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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

England Expects


I am still working on my hobble at the start of the week, so the plan of seeing how I went in Thursday’s 4th Round of the Nottingham Grand Prix at Colwick Park before deciding whether to join L and Daughter in Sunday’s Notfast 10k now looks a bit flawed. I might need another week to recuperate.

We are not doing Tuesday’s 3rd Round at the Embankment anyway because we have tickets for Wimbledon. I get the train across from Derby to Nottingham after work on Monday and then we get the train down from Nottingham to St Pancras. We stay the night in the Holiday Inn at Shoreditch and have a night out in the local pubs.

On Tuesday we then get the tube over to Wimbledon, which turns out to be further than I thought. I’ve always wanted to go to Wimbledon but just to have a good old wander round. I’ve never really been bothered about getting on to Centre Court and seeing one of the big names annihilating the canon fodder they put in front of them in the early rounds. However this appears to be the only easy way of getting in.

So today we see the defending women’s champion Garbine Muguruza demolishing our own Naomi Broady followed by Rafael Nadal barely breaking sweat as he swats aside Dudi Sela. We don’t even bother taking our seats for No 1 seed Simona Halep who also cruises through and have a bit of a wander round instead. That is after stopping for a Pimms (for L) and the allocated tournament beer Stella (for me).

The outside courts that I so wanted to wander around are a bit disappointing, all a bit squashed in and difficult to get round. The whole place needs a bit of a redesign if you ask me but I’m sure they won’t. However, my curiosity has been satisfied and it was a good day out.

We leave a bit early but mainly to catch England v Columbia, as do many others. We catch (well I catch, L is reading a book) the first hour in the Parcel Shed at Kings Cross, leaving to catch our train just after Harry Kane’s penalty gave England the lead. The rest of the game will be in the hands of East Midlands Trains’ on board wifi.

Which might have been fine, if the game hadn’t gone into extra time thanks to Columbia’s 93rd minute equaliser. The whole carriage is watching or listening to the game but as we head north the mobile phone signal and consequently East Midlands Trains’ wifi deteriorates. Now, depending on whether you are following via the wifi or everyone’s differing mobile phone networks signals, we are all listening to different parts of the game.

So when it goes to penalties while I had my head in my hands after Jordan Henderson missed England’s third, the woman across the way was still celebrating Marcus Rashford scoring our second but the chap across from me was smiling because Columbia had just missed and Kieran Tripper had restored our lead. We all got there in the end though, and found out that Eric Dier (of all people) had put us into the Quarter Finals.

(Wednesday 3rd July)

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