Imagine asking an American to write down 1,324 things they think of when they think of England, and also – for the sake of this analogy – you are a genie, and you make every single one of those things come true. Abrakadabra, alakazam! That’s what Wimbledon is. It’s like someone let off an atomic bomb filled with queues, strawberries and white people so singed by the gruelling effects of the sun that they’ve essentially transformed into human strawberry Pop Tarts. Forget the tennis, just come here to queue and say ‘morning!’ to people while kissing your British passport and fanning yourself with a picture of Winston Churchill.
Men in blazers
Wimbledon is a hot one, like seven inches from the midday sun, as one of the great twentieth century poets once said. But despite the mercury reaching a whopping 31 degrees Celsius on our visit, almost every single man was wearing cotton trousers, some form of loafer that apparently gets handed to you as you enter the grounds, and a blazer in some horrifying shade of navy. Any colour as long as it’s navy, seriously. You could just sense the sweat pooling, ready to burst to like a frozen pipe, but it's not frozen, because it's really seriously incredibly hot, and it's not water, it's just actual real life human sweat.
Honestly, they’re absolutely bloody everywhere. And not just on the courts. You can’t go for a piss without splashing a bit of widdle on Novak Djokovic’s Airmax or reaching for the same (Dyson Airblade, naturally) hand dryer as Maria Sharapova. Get in line, MazShaz, we all have the same right to dry hands. And it’s not an exaggeration either. We went for a coffee and had to wait 40 minutes for Andre Agassi to stop going on about his favourite bean (interestingly, it’s kidney beans rather than coffee beans. Fascinating guy, Andre).
I almost got knocked over at one point by a lady’s hat with a brim so wide it was essentially a beach parasol. She could’ve sheltered a large dehydrated family under there. But it’s not just big hats here, oooh no. There are hats with little tails to protect ya neck, hip baseball caps, trilbies, helmets, chef’s hats, and so many panama hats that it’s like a tax avoidance scheme come to life. Honestly, if you can spot a bare head in this picture…good for you. Bring a hat if you want to fit in, that’s what I’m trying to say.
Seems obvious, but it’s absolutely everywhere. Every spare patch of grass is filled with athletes dressed in impeccable white clothes repeatedly grunting at each other. If you didn’t know it was a sport, you’d think something very indecent was happening. But let me assure you, it’s very decent. More than decent, it’s brilliant. Sunshine, queues and athletes trying to little yellow balls really f’in hard. God save the Queen.
Here's our handy guide to Wimbledon 2018.