Today, I (Mr 'Didn't do Games Throughout His Secondary School Education, Because He Had a Note From His Mum, Saying He Had a "Personal Medical Problem") went to Wimbledon to see the Women's Singles, Doubles and Men's Doubles Final.
...and get this: I bloody loved it.
I was surprised by how meditative watching the game was; without wishing to sound poncy it was an exercise in mindfulness. A split second before the first match started, the sudden change in the atmosphere was tangible as the whole of Centre Court focused in. Something about the layout makes you feel like you're in the midst of the action. It was very exciting, and a world away from the discomfort of watching a football match or a West End play.
I was fortunate to be there in the first place. My wife has had a lucky stretch of getting tickets over past few years, attending last year's men's semis (fnar fnar) and the Olympics' tennis to name a few. She'd promised me first dibs if her number came up again, which it did. We baulked a little at the price, but her mum generously offered to pay for it as a joint birthday present, for which I'm very grateful. It's a gift I won't forget in a hurry.
I was surprised by how accessible the courts were. We'd barely walked on site before spotting Andy Murray and Serena Williams warming up. It was like the Edinburgh Fringe without the tension, and far more polite.
It was the women's games that piqued our interest, as we had less investment in the men's match (partly due to taking an extended comfort break). I'm not usually one to be lured in by celebrity, but I was impressed to see Venus and Serena play, and all within eyeshot of David Attenborough, John Hurt, Martina Navratilova, Peter Kay, Beyoncé and Jay-Z. By far the greatest understatement of the day was uttered by a woman behind me as she spotted a famous face take her seat.
"That's Ellen DeGeneres there. She does that chat show."
Got it in one, Love. Got it in one.