The Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final – My Front Row View

The Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final – My Front Row View

It will go down as one of the all-time great finals. A five set gladiatorial thriller between two of the best players ever to grace the game of tennis. When Novak Djokovic met Roger Federer for the 2014 Gentlemen’s Singles title at the All England Lawn Tennis Club on Sunday, I was there. I was there in a front row seat for the greatest sporting day of my life. I was a few feet from the net and watched, mesmerised, as the final was played out on what can only be described as the greatest, most breath-taking, 3D HD experience known to man – real life!

I’ve not had much time to gather my thoughts and filter my photographs so I may add to this initial batch over the coming days but here are a few of my favourites that tell the story of an incredible afternoon. And yes, my man won!

Do you love your car? Does she love you……?

Do you love your car? Do you clean her and polish her and show her off to your friends and your neighbours?

Does she feel the same way about you? Does she thrill you as much as she used to? Is she showing her age? Is she still as economical as she once was? Are you doubting if she possesses the same attractive qualities she showed when you first met in that showroom? Careful now!

Those who know me know that I had a dreadful 2013 with my car. The engine blew up. They fitted a new engine but the problems didn’t stop there. Those who fitted the engine were clueless. It was subsequently repaired several times by others before it met the appropriate acceptable standards. All done by official Vauxhall dealers but not to official Vauxhall standards. Struth! Following four bad breakdowns in six months my son and I were eventually stranded in the middle of nowhere and my resolve and my love for my car were both severely tested. However they fixed it. Stranded hundreds of miles from my home but they fixed it – it only took them 5 weeks. After all of this hassle I didn’t think my relationship with my car could get any worse. If you followed my story on the UK Vauxhall forums it really couldn’t get any worse could it? Never, definitely not! Sorry……but it did!

I drive thirty thousand miles a year. I have driven for twenty five years without incident and then little Miss Vauxhall Insignia enters my life. Earlier this year I discovered she doesn’t like low oil pressure and she made me pay for that – big time. Little was I to know that the love affair was under a different kind of pressure from that moment on. Little Miss such and such decided to take on a mind of her own on Tuesday morning (22nd October 2013). She rounded a bend in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland shortly after an overnight rain storm. She wiggled her backside and decided (all on her ownsome) to leave the road – big time. Perhaps she doesn’t like surface water. Perhaps she turns her nose up at surface water and pokes her backside out instead – big time.  Whatever mind-set she had on Tuesday morning she got on her own accord. Luckily for me she missed any oncoming traffic with her big backside and instead smashed sideways across the carriageway, dived into a ditch, and looped the loop as she finished her final manoeuvre. Sorry to tell you but she did not survive. She is now dead. Dead and not coming back.

Of course I didn’t get the best deal from her highland jig but she didn’t really care – I was immobilised at the scene by paramedics before I was taken by ambulance to hospital. I am home now, battered and bruised with internal and external injuries and a tremendous loss of pride. I am regretting the day I ever set eyes on that deceptively beautiful Miss Insignia. She pretended she loved me but she shafted me at every opportunity. She’s now gone from my life and she has left me with nothing but bad memories and big financial penalties. Some people at Evans Halshaw and Vauxhall will have you believe she was a beautiful, loving, caring companion. She was not. She rejected my advances. She rejected my care and attention and she let me down badly. I will heal in due course and I will recover to drive another day and find a more suitable long term motoring companion but, for the moment, I am hurting badly.

At least that’s how I felt until I went to see her today. She has been laid out for inspection at Allied Vehicles in Glasgow awaiting her final “PM”. What a sorry state she was, mangled beyond recognition but I initially had no sympathy whatsoever. Then, as I creaked open the passenger door I was sure I could hear her whispering one last loving expression. Poor thing convinced me she was crying out for the last time before she left this earth for the breaker’s yard. Was it real or was I traumatised by the whole experience? – who knows but she triggered something inside of me.

I think she was telling me she was sorry. I think she was apologising and trying to show me how hard she tried to protect me. She knew she had let me down throughout this past year but there she was, smashed and broken, battered beyond recognition, and trying hard to show me how she tried everything possible to save me. In her last desperate attempts to win my affection she had thrown her arms around me to protect me, enveloping me in her safe air-bag bosom, ensuring nature’s cataclysmic forces were soaked up by her crumple zones, her seat belts and not by my body. By doing this she saved me, she really did save me. I live to tell the tale because she looked after me and for that, I must admit, I am eternally grateful. I left the yard with a tear in my eye as I realised how brutal the impact must have been for her. Did she pay the ultimate sacrifice for me? Other Insignia drivers need to know this – maybe she really does love you and she will protect you. She has her faults (big time!) but she will do what she can in your hour of need to keep you safe. Treat her well guys.

I will be fine of course. It may take a few weeks but the pain will subside, the bruises will disappear. And anyway, there’s this gorgeous wee German/Spanish red devil on four wheels who said hello to me today. I think I might ask her for her number…………

Car Crash!

Car Crash!

Flying High with animal.co.uk

Flying High with animal.co.uk

The guys from www.animal.co.uk travel the country with their all action brand of stunt riding. They refer to it as “bonkers” riding and I couldn’t agree more. Absolutely bonkers – but some of the most spectacular stunts you will ever see on a bike. I had the pleasure of watching them a couple of times this summer and they offer the best photo-ops going. If you get a chance to see them make sure you take a camera then you might catch some of this………

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The Open 2013 – Muirfield

My summer of great sporting events continued last weekend with a visit to my favourite golf course, Muirfield in East Lothian, host to the world’s greatest golf major – The Open. I had the good fortune to play Muirfield a couple of years back in a small handicap invitation competition and I played so well that I won! I was inspired by the surroundings and picked up the best prize ever – a second game at Muirfield!
The course also hosted my first ever Open in 1980. I arrived through the gates from the Archerfield side to the par 3 seventh hole and on the tee, in gale force winds, was Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin! What an introduction to major golf! From then on Muirfield became my favourite of all the Open venues and I never miss a Championship there.
This time I took my camera along on the first practice day. It is a majestic setting and is in such fine condition it felt like I was the first person to tread the fairways in six months. It’s also a great time to visit without the massive crowds of the Championship days and you can get a bit closer to some of the superstars and get a chance to see a little more of the golf course. No doubt it will throw up another top class winner later this week – only the best win at Muirfield!

All images copyright (c) Gerry Wilson 2013. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited

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