The two weeks of early summer when this famous tournament takes place is a very, very big deal in our house.
The kettle is on round the clock, the phone is unplugged, we’ve moved the comfy armchair into the living room and Mum has even put her Wimbledon hand towel on display in the downstairs loo.
See what I mean? Big deal.
This weekend, amidst the rain and the Sunday Times, the three of us are watching Andy Murray playing John Millman and fighting his way through a set-deciding game. To say it was tense is an understatement.
“What’s with those noises they make? When they hit the ball?” Dad asks to the room. I make a mock-vomiting sound, which escalates into a back and forth of throaty and guttural ooffs and guffaws, resulting in both of us giggling like schoolchildren. Mum, the teacher, brings our attention back to the match with a “Come on now, people. He won’t win if we don’t concentrate!” (Mum firmly believes that when Murray has previously lost at Wimbledon, it’s been down to her not concentrating hard enough on watching the match. But that’s a story for another time.)
So, we return to silence and continue watching as Murray struggles to keep the advantage. A line judge calls the ball out. Mum jumps out of her chair, screaming “Oh for GOD’S SAKE. I’m gonna BITCH SLAP the next BLOODY LINE JUDGE who calls the ball OUT!” It’s safe to say, Mum gets a bit enthusiastic.
“COME ON, MURRAY, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD,” she continues, sitting back down in her chair and sighing. Once everyone’s blood pressure has returned to normal, we watch as Murray reclaims the advantage and wins the game, bringing him closer to winning the second set. I get up to leave.
“What exactly IS…a bitch slap?” Dad asks slowly, typing the words “bitch slap definition” on his iPad.
“I think it’s like a forehand – backhand, rapid ‘psssh – psssh’ slapping situation?” I tell him, waving my hand in a bitch-slapping-esque motion. Can you imagine the YouTube tutorials?
“…And is that the appropriate way to slap bitches, would you say?” He asks me.
“Well, I can’t say I’ve slapped many, if any bitches, Dad, but I do believe it’s the approved method of the Chartered Institute of Bitch-Slap Relations.” I reply.
Never a dull moment in our house.