“It’s crazy; Federer, Sharapova and Nadal are all out now.”
This is one of my favorite times of the year with my husband. As the tennis tournament, Wimbledon, builds momentum, he and I will get up early and watch it together- a wonderful way to start my day. I like tennis, for sure, but the best part of our tradition is sharing memories of when we lived in England and had the lucky opportunity to attend Wimbledon in person. It is an iconic aspect of our time there.
Imagine… the only way to go to Wimbledon is to win a spot in the lottery (or to camp out the night before and hope you will get a released ticket.) Thus, when you get there, you already feel lucky. The day we went was a perfectly sunny, summer day. In fact, it was July 4th; our own private celebration of the American holiday while in England. We knew we had somehow scored center court seats. What we didn’t know was that our seats were about seven rows up from the court and right in the middle.
The environment at Wimbledon is one of a party. Fans are hanging out, watching matches on the big screen set up at the bottom of a grassy mound. Everyone is drinking Pimm’s or champagne and eating strawberries and cream.
Occasionally the Royal family shows up, but frequently there are famous celebrities like Richard Branson or Rupert Grint (of Harry Potter).
It’s been over ten years since that day at Wimbledon, but no matter who is left in the tournament you will find us still, Pimms Drink in hand, watching the matches on the 4th of July. It is how we now celebrate both our own country as well as our closest ally.
How do you celebrate the 4th? Are you a tennis fan? Have you ever been to a sporting event that was so special it
became part of your ongoing life? I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment and let me know.
In preparation for the 4th, here’s our recipe for Pimm’s Cup.
Pimm’s is a unique British liqueur with a different kind of taste. It takes some getting used to, but the spiciness of
it is very refreshing on a hot day. The Pimm’s cocktail is apparently becoming quite popular in the U.S. as well (NY Times article) Note: the best part of this drink is its simplicity to make.
2 cups - Pimm’s No. 1
6 cups - 7-Up (or ginger ale)
1 Oranges, cut into wedges
1 Lemon, cut in wedges
Other fruit to taste – I’ve added nectarine, apple, even pineapple before. Cut in wedges.
1 cucumber, sliced
Bunch of mint
In a large pitcher use a wooden spoon to muddle the mint then add the Pimm’s, the soda, the cut fruit and 5-6 slices of the cucumber. Mix with the spoon and let sit in the fridge for ½ an hour. Serve over ice with a slice of cucumber on the edge of the cup. Enjoy!
“It won’t ring at inopportune times, doesn’t lose power, and is easy to find.”
A pretty, though hefty, day-planner was pulled out of a nearby purse and the owner proceeded to take down, using a pen, the contact information of the person she was talking with. We all laughed about how cumbersome the planner was compared to a cell phone. But on the other hand….
“It also doesn’t break if it is dropped.”
“…And doesn’t distract you with games.”
“…And best of all, is simple to use.”
We all had a reason why this low tech solution was preferable to the newer devices we had come to rely upon. But for me the best justification for unplugging was obvious: limiting distraction.
As a writer I have found technology to be super helpful. I can easily edit my work (Imagine what Jane Austen had to go through). I can immediately track ideas and even share them or get feedback on them. I can communicate easily with my editor and track her changes. And, most importantly, I can make multiple copies of my work so that I don’t lose an entire manuscript or project.
And, while I am grateful for all of these benefits to technology, the fact remains that it took me three hours to ever begin working on this blog post, even though it was my top priority. Why?
First I checked email… this led me to two blog posts I had not read yet… from whose content I was reminded I needed to follow-up with a friend about weekend plans… which I then had to discuss with my husband and daughter… which took me from my computer and found me making breakfast rather than working on my blog.
I know I can’t get rid of technology entirely. And I don’t really want to. But I can turn it off; something I plan to do just as soon as I post this blog, tweet it, respond to some comments, and search online for a new day-planner. I should be able to start working on my manuscript just in time to be called away to make dinner.
What do you use to plan your schedule and track contacts? Have you ever gotten lost in technology and found yourself at the end of your day, or worse, at the grocery store without your old fashioned list?
Leave me a comment and let me know how technology effects you, your organization and your writing. I'd love to hear from you!
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