July has been a slow month for social opportunities, where a woman can put on a good dress and her church wig.
Notwithstanding my attendance at a scenic gay wedding in the Lake District and a cava soaked stay on Barcelona’s elegant Paseo de Gracia, I’ve barely had any reason to stir from my (Egyptian cotton) sheets.
That was until I heard the five words every London socialite longs to hear; ‘we’ve got you Wimbledon tickets.’
I’m sure I’m not alone in my belief that entrance passes to the World’s only grass court grand slam (try saying that after a couple of Pimm’s) were urban myth at best, a terrible rumour at worst.
Visitors of colour can expect a warm welcome
But I am happy to confirm that to those working in the soulless hub of Canary Wharf tickets are still available.
So, off I trotted, Bayswater in tow, to the hallowed ground of SW19.
Nothing (and I mean nothing) can prepare the average human for their first foray into the old-monied grass constructed dream of Wimbledon.
As I floated up and out of my body into the strawberry scented air, I spent the entire day watching myself.
My periodic moments of lucidity lead me to believe that I bore witness to the dissipating ashes of Andy Murray’s 2017 campaign.
I also found myself making small (and surprising) talk with Boris Becker, while remembering to clap in all the right places.
Wimbledon doing their bit for diversity
Admittedly my dream like state was punctured just long enough for me to make the un-remarkable observation that Wimbledon is like, whiter than an Alabama Klan Rally.
And why wouldn’t it be? Given that most of it’s members are old enough to accurately recall the horror of the Crimean war and the subsequent fall of the Kaisers.
So, The All England Club, is more ‘The Old White People Club’. Who could have guessed?
I for one was comforted to see so many nonagenarians soaking up the last rays of their existence. Proving there really is life after 90 (if you can afford it).
Come to think of it as white supremacist sounding names for organisations go; The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is pretty up there. Although I think Rights for Whites just edges it out.
You’re most likely drawing to the conclusion that; (how can I put this delicately?) the folks at wimbledon haven’t gotten beyond the Neolithic Age when it comes to this whole diversity thing.
In all fairness, you would be completely right.
The strawberries and cream is more diverse than the tournament
Truth be told I’d never felt so out of place in England’s capital.
Being the sole woman of colour in the tournament’s press centre made me a visible oddity and the subject of many a curious stare.
And what of it?
For anyone venturing into a world established by those who lived long before the notion of equality was born and maintained by those who wilfully seek to ignore it; this my friend is par for the course.
It certainly didn’t stop the sisters Williams.
If possible my appreciation for them has swelled to new proportions after experiencing first hand the scrutinous and frosty gaze of Centre Court’s patrons.
So, Wimbledon’s members haven’t taken to multiculturalism quite so well as the Kardashians it seems.
Perhaps they should be advised that the march towards the 21st century does not have to be a bumpy one.
It’s kind of like the switch from ios9 to ios10, at first you wish you’d never bothered with it.. But after a very short while you begin to realise it’s not so very bad…