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What To Do On Your Day Off

Susan was lucky enough to go to Wimbledon this year. If you have a day off she suggests you make the effort. 

After a tough couple of weeks supply in about 6 different schools I needed a break!! So as it's Wimbledon fortnight I decided to keep a day free and head off. If you get the chance to do it, I recommend it!

I was up at 3.30am so I could get the first train to London. The tubes start from Tower Hill at 5.30 and I was on the first one, not shy of company as I was surrounded by hundreds of others with the same idea as me. By 6.15 I was in the field known as 'the queue'. My early start didn't get me anywhere near the front. There were three rows of tents, then a further three rows of people before me.

They give you a queue card almost immediately to stop queue jumping, mine was 3514 not a chance of any court tickets! Neither the less I had an awesome time just in the queue. There were people playing tennis, volleyball or just catch. Outfits ranging from retro tennis to flowers. People with jugs of pimms, champagne, picnics, you name it, someone had it. It's like a fun day out in the park for people. I had befriended two people on the train an Aussie man and a Scotswoman and we spent the day together sharing stories. Our early start got us a ground ticket for Wimbledon for £20.

The queue started in the field where everyone laid out the picnic blankets and settled down for the morning. About four hours later the queue moved and we snaked into the grounds past some fun games such as tennis serving, quizzes and even a mini tennis court. I of course had a go at tennis serving, and scored a whole 20 points but needed 120 to win! Whrn in the ground we headed straight for Henman Hill, with my newly purchased rug (a whole £5) laid out, prime position for the tv at the top with the wall to sit on or lean against. And within five minutes our neighbours on the hill had offered us a centre court ticket for face value! Result. We shared it between the three of us. The Aussie man went in first to see the girls match, then the Scotswoman went in next to see Murray as she knows the family, and had travelled from Scotland overnight! I then got the last match Djokovic v Tsonga.

As our Aussie friend set off to see the first match Scotswoman and myself sat and chatted. The Scotswoman does like a chat, hardly stops for air but was so lovely. She's an expert of watching at Wimbledon and is the reason we got such a good spot. I think I've of wandered around a bit, shopped, watched the outside courts then gone to the hill. This was a much better idea though as we could leave our bags, coats etc and wander later. I wandered the grounds to watch some doubles. Leighton Hewitt, the Bryan brothers and some junior tennis. Checked out the shop, then headed back to watch the TV with my Wimbledon radio earpiece.

Scotswoman again chatting constantly, she was now very worried about the clouds above and rightly so as it then came down. The roof went on the centre court and we sat getting soaked with my Peru waterproof leaking, but the rug with its waterproof bottom kept legs and bags relatively dry. The weather didn't dampen our spirits and I just had so much fun on the hill with the crowds around us. Even when Scotswoman headed off to watch Murray leaving me alone in the rain, the comradely of everyone was still great and we all cheered and gasped together. You do have to hold your ground with the seating area. All those people who queued from 9 or 10am wander into the grounds at 2 or 3 and want to get prime seats on the hill. They try and squeeze into every gap so we have to spread out and warn people off. We queued from the crack of dawn so they can go away!!

Murray won in 3 sets so I didn't get to see him but met Scotswoman to exchange ticket as agreed and in I went. Centre court seems smaller in real life. Now agreed the roof was on, but the court seems smaller, the high up seats look lower?

Amazing experience, sat eight rows from the front! Near the royal box where Richard Branson lead them in joining us commoners in the Mexican wave. By 9pm I was ready to go home and had agreed to exchange ticket again with Scotswoman if she had stayed about in the rain. However, the third set was a tie break so I stayed for it and Djokovic won in three straight sets so everyone was going home. I became a member of the human cattle movement of getting back to the tube. Even that was so much fun, all in buoyant moods.

I got to bed at 12.30am, 21 hours after I had left but although tired and wet I had had the most amazing day. Wimbledon is an amazing experience and I would suggest anyone takes a day off to go. It's a long day but a great day! And if not Wimbledon, then head to any sporting event in the UK. We do put on damn good events!!

Do you have some ideas of what to do on a day off? Email them through to Megan ( and we will put a list of suggestions together. 

Susan is an experienced secondary teacher who is currently working a supply teacher with our Chelmsford branch.

Tags: SusanW, Chelmsford, Secondary

Category: Australian Teachers

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