British icons…

There are 2 rather “iconic” British events happening this weekend.

Wimbledon and Glastonbury.

I think Wimbledon probably needs little explanation.  The story (as told by the Brits) this tournament is all about Andy Murray, the Scottish player who the home fans are counting on to take the men’s championship.  If he does it he will be the first British men’s champion since 1936.  I have promised Melissa I will go to Wimbledon one of these years… A British “must do” for me perhaps…

Glastonbury is a music festival.  The biggest in the country – and usually the wettest!  It’s actually the name of a small country town in Somerset which is believed to be the birthplace of Christianity in England and remains a centre of spiritual pilgrimage.   As well as this, for the past 30 something years, a local farmer has been opening up his fields to music for one weekend a year (less a year here and there to allow the fields to recover, keep the locals happy etc etc…).  There are great artists on this year including Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Blur, Jarvis Cocker, Tom Jones, Franz Ferdinand, Kasabian, Bloc Party and lots more.  The line ups over the past years are usually just as good.

There is something that epitomises a certain kind of Britishness about Wimbeldon.  There’s the strawberries and cream, the relentless precision training of the ball boys and girls to near perfection, the poshness of the guests in the special boxes and the politeness of the fans that clap even when someone wins a game against, “their Andy”.  In many ways Glastonbury is kind of like the antithesis of Wimbledon yet is equally British.  Posh does not come into the music festival.  Neither do showers, flushing toilets or sleeping as far as I can figure out. Mud and wellington boots usually feature quite strongly as do badly behaved rockers.  People camp next to each other in muddy fields with their tents basically on top of each others.  Or so I’m told.  I will never be making promises to anyone that, “one day I will attend Glastonbury”.  I can’t think of much else that frightens me more!

So, “Good luck, Andy!” For him, surviving the pressures of the press will probably be as important to having a chance at the championship as playing great tennis.

And although I’ll never experience Glastonbury in the flesh, it’s been good watching coverage of the bands playing over the weekend from the comfort of the living room (flushing toilet and shower just a flight of stairs away) as provided by another British icon.  The BBC!