things to do in the city. A season that sees me starting a new job, with a new company. And a season that marks my first full year in London. But more on that later…


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