Sunday, July 7, 2013

Andy Murray, Wimbledon 2013: my Granny's view from Heaven

Andy Murray wins Wimbledon- pride of Scotland and my Granny Hall
My Granny Hall was a tennis player. Okay, it was back in the 1930’s, back in the day when women had to wear ankle length skirts to play, but play she did. She gave it all up when she married my Papa Hall, but she remained a rabid fan for the rest of her life. 

Every year around the last week in June, her household in Gorebridge, Scotland would literally close down for Wimbledon Fortnight; a whole 2 weeks of black and white BBC tennis from early morning to past tea-time. I loved visiting them at that time more than any other. We got to watch tennis, you see, and we got to watch it uninterrupted. 

If any of us- me, dad, mum, grandpa, uttered so much as a peep we’d get told to “Shut-up!” from the crouching figure of Granny Hall kneeling at the brown leather pouffe about six feet from the telly. She’d be down on her knees behind it, leaning, watching intently and smoking furiously. Papa’s tea was made during the news, and if it didn’t quite make it, she’d simply switch the whole cooker off (Papa was hopeless at cooking) and catch up with it later.

Carry-outs were a thing saved for rainy days, but Granny’s house got its fair share of fish ‘n’ chips during Wimbledon. If we talked too loud behind her, she’d snap; “Shut-up!” repeating the words as long as it took for us to get the message. I thought it was funny. I loved tennis too. Mum thought it was rude, but never  told anyone so. Granny would have bit her head off.

Granny Hall watched Wimbledon religiously each year and cheered every nationality. Although she was fiercely Scottish Nationalist (remind me to tell you one day the story of the shouting about the "bloody butcher Cumberland" at Culloden..scared the tourists right enough) there wasn’t a bone of racism in her body regarding tennis, she just loved the great proponents of the game, be they English or not.

Fast forward to this Sunday morning, the seventh of July, 2013; 77 years since a British man had won a Wimbledon title. Well, you probably know; Andy Murray won. Three hard grueling sets, beating the world number one.

I watched the final with tears in my eyes imagining Granny Hall, looking down from heaven, watching his progress from the best view in the world as Andy Murray won the title. As fair as she was about tennis I have to believe she got a wee bit more pleasure out of it all just because he was Scottish.

I imagine heaven was quiet for three hours- even if the angels told her to calm down I can just hear the “Shut-up!” they would receive...
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