Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A bible, a book, a ball & a blubber

What a twenty-four hours!  I feel like I’ve been on a roller-coaster and am now slumped and beaten on the floor. Here are the eventful developments.

A bible

If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I hold New Zealand and Kiwis in genuine affection.  I love how strongly they box above their weight.  By way of example, and as reported on Facebook:

New Zealand just passed two new laws - gay marriage and legalized marijuana.  The fact that gay marriage and marijuana were legalized on the same day makes perfect biblical sense because Leviticus 20:13 says:

If a man lies with another man they should be stoned.

We just hadn't interpreted it correctly before!”

Well, you’ve got to laugh right?  Go New Zealand!

A book

My great friend Felice Arena releases yet another book in the Andy Roid series in Australia today.  Nothing stops this juggernaut of creativity from writing and imagining more terrific stories for children of all ages.  I’m so proud of him.  And your children, nephews and young friends will seriously think you are ‘bionic’ if you refer them to this interactive website:

This series by @fleech is available at Penguin:

And lots of other books at:   

A ball

London’s weather sucks.  There’s no point pretending it doesn’t.  But at least at this time of year we have Queens and Wimbledon, which for tennis fans is a treat. 

So despite waiting and waiting at Queens to see Lleyton Hewitt – play repeatedly delayed because of bad weather – I was thrilled this battler of all battlers made it to the semi-finals.  When it comes to fight-backs Lleyton is legendary and I never think of him or see him play without feeling inspired.

Writers seeking publication and actors fighting for auditions should remember how tough an injured sport’s star has to work to recover lost ground and we might not take our rejection so personally.  

Anyway, I’m just a big fan.  I enjoy all his games.  They are always so eventful and entertaining, with long rallies and clever shots.  His wife Bec is charming, sincere and down-to-earth (which I know first hand) and she wouldn’t have married him if he wasn’t a great guy.  So I have been totally pumped for this English summer of tennis.

Apparently to reward my enthusiasm, a free-entry Wimbledon ticket came my way.  How lucky is that without queuing?!   So into the sunshine I strolled yesterday only to discover I needed a different ticket to see Bernard Tomic on Court 3.  Drat and double drat.  I was all ready to join the Fanatics and cheer him on.  Oh well, I’ll just chat to this nice man on the gate and see what happens… and before I know it I am seated in an empty seat on Court 3 cheering as loud as the best of them.  I know – awesome luck and timing for merely a smile!

Anyway, forward and back goes the tricky little yellow ball... until Tomic takes the match from Sam Querrey after five hard sets. That makes my day.  Long awaited warm weather and sunshine, a Guinness later on Henman Hill, the brilliant atmosphere of Wimbledon, and I am truly in seventh-heaven. 

So I gear up today for another great match: Lleyton Hewitt and an unknown called Dustin Brown.  I am so excited about watching Lleyton take Round 2 and go on to Round 3 and the finals that I clear my diary and place a not insignificant bet on his likely victory.  (Irish heritage: I like the odd flutter.)

Well, if I’m not now left blubbering…

A blubber

Yes, more than a little blubber.  I’m gutted.  The Court 2 match was freakish to say the least – the tall Jamaican (a giant compared to Lleyton) stuck to his tactic of doing anything and everything possible to stop the Legend getting into a rhythm… and after four sets it worked.  Hewitt put up a good fight, just as you’d expect, but ultimately Brown took the match and in doing so has created a name for himself for having an unpredictable style and a brutal serve.

Good luck to him of course.  (I have to say that.) 

But here’s the thing: Lleyton is Lleyton so, though this loss will hurt, he will no doubt take from it all that is positive about his recent performance.  He will power on.  He is in good physical form – against all the odds and after numerous operations and long recovery periods.  He made the semis at Queens – against the odds – and he knocked out Wawrinka in the first round at Wimbledon when few predicted he would.   The odds on him at betting shops have dropped drastically since that win, so clearly even those with money to gain know he’s back in form and clearly someone to watch. 

Whatever happens, though, Lletyon Hewitt has added enormous quality and verve to the professional tennis circuit for more than a decade and he gives true resonance to the term ‘under dog’.  In everything he does… in every physical injury, pain or defeat he resists to go on and try and try again… win and win again… and in doing so he wins more and more respect from the people who share his love of the game, and millions around the world who appreciate his rare breed of talent, resilience and perseverance does him and the game great credit. 

I’ve been away a while so I’m not close to what’s happening in the politics of Canberra today, but Lleyton Hewitt (and lovely Bec) make me proud to stand in the audience of Wimbledon and cry:

Let’s Go Lleyton Let’s Go!


Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!

And if it makes others cringe… providing it’s done in appropriate breaks of play… I don’t care.  ‘Cause if the world could bottle Lleyton’s spirit we’d all be a lot better off.

So with that I’ll stop blubbering, post this blog, and go back to the Tsonga-Gulbis match… which, after all, is what they mean by “focus on the next ball”.

Thanks for that lesson Lleyton.  May you go onward and ever upward!