Trivial travails - HALF THE YEAR GONE BY

Eid Mubarak and welcome back to the grind and this ‘to-die-for’ weather, or perhaps ‘to-be-dead’ in this weather! For those of you who chose to go away during the Eid holidays, you know not what you missed…for those nine days, we had the most glorious weather with temperatures in the mid to high 40s, and if that was not enough, it was accompanied with high humidity. The city was virtually empty with almost no soul in sight and no traffic on the roads - so we decided to stay indoors and binge watched The Crown. Ah…absolute bliss!

We celebrated Eid at Bait Rafay with our gracious hosts Dr Shama & Dr Akbar and their many friends; Canada Day at Casa M&Y in Sifah, with friends who had come from India, Kuwait, Canada and some who had travelled all the way from Muscat; and yesterday we celebrated the 4th of July at home, sipping English tea (a paradox of sorts - having English tea to celebrate the American Independence Day!) and not indulging in the traditional American way of celebrating with a “cook out” for fear of being “cooked in” the heat.

So with exactly half the year gone by, and along with it the 180 mark having been crossed, one is a bit chuffed but also a bit daunted - it’s almost like batting on 181 with the thought uppermost in the frontal lobe being “Will I reach that double century mark of Tts?”

As every cricket fan of my genre ought to know, and shame on those who don’t, Don Bradman’s batting average in Test cricket was 99.94. Meanwhile, another cricket aficionado P G Wodehouse’s final score (though not on the cricket field) also fell short of the magic number as the tally of his works remained at 99. Sine qua non, one begins to wonder - or should one near and yet so far!

As per Max Davidson of the Telegraph, the maestro would have probably said to himself “You silly chump, Wodehouse,” “If you hadn’t been such a slacker, and spent so much time making an ass of yourself on the golf course, you would have got your 100.” However, as he (Davidson and not Wodehouse) rightly pointed out, “99 is a majestic literary innings, by any standard.” And if I had not spent so much time making an ass of myself on the golf course, I would have probably got my 200 by now! But then, when you come to think of it, in the larger scheme of things what are 200 TTs compared to 99 Wodehousian pieces of brilliance? Absolutely insignificant, a mere speck, total balderdash, hogwash, and poppycock I say!

However, one can only hope that like the Bard and the maestro, one can also furnish the critics and detractors, of which there are many, with “random thoughts” for every occasion, “little gems of wit and observation which have lost none of their sparkle”. Though the maestro’s novels may have been set in a vanished world of butlers and pig-loving earls and young men in spats, there was a keen mind behind them, quite unlike yours faithfully. “Wodehouse could be unworldly, but he was no fool.” On the other hand, the less said about mere mortal columnists like us, the better!

Right…the Wimbledon season is on and the bookies are missing the presence of Ms Serena Williams, who is creating quite a stir off the courts with her beautifully shot au naturel photos, showing her baby bump, for the cover of Vanity Fair. And from this uncovered cover, the limelight seems to have momentarily shifted to John McEnroe who raised ire over his comments about Serena Williams being ranked No 700 if she played on the men's tour. Since then, Williams has tweeted telling him to respect her privacy, while her fiancé Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit who can read her like a book, believes she will be an “awesome mom”. So next year, the baby will join the player’s box and the bookies will now start taking bets on the sex of the baby, due in August/September. Atticus, our local oracle predicts the baby will be another tennis player who will follow her mother’s footsteps on the hallowed tennis courts of the world.

Meanwhile in the men’s event, one Swiss crashed out on the opening day as Stan Wawrinka lost to the 49th seeded Russian, Daniil Medvedev as a knee injury took its toll. Hopefully the other Swiss will Roger his way through to set a record by winning his eighth Wimbledon title. He is the only male player to have reached ten Wimbledon finals and is the only player to win three different Grand Slams at least five times (Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open) and is the only player to win two Grand Slams five consecutive times at Wimbledon from 2003-07 and the US Open from 2004-08. So no prizes for guessing who Atticus is favouring to win!

And before I sign off, a few random thoughts:

• Do you know that laundry should be the only thing that should be separated by colour?
• Do you know that if one can’t convince the opposition, one must confuse them?
• Do you know that when men insult their friends, they don’t really mean it? Almost like when women compliment each other!

Till next fortnight…may RF rule!

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