May 22 2008

A Wee Wait To Get Into Wimbledon

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 5:00 am

Some twelve or thirteen years ago, a friend and I had decided to go down to London to watch some Wimbledon matches; now obviously we were just going to be queueing up for normal admittance. As we were still in school, we didn’t have the funds available for proper Wimbledon debenture tickets, but we were still happy to be there, and just to sample some of the atmosphere, even if we couldn’t necessarily get to see any of the big stars.

Anyway, we left Cheltenham at about half five/six in the morning, hoping we’d at least get in a good afternoon’s viewing. How wrong we were! When we arrived, a massive queue had already formed, with little movement discernible. We’d thought to bring along some food and drink, and got chatting to a couple of Australian students who were next to us in the line. At some point, someone passed a long a fat, loosely-rolled cigarette (what else would students produce ?), which helped matters go with a swing. Anyway, there were two toilet stations within the long queued-up roads, but past these, you were herded into barriers that stopped people from easily moving in and out of the queues. Seriously overestimating just how much capacity my bladder had, I ended up almost doubled up in pain, unable to risk leaving the queue after so many hours, but seriously wondering if it was possible to ‘tie a knot in it’. When I had finally turned a strange colour, my friend told me that despite only being some twenty metres from the gates (but no movement for a while), I should just… well, water the plants. This led to the odd scene of my friend and one of the Aussie girls standing with their backs to me, to provide some decent cover from others in the queue, but directly in front of me was Wimbledon itself, with all the people who’d already got in, milling about. Anyway, several minutes later, with all matters resolved, we moved on, and eventually got into the grounds. It was now 4.45pm, and so we had spent most of the day queueing up. We managed to walk around and see a few matches, but the alcohol had effected us enough that we didn’t really remember who was playing who. The moral of the story? Book your tickets in advance, and don’t drink too much if you do need to queue to get into Wimbledon 😉

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