Wimbledon

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A street in Wimbledon

There are place whose names conjure up emotions that are out of all proportion to geographical reality.  One thinks immediately of Paris, Samarkand, Xanadu… and Wimbledon.

I have a 326-year-old map of Midlesex [sic] hanging on my office wall. There are a few place names south of the Thames. Roehampton is there, spelt ‘Rowhampton’, but that suburb’s neighbour Wimbledon is absent. Now it rates inclusion in the London A-Z, but this random streetscape (courtesy of Google Maps) hints at nothing extraordinary. And yet…

Last night Mrs SG and I watched spellbound as Ashleigh Barty, carrier of Australia’s sporting hopes, battled with Karolina Plišková to win the Women’s Singles championship. Her victory was followed by royal pomp and graciousness, an interview, a quantity of photographs that in the pre-digital age would have dented the world’s supply of silver, and holding aloft the trophy plate until her arms must have ached.

Ashleigh Barty

And all the time one was aware of the dark green colour scheme of the stands, the worn grass, the military efficiency of the ballboys/girls… it could have been nowhere else but on the hallowed sod that mortals call Wimbledon.

POSTSCRIPT

Mrs SG and I had our second Covid-19 vaccinations this week: AstaZeneca both times, no side-effects.  We were told that our chances of dying from a consequential blood clot are, respectively, 1.9 and 1.8 per million. As a mental exercise I estimated the lifetime odds of dying in a road accident:

Road accident deaths in Australia = 1,580 in 2020
Equivalent to 61.5 per million inhabitants per year
Average life expectancy = 83.5 years
So lifetime odds = 61.5 x 83.5 = 5,135 per million, or 0.5%

I know… lies, damn lies and statistics.  But for me it puts things in perspective.  And of course the chance of dying if you catch the Covid-19 virus is around 2% and the chance of dying of something is 100%. But not for Ashleigh. She has joined the Sporting Immortals. For such as she cremation is but a hiccup.

2 thoughts on “Wimbledon

  1. Is she related to our Barty relatives, I wonder? But the two children (older than I) were both girls, so it would be quite distant. Howver a lot of people from the Nazeing/Harlow area seem to have emigrated to Australia. Peeje

    Il giorno dom 11 lug 2021 alle ore 09:37 StroppyGit ha scritto:

    > johnstandingford posted: ” A street in Wimbledon There are place whose > names conjure up emotions that are out of all proportion to geographical > reality. One thinks immediately of Paris, Samarkand, Xanadu… and > Wimbledon. I have a 326-year-old map of Midlesex [sic] hangi” >

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  2. As I recall, Steven Levitt, in Freakonomics, pointed out that the chance of winning the lottery was less than the chance of dying in a traffic accident driving to get a lottery ticket.

    I despair at the ignorance of our chief health officers. My guess is that Prof Raina McIntyre is no longer the “go to” expert for Australian TV is that she does not wish to confront her peers.

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