I blame it on the moon. This ‘Supermoon’ which has recently graced us with its presence. According to the BBC website, this so-called ‘Supermoon’ ‘occurs when the Moon reaches its closest point to earth, and is known as a perigree full moon. Apparently we will have to wait until August 2014 for the next one.
Just as well as far as I’m concerned.
It may be a ‘Supermoon’ to astronomers but to me it is a ‘Bad Moon Rising’. This can be the only explanation for the turmoil in my life recently and for Rafa’s shock exit at Wimbledon last week, he who crashed and burned in his first match on the first day of Wimbledon this year. I still can’t get over it.
Two sets down? That’s nothing. Struggling in the third? Bring it on. He’ll fight back. He always does. Except this time he didn’t. It set the tone for Wimbledon this year, as upset after upset followed. Bizarre, unprecedented, crazy. Even John McEnroe, he of the back-in-the-day wild hair, short, tight white shorts and yelling, “You cannot be serious!” (Yes, that was a long time ago and John, we here in the UK love ya baby!) hasn’t been able to offer an adequate explanation, seemingly just as perplexed in his expert commentary as the rest of us.
*Rafael Nadal. How can you not admire him? He of those dark, Spanish looks (well, he is Spanish, so that makes perfect sense), those rippling biceps and his quirky OCD habits (so he gets a wedgy every now and then, who doesn’t). What’s not to love? As for the way he plays tennis, well, I am far from an expert so I won’t even presume to comment on that, suffice to say, he is just bloody brilliant. Then, what really clinches it for me is how polite and gracious he his when he is being interviewed. He never lays any blame on anyone, or how slippery the grass may or not be, or on his injuries (of which he suffers many) or how unwell he may have been feeling. No, he just gets down to it and gets on with business. Plus, I just melt at the way he says, “Saank you verrry mushhh”. I know, I’ve got it bad.
This Bad Moon Rising has had me on the run. It’s ethereal light has bathed me in some kind of madness. I have a distant relative who, as the stories of family lore go, used to disappear at every full moon. Nobody knew what he got up to. I have my theory but I won’t write about it here, that would not be wise. Certainly, when he used to come and visit I never noticed any signs of extra-hairiness or sharp, long teeth but I did wonder. I wonder now. I hope it doesn’t run in my family…
I should have known it was a bad omen when Rafa lost. Well, what about Andy Murray you may well be asking? Don’t worry, of course, I wish him all the very best and will be rooting for him all the way. Nobody here, least of all me, wants to hear those words, “And it’s all over for England.” Again. Having said that, of course, it doesn’t really apply here since Andy Murray is Scottish.
But, I am sorry to say, Tim Henman has ruined it for me. Tim. Timmy. The sort of lovely young man you would have been thrilled to have your daughter bring home and serve tea and biscuits to on your best china. He of husband to the lovely Lucy and three (I think) chubby-cheeked, curly-haired children running barefoot in their English Country Garden somewhere in the Cotswolds (I am actually making all this up because I like to dream, but I actually have no idea where Tim Henman lives, so Tim, if, on the extremely outside chance you may be reading this, you have no need to worry).
Oh Tim. How I (and the entire nation) sweated blood over you! Every drop shot, every serve, every volley, every forehand smash. Every win and then every defeat. Pressure? What pressure? Wimbledon hadn’t had (and still hasn’t to this day) an Englishman win since Fred Perry had that honour in 1936. Haven’t we waited long enough?
We even named ‘Henman Hill’ in your honour, where die-hard fans sat in all weathers (and sometimes it was grim) to support you and cheer you on, longing to be rewarded for their wait with your Championship Win.
Year after year, we as a nation watched you, veering from rushes of ecstatic victory highs to crashing, hope-dashed lows. You came so very close. I’m sure you remember. We all do. 2001. The year you lost to Goran Ivanisevic. You were so close, almost there, on a roll. Then the match was suspended due to rain. I will never swerve from my deep-held belief that if the rain hadn’t fallen at that moment (pre-Centre Court roof) you would have won that day.
But you didn’t win.
My husband called you a no-hoper. He also wants Novak Djokovic to win this year. He is a Wimbledon traitor. He will read this and smile, don’t worry, it is just our ‘tennis banter’.
Darling husband, I would just like you to read this, however.
Did you know that Tim Henman reached the semi-finals four times?
1998: lost to Pete Sampras in four sets.
1999: lost to Pete Sampras in four sets.
2001: lost to Goran Ivanisevic in five sets.
2002: lost to Lleyton Hewett in three sets.
Each player that defeated Henman in the semis won the Championship in their next match. Let that hang there just for a brief moment…
Centre-Court at Wimbledon. Pure theatre. Pure agony. A modern-day Colosseum for gladiators battling it out, well not quite to the death, but near enough, albeit it with tennis rackets rather than with swords. The roars of the crowd, the ‘Mexican Waves’, the groans of utter frustration. Nail-biting, teeth clenching, angst-ridden, hope-upon-hope fist pounding in the air for a victory for England, for Britain. Why do we do this to ourselves? We soak it up.
So here we are, today at the semi-finals, Andy Murray playing for another historic place in the final to he held on Sunday. Attempting to achieve for Scotland and Britain what Tim couldn’t achieve for England.
But what does all this matter. The important question to ask here is where are you Rafa? Where are you when I need you?
My kind of Moonshine. This is my kind of crazy. And I love it 🙂