About Rub-a-Dub, Baked Bean, Sausage Rolls and 007
Dried up lawn, no rain, and temperatures around 30° Celsius – That’s how London presented itself to us at the end of June. The all England Lawn Tennis Club opened its door at Wimbledon for the Lawn Tennis Championships for the 129th time (if I counted correctly…). Everything was set for an unforgettable five-week stay at the UKs’ capital. And it delivered.
The Story about the worlds’ most famous queue at Wimbledon
It is the most important tennis tournament of the year, rich in tradition and an unforgettable experience for the spectators as well as for the players. The crux: only around half a million people are actually able to attend on site during the 13 days. Two third of the tickets are sold in advance or given to VIPs. The rest, some 10.000 tickets a day, are sold on match day. Only a few of them however are valid for one of the three biggest courts, the rest will only give access to the facilities. This leads to a weird situation. People would camp for two nights in front of the entrance in order to receive centre court tickets. As I wasn’t prepared to do that I took the first train to Wimbledon at 5a.m. and arrived at the queue half an hour later, in joyful anticipation on spending a great day watching world class tennis. I got a queuing-ticket (yes, such a thing really exists) and found myself anywhere but close to the entrance with the number 7056. During the next seven hours I made new friends and studied my fellows. Just after noon it was eventually my turn to get in, exhausted but lucky.
The Story about the Tube Strike
On July 8th and 9th, London’s streets appeared to be hosts of a new apocalyptic movie. London’s heart stood still. All major “Tube Unions” were striking. The polite Londoner would show acceptance for the union’s demand, but yet swearing behind closed doors. Newspaper would mention that salaries of tube drivers were already higher than the salary of most Englishmen. Politicians were urging for a quick solution. Twitter was running wild. It all didn’t help, the stations remained closed.
I decided to avoid this chaos and took a day of, playing tennis instead.
The Story about going out
One thing that I personally like a lot is the fact that the night life starts after the work – which means at 5 p.m. One of the reasons might be that the tube stops its service after midnight and the night busses sometimes tend to be, ähm, interesting. Another reason is that the majority of the pubs have to close between 11 p.m and midnight. Whatever the case may be, the result is that you’ll be home at a very convenient time which is perfect for someone who likes to sleep (like me).
The Story behind 007
In the James Bond movies the double 0 stands for the “licence to kill”, however, the original inspiration of 007 is dated back to the 16th century and belongs to John Dee: Spy, mathematician and astronomer for Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. According to the legend, he signed his reports to the queen with 007 – 00 representing eyeglasses, 7 standing for his seven senses. Yes, he really thought that he has seven: The five common ones supplemented with intuition and prophecy.
The Story about the Emirates Cup
A short story, a prediction, and only interesting for football fans. On the last weekend in July, Arsenal hosted the Emirates Cup, composed of four teams playing two games each: Arsenal (obviously), Vfl Wolfsburg, Olympique Lyon and Villareal. Arsenal won the cup, not at least because of an impressive 6:0 win over Lyon. And here comes my prediction: After more than 10 years without winning the Premier League, the gunners will end the 15/16 season on top of the league.
The Story about Cockney Rhyming
Are you still wondering about the heading? Don’t worry, most people do.
Originated in the 19th Century at the East End (by criminals as some people state), these bizarre rhymes spread over London and still causes confusion among tourists (and perhaps also locals). Actually it’s simple. Words are changed by proper names or word combinations which rhyme with the original word. “Hair” turns that way to “Barnet Fair”, “Money” to “Bees and Honey”. Barnet Fair – Hair, Bees and Honey – Money. Our teacher at Stafford House, Mark, loved to use such expressions. And here comes the solving for the headings enigma: Rub-a-Dub – pub, Baked Bean – Queen, Sausage Roll – goal. Or in other words: About pubs, the Queen, goals and British history. And if you are interested in pictures, here we go.