I've been rather obsessed with Wimbledon ever since I was on block release studying for my GCSEs. I remember spending long periods of time with the television on behind my piles of books, resulting in a rather cringeworthy obsession with Tim Henman... I even had posters of him on my bedroom wall (along with Sean Mcguire and Mark Owen, in case any fellow 90s teens are reading).
But I'd never organised myself enough to actually, you know, go to Wimbledon - despite living in SW19 for the past four years. So when I found out I was pregnant, I decided this was the year I was going to go. Another pregnancy bucket list item to be ticked off.
But again, I was unsuccessful in the ballot - cue much disappointment and hand-wringing. So when my friend told me about the resale tickets available to buy on Ticketmaster (how come no one knows about these?! the best-kept secret in live events!), it was a revelation. I had to keep pinching myself when we set off in a rooftop bus from the station on our way to the All England Club...
I'm pleased to say the day didn't disappoint. Can there be anything more perfect than a blazing hot English summer's day, filled with strawberries, Pimm's, shiny happy people having fun and a little bit of tennis too?!
Top tip: the strawberries were free! If you're an HSBC customer (which I am) you just show your debit card at the HSBC stand and they give you a voucher.
We had Court 3 tickets and were excited to see Marin Cilic and Venus Williams play. Venus Williams blew me away - she's a serious force to be reckoned with and her opponent Madison Brengle didn't manage to win a single game against her. I was completely mesmerised by Venus's strength - seriously, she seemed more powerful than the men we'd seen playing earlier that day. I don't think you can truly appreciate the energy of the players when you're watching it on TV. They are STRONG.
Something else that struck me as we wandered around the grounds was how beautiful everything was - and how much care and attention had gone into the floral displays, which were everywhere, and mostly in the club colours of purple, white and green. I couldn't resist taking pictures of them all...
We sat on Henman Hill/Murray Mound for a bit too, and enjoyed watching Djokovic on the big screen - such a fab atmosphere and if this is what music festivals are like then maybe I've misjudged them all this time... (Still not sure camping is 'fun' for anyone over the age of eight however).
Also, the gift shop is epic! Love a gift shop. Look what we found for Chip...
Trouble is, it was such a fab day that now I'm determined to return every year. And of course next time, I'm going for Centre Court.