I managed to catch most of the ladies final at Wimbledon on Saturday. I was stretching most of the time, but on several occasions I found myself spontaneously bursting into applause at some of the things Venus Williams did. I don’t follow tennis that much these days and I don’t have any favorite players, but when someone has been dogged with injuries it’s nice to see things come good. I was very pleased for her.
I was planning on watching the mens final and some of the Silverstone Grand Prix, but I took my nephews swimming on Sunday morning, then found there was a battle reenactment in the park next to the pool. It’s not easy to persuade a 5 year old and a 2 year old that tennis and motor racing are more interesting than a bunch of people dressed up as soldiers with cannons, rifles, swords, knives and pikes.
We wandered around for several hours, getting explanations of the lifestyle and fighting techniques. My nephew got to write with a quill and hold a sword and a rifle. We watched the soldiers fighting through the streets of Shrewsbury, then eventually there was a battle on the quarry park. The noise of the cannons and rifles freaked the kids out so we made a sharp exit.
Although it’s not exactly my cup of tea, I learned a few interesting things including:
- The term penknife came about because of the small knives people used to shape their quills (or pens).
- The term hang fire originally referred to the charge in a rifle smoldering, rather than exploding. Very dangerous when you attempt a reload.
- The term “flash in the pan” comes from the flash produced as the gun powder ignites in the pan of old wick-based rifles. Here’s me thinking it was about chip pan fires.
When I got back home I caught the end of the tennis. Roger Federer looked very downhearted and beatable, but in a flash it all turned around and he was the Wimbledon champ again. I felt a little sorry for Rafael Nadal as he looked like the better player on the day to me, but it’s the result that counts.
It was a pity Lewis Hamilton didn’t win the Silverstone Grand Prix. I find it amusing that some of the press, who have built him up to be some kind of racing deity already this season, are acting like this is some sort of crack in the armor. So, he made a mistake. Big deal. Give the kid a break. He still managed yet another podium. I seem to remember that Michael Schumacher made a few mistakes in his career.