Service Week

This week turned into something of a week for services. I began by making a booking for Billy Bailey’s next service way out in the future (1st Feb 2010). This was just because the caravan agent is apt to get very busy and Billy’s next service is time-critical.

On Thursday it was the turn of my mountain bike which had, since my slightly embarrassing excursion on it into the Grand Union Canal, developed an irritating noise related to the pedal speed, cadence in cycling speak. I’m happy to report that, after a “B service” at Phil Corley’s in Milton Keynes, which included a new chain, new rear gear set and new bottom bracket, all now seems well. Memo to self: try to stay on the canal tow path in the future.

On Friday it was the turn of our much loved but recently somewhat neglected Mazda MX5. He’s 10 years old now and had had neither his 9- nor 10-year service. Tut, tut! In our defence, though it’s technically no excuse, we do only about 2000 miles a year in Mazzie these days. Now he knows we still love him.

Most of the services this week have, of course, been thundering over the nets in Wimbledon at the “All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club”. It’s typical isn’t it? The Club’s world famous, show case tournament is frequently plagued and delayed by good ol’ English rain. The year after the Club eventually bites the bullet and installs a multi-million pound retractable roof over its exhibition Centre Court, we have yet to have a rain delay. Great stuff! In a change to the norm, this year I can sense all the commentators almost willing a thunderstorm to occur just to provide the brand new television spectacle of watching the roof mechanism swing into action. What a fickle world. Worry not, Wimbledon is unlikely to have a completely dry fortnight.

Actually, I can’t see how much help keeping play going on a single court would be to the scheduling of a tournament occupying 20 courts for much of its time. Still, I’m sure it will help with other events. We’ve also noticed that the extra overhanging structures supporting the roof seem to worsen the high contrast between bright sunlight across one half of Centre Court and shadows of the retracted roof cast by the westering sun across the other, when, as this year, said sun actually deigns to shine. Some of the players, dazzled by the brilliant northern European sun, seem to be struggling to see balls screaming at them at 120 mph out of the relative darkness. I can’t think why.

One such player yesterday was the inventively named Mardy Fish. Having been fortunate enough to spend a considerable time in America, I’m familiar with the difficulties caused on the west of the Atlantic by the letter “T”, pronunciation of which is frequently transmogrified into a “D”: water becomes wa-d-er, for example. Mr Fish’s parents have clearly been very farsighted in solving this pronunciation issue and, rather than calling their son Marty, changed the spelling to match the pronunciation that would inevitably result: Mardy. Very clever.

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