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Posts tagged ‘Wimbledon’

London, Rediscovering My City: Into the Wimbledon Wilderness

It’s been well over a year since I first discovered Wimbledon Common, despite its location but a few tube stops down from my humble abode. But even then, our walk straight through the wilderness did not betray the full extent of rurality (is that a word?!) which is retained in this mid-urban idyll. A recent revisit changed all that. Dragging my visiting mother in turn, we wandered back into Wimbledon Common to discover anew a bucolic enclave mere miles from one of the world’s most developed capital cities.

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Taking random turnings off the horse-beaten paths, we found ourselves delving deeper into denser forest, whose clearings became scarcer as bounteous ferns filled the forest floor, and nettles and wild berries crept up in between them. It was one of those late summer days that dreams are made of… The sun was tempered by a honeycomb filter and tree trunks were spattered intermittently with the resultant golden light.

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We got ourselves lost quite successfully and could have imagined that London was another country away were it not for our sudden emergence onto a neatly trimmed golf course in the middle of all this beauty. While not exactly detracting from the aesthetics, angry pompous golf fanatics did not take kindly to our pausing on their path to take photos and admire the scenery. The photos in this post are thus a fingers-up to their absurd pomposity, and a nod to the nature which, after all, dominates their frolics and makes them a mere oddity, secondary to the glory of the landscape.

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Eventually we found our way out and back into Wimbledon Village where afternoon tea awaited. We may have loved the hours we spent disconnected from all civilisation, but were nonetheless grateful that urbanity never lay too far from reach… were it not for mobile phone connectivity, we may well have never found our way out of that forest jungle!

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

London, Rediscovering My City: Wimbledon Common

Knowing that the first weekend of Spring was going to be gloriously sunny, we had one objective in mind: to get outside. After living two years in Mallorca, London can feel claustrophobic by comparison. Life here is more geared up to the inside – cosy corners, candlelight, cushions – and yet ironically it’s one of the world’s greenest cities, so much so that a map of the city remains recognisable, even when the roads are taken away. This past weekend, we were determined to enjoy some of those green swards, and enjoy them we did. After agonising over Wimbledon or Richmond as potential locations, we actually ended up doing both in one. But the photos which resulted from that extensive walk are so ravishing that frankly I’ve felt compelled to split this post in two. Both green gems need their place in the sun!

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A renewed enthusiasm for the great British outdoors definitely comes of my Mallorcan experience. I spent so much time taking inspiration from the island’s impressive landscape that I realised how little I had devoted myself to the equally beautiful countryside back at home. And the English landscape really is beautiful, a point made no better than by artist David Hockney, whose vast multi-coloured canvases pay homage to the Yorkshire countryside in all its wild beauty, a selection of which can currently be enjoyed in a show of his work at London’s Tate Britain.

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It was to Hockney’s ravishing landscapes that my mind turned this weekend as we set out on our outdoors trek across Wimbledon Common. Within metres of entering the Common from the bustle of Wimbledon Village, we felt as though we had been plunged into the middle of the countryside. Here there were no cars, no litter, few people… you could barely even hear planes. But what could be heard was a relentless chorus of chirping birds awoken by the promise of Spring. The further we walked, the deeper the wooded landscape became, and as the trees leaned inwards over a path made from the footsteps of many, the tunnel effect brought to my mind the works of Hockney, as did the twisting complex maze of branches over head, which looked all the more beautiful for the lack of leaves, which, in mere weeks time, will be covered.

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These photos capture, I think, the very elegant beauty which can be found in the simplest patch of the British outdoors. Here there is no topiary, no control. The flowers are far and few between. Instead the trees, wild and tall had been allowed to dominate, and in the twisting unplanned trajectory of their growth, they had created an architectural marvel which is every inch as impressive as the sea of glittering glass skyscrapers comprising the centre of London, mere miles away.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

Wonderful Wimbledon: strawberries, cream and a place to be seen

I interrupt this ambrosial Amalfi story to sneak a peak at the sweet verdant lands and the rolling hills of summertime England, where far away from the sun-baked mountains of the mediterranean, different peaks are being climbed – peaks of physical fitness and sporting prowess when the world’s best tennis stars come together for the ultimate in tennis championships, the creme de la creme of all tournaments: Wimbledon.

Wednesday may have been a grey day for British tennis, when national hopeful Andy Murray was chased out of the championships in a depressing straight-set defeat, but above the perfectly manicured lawns of centre-court where I was lucky enough to be a spectator all day, the skies shone a vivid blue, and all around the many courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the glamourous and chic of high society perambulated in their finery, clutching glasses of lansen champagne in one hand and a tub of the traditional Wimbledon accompaniment of strawberries and cream in the other.

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For even those few who do not get caught up in the all-encompassing excitement of riveting rallies and tense tie-breakers, Wimbledon is an unmissable event of the season. With a ground filled with perfectly manicured floral blooms in the championship colours of green and purple, when styled summer frocks and panama hats get an airing, and some of the world’s best players and celebrity spectators gather together, Wimbledon is surely the high point of the British summer, when the tennis loving crowds include even the royals themselves – why yesterday the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (otherwise known as Wills and Kate) were in attendance.

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Naturally, while I rode the emotional wave of highs and lows that came with watching Murray’s defeat and Federer’s later quarter final victory, I also felt happily immersed in the high-flying excitement of the entire Wimbledon experience, and these photos are testament to the day we had. As with the good english weather, these two weeks of Wimbledon are a transient experience – so like me, I hope you will enjoy the brief interlude of Wonderful Wimbledon while you can.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacy-brown.com

The Daily Sketch London 2012 – Normington v El Normo at Wimbledon

It’s match point and Norm Normington, representing team GB is serving to win gold in the London 2012 Olympic tennis finals. However it’s not easy. Against him is world champion winner of various Norm Tennis grand slams, Norte El Normo, representing Spain. El Normo doesn’t just bounce around like a normal Norm tennis player would do. He can do backflips and high jumps and all sorts of distracting but spectacular moves which make him a real contender for the gold. Despite this, Normington, every the English gentlenorm, polite in his play but devilish in his super-fast serve and quick-fire backhand, is out on top, spurred by the proudest of all home crowds, rousing him to success with their roof-raising cheers and their chants of “Go Normington, Go!”. They’ve even been partial to the odd mexican wave or two during today’s match, which is most unusual for the reserved Englishnorm. Just goes to show how the Olympic spirit is lifting us all, and brining all Norms together as a single Normular nation under the sporting flag. But when it comes to victory, it’s nationality that counts. The question now is will Normington do it for team Great Britain?

Normington v El Normo – Tennis Final, London 2012 (© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown 2012, pen on paper)

London 2012: Infected by Olympic Fever – Tennis at Wimbledon

I’m not a big sports fan. I don’t really know the terminology, and my familiarity with the various sports stars extends as far as those faces who regularly hit the headlines and are splashed across perfume promotions and London buses. However there is something utterly contagious about the Olympic spirit which has swept throughout London and up and down the British isles which just cannot be resisted. The aim of London’s bid was to bring all Britons and people from throughout the world together under the olympic flag, to create a huge party of spectators enjoying the adrenaline rush engendered by sporting achievement and to inspire future generations to enjoy sport and aim for sporting brilliance. They’re all cliches, the stuff of marketing machines, but what the last week has proved to me, is that those objectives have really manifested – I feel inspired by sport, part of the global sporting party and loving every minute of London 2012.

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The Wimbledon Wenlock

As with many Britons, I found it difficult to get any olympic tickets, despite applying for a good few (and yes, like everyone else, I am secretly seething inside at seeing so many empty seats at the events – a byproduct of the Olympics’ necessary reliance upon corporate sponsorship and IOC executives who then don’t bother to turn up, depriving so many future generations of the opportunity to be inspired). However the one set of tickets I did get was to see men’s semi-finals tennis at Wimbledon. This was a double whammy for me. Not only did it mean I would get to visit the British home of Tennis (tickets for the main Wimbledon tournament are as easy to get your hands on as the holy grail) but it also meant that I would be treated to not one, not two, but three matches played by undisputed tennis royalty.

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