Saturday, July 18, 2009

All morning long on Friday there was the noise of construction outside my second floor window at work. At one point, I happened to glance out the window to observe two of these hard working men taking a break outside their British Gas Works van. Of course this is normal enough, but as I watched I realized that these sweaty, burly men were not stopping to rest their feet and take a smoke, no these men were making proper cups of tea out of the back of the van! Anyone else find this slightly amusing?

I began to reflect on the role tea plays in the life of the average Englishman - after living in London almost a year I think I have come to understand and even appreciate the place tea has.
  • Tea is the solution to any problem you may have no matter how big or small.
  • Tea is the perfect antidote for drippy dreary weather that seems to chill you right to the bone.
  • Tea naturally encourages people in social situations to feel like they have something to do.
  • No day is quite complete without a cup of tea - which somehow rights the world of all its issues for a few moments of the day.
I remember feeling a bit tea logged during the first month of being here because you are constantly being offered a cup of tea. To refuse is unthinkable or if you do refuse you must be slightly mad! I think my body has adjusted quite well since those first weeks, and I admit that every now and again I get an odd feeling that life is just not quite complete without a proper cup of tea in the middle of the afternoon.
well my birthday has come and gone...but it was such a lovely day I thought I would share the details with you all!

Nathaniel discovered that if you show up in the late afternoon to Wimbledon you can get in for a discounted price. I had shown interest in the past to go to Wimbledon and so it seemed the perfect birthday treat.

I left work at noon, and headed into London to meet Nathaniel where we would head out to Wimbledon together. To be honest I know little to nothing about tennis, but I was all excitement and as we purchased our tickets I could hear the crowd watching various matches ohhing and can't but help be caught up in the excitement.

We bought tickets to see a doubles match at Centre Court -where Nathaniel explained, the final matches are all played. As the match progressed Nathaniel had to explain a few things to me - here are a few bits I learned:
  • All tennis played at Wimbledon is played on grass courts
  • You are supposed to be very very quiet while the ball is in play
  • A Gentleman's match is between retired players
  • The match officials were very cute outfits
Here we are with Centre Court behind us after the match was done. I was very happy that day despite the pained expression on my face!

After we had our fill of tennis we wondered back to the neighborhood where Nathaniel lived way back when, and visited a few of his old haunts - then settle down for some Italian food.

We made our way back to the underground...this is Nottinghill Gate tube stop where it we happily waited for quite some time.

When we arrived home I walked into our flat to find this lovely pitcher of happy sunflowers to finnish off a wonderful evening together.