Five people that win… June

My wifi at home is still down, and it is killing me. I didn’t realise quite how much I relied on it, until I got a message from my phone provider saying I had already used all my data, 3 weeks before the end of the contract month. Ouch.

So, as I wait in vain for an engineer to come around and huff and sigh a bit before taking another week to actually fix things, I bring you this month’s winners via the medium of 4G. Please address all complaints about spelling errors and broken links to Sky Broadband.

1. This guy, who had a night to himself in Las Vegas airport, a phone camera, and an unnatural knowledge of Celine Dion lyrics.

2. Bill Murray

Always, and forever, but this month it’s for his crashing of these engagement photos.

 

Image taken from Buzzfeed.

Image taken from Buzzfeed.

 

No one will ever believe you.

3. Mindy Kaling

Because she’s back on our (UK) screens in The Mindy Project, and because I read her book Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me?

And because I read the following passage about marriage and drunkenly, wibblingly (I may have just made up this word), sent it to my friends and boyfriend like it was the Dalai Lama Guide to Marriage and full of all the truths.

In real life, shouldn’t a wedding be an awesome party you throw with your great pal, in the presence of a bunch of your other friends? A great day, for sure, but not the beginning and certainly not the end of your friendship with a person you can’t wait to talk about gardening with for the next forty years.

4. Weirdly, a sanitary towel company – Always.

Am ever so proud to run like a girl.

5. Dolly Parton.

For Glastonbury, and because I was reminded of this quote, which made me laugh anew.

People always ask me how long it takes to do my hair. I don’t know, I’m never there.

Villain of the Month? Biter extraordinaire, Luis Suarez. Sort it out mate. I too have buck teeth but manage not to go around tearing chunks out of people as their shoulders pass by the vicinity of my mouth. You’re giving us a bad name.

The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I’ll never be as good as the wall.

Monday saw the opening games of Wimbledon, and in a typical Kirbyesque last minute rush, my parents decided to travel down on Sunday night, on the overnight train from Edinburgh (which sounds more romantic than it is), to join the queue at 8am, hoping to see a few games and eat a few strawberries on Murray Mound.
 

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Queue ready.

I had to work that morning, unfortunately, but managed to join “The Queue” at about 1pm. Luckily, the sun was shining and I’d brought The Goldfinch along with me, which meant that the 4 hour wait to get in wasn’t too painful at all.

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I sat next to this hippo for near enough an hour, but still have no idea what it means.

It was a great atmosphere whilst queueing – the marshalls were full of the joys of spring, reminding me of how much fun I had as a Gamesmaker in 2012. People were chatting to each other and playing cards, and generally making the most of the chance to just relax and do nothing (I myself got through over 200 pages of Donna Tartt, so I consider that time well spent). They were even handing out free coffees and squash to keep our energy levels up (I particularly enjoyed the bafflement of the American tourists next to me when they were offered a paper cup of squash).

I got in just after 5, probably due to a max exodus of fans following the Murray match, and duly paid the entrance fee for the grounds (£20 before 5pm, £14 after), and rushed to join my family on outside court number 16 to watch British hopeful Naomi Broady beat Timea Babos from Hungary. I didn’t know this at the time, but Naomi’s entry into Wimbledon was on a wildcard, so she did fantastically well to win this first game – and a tense one it was too, going to tiebreak in the second set, and almost ending early when Naomi slipped and fell, injuring her wrist. It was a very tense game and, although this might be a stupid thing to say, it really made a difference watching a match with a British player – I was so tense, and I hadn’t even heard of the players beforehand! (Full disclosure: I know next to nothing about tennis).

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After this match, we had a quick Pimms break, which took a while because I had to go via the bank to get a second mortgage on my house (£7.80 each. Even as a Londoner used to sky high prices, my jaw dropped), and then visted Murray Mound to watch the big screen which was showing Centre Court, where Djokavic was in the process of winning his match against Golubev.

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The big screen announced the availability of returns for seats on Centre Court and Courts 1 and 2 – and after consulting the boards to see who was playing we decided to catch the end of the Tsonga-Melzer match on Court number one – at only £5 per return ticket (£10 for centre court, all proceeds go to charity), who could say no.

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Turns out we made the right choice. The match between Tsonga and Melzer was a blinder. Melzer seemed beset by bathroom troubles (hey, we’ve all been there right?) and received a warning from the umpire after his second hasty mid-set exit, and both players seemed determined never to let a shot pass them by as they played rally after gripping rally – Tsonga even attempting to make a shot from the floor after taking a tumble.

And then, from nowhere, the rain came.

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What a shame! There was only one game left for Tsonga to win before he took the match, but Mr Weatherman had other ideas, and the covers had to be swiftly pulled over the court – so swiftly even, that the players hadn’t managed to get off the court yet.

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But what an end to a great day. Even for a non-tennis fan as myself, I got swept up in it all and had a blast. If you don’t mind queueing, have an umbrella (even if it has been 25 degrees and sunny  for the rest of the day, you can’t guarantee anything in this English summertime of ours), and have a soft spot for Pimms and strawberries in the sunshine. Oh, and like watching sport, I guess. Then Wimbledon is worth a visit. Come on Tim!*

*I know, I know. But this will never stop being funny to me.

 
Today’s quote is from Mitch Hedburg

PS My internet at home is down so this was written and edited on my phone. Apologies for any spelling and grammatical errors, and most likely I will change my choice of photos when I can see them on the big screen!

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

Well I’ve been quiet recently, sorry about that! But I have an excuse, and that is that I’ve been on two holidays. Two! I know. Spoilt.

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My first trip was a long weekend in Valencia, Spain where my lovely friend Jen lives. I went over with my sister and her best friend, so we had a fantastic girly weekend filled with wine, tapas, sunshine and gossip. I thought I’d share a few photos here.

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Jen in blue.

Wherever I go, I love hunting out the fabric shops and haberdasheries – but we just happened to stumble across this little square surrounded by stalls selling all sorts of ribbons and bows, lace and cross-stitch supplies. And these stylish ladies were sitting around working on their crafts and having a good old catch up in the sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This setting beats John Lewis for your sewing supplies.

Nearby this square is the Mercado Central – a beautiful, breath-taking building filled with all the sights and smells and wonderful food that you’d expect in a Spanish Market. We spent a good long while in here taking it all in – and I bought some cured ham and manchego cheese, which me and my boyfriend gleefully truffled up on my return home.

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Valencia is a great place for a weekend break – it’s easy to walk everywhere, the food is fantastic, and it’s beautiful. Running all the way through the centre of the city is the Jardines de Turia – a 9km park in an old riverbed, which is full of runners every morning (me and my sister even joined them a couple of times, almost unheard of for a holiday for me!), and is flanked at one end by the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias which is a complex devoted to scientific and cultural dissemination made up of five main elements: the Hemisfèric (IMAX cinema and digital projections), the Umbracle (a landscaped vantage point and car park), the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum (an innovative centre of interactive science), the Oceanográfico (the largest aquarium in Europe with over 500 marine species – and although pricey, is well worth a visit) and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (which has a varied opera programme).

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Talking of activities, we all hired bikes one day (only about 10 euros for 24 hours) and cycled through the park and to the beach – just in time for a lunch of paella on the seafront and a short nap in the sun. We deserved it after all that bike action. Honest.

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Posing after our gruelling bike ride. Ready for a glass of wine.

If you fancy a special night out for dinner while you’re in Valencia, I can do no better than recommend you go to Oslo. Or Copenhagen. Or maybe even Malmo. No, I haven’t got my countries mixed up, these are a trio of restaurants in the city serving the most fantastic range of vegetarian tapas, in a very cool and (obviously) Scandinavian-style setting. And you don’t have to break the bank – between the four of us, we ate our fill of tostas, mini-hamburgers, artichoke hearts and quinoa salad, and with wine the bill only came to around 60 euros.

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We never quite got the hang of eating late. The restaurant filled up later..

I highly recommend a trip to Valencia – for such a small city, there’s a lot to see, and food and activities are pretty good value. It’s the perfect place if you just want to take it easy in the sun and watch the world go by, or if you want to get a bit more active there’s plenty to do to! Have I sold it to you? I should totally become a travel agent, right?

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Today’s quote is from Saint Augustine.