Tag: Andy Murray

What’s Right About Summertime?

Summer is here at last, whether it looks like it or not. With daylight seeping through the blinds at just after half past four these days, who can second-guess it?

Might as well embrace the early mornings and the extended evenings, even if the days do mimic Southwest Georgia in the fresh spring, rain or shine.

Ever present in the moment, I’ve learned to take summer as it is. Never mind what is wrong with it, I focus on what is right with it. Though subjective, at the top of  many lists will be holidays and the sporting events that often bring as much pain as they do gain for players and fans alike. As such, I like a good holiday now and then but don’t tend to follow too much sport. Yet there is one that lands in my top five things to do in London in the summertime.

  • Catch a pro tennis match. Not much for queuing in the sunshine or rain, I haven’t been to Wimbledon since my early expat days. Still waiting for that corporate invitation…hint, hint. In the meantime, however, I’m nearly as happy to attend the championship at Queen’s Club, also in West London. This year the world number two, Andy Murray, went away with a record breaking win—the only player to win Queen’s five times. Congrats Andy, though we didn’t have tickets for the final event. Just as well as Sunday was Father’s day and we had a family day in, but we did enjoy a day of tennis on Friday, an intimate witness of tennis on the lawn, and true British summertime fun with the good friends who invited us
  • Attend the summer exhibition at the Royal Academy. This presents an opportunity to not only see some fantastic art from emerging artists and established ones, but also a chance to snap up some of it. Life DrawingThis year, having been invited for a private viewing as a corporate guest, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in a life study class before viewing the art. Though I was born with artistic ability to draw, I haven’t nurtured it over the years and consequently am as amateurish, well, as an amateur. Never mind, it was a great to focus on the reality of the moment.
  • Walk about London without a jacket or a coat. Haven’t done that one since summer became official but a couple of weeks ago, at least two days in a row, I, alongside scores of others, sashayed about as if in the South of France. Never mind the holiday in sunny Spain, Florida and the likes, might as well catch the rays in London as and when they come. Sunglasses, sandals, sun cream. Ready!
  • Eat outdoors. Now there is a real southern experience if I have ever heard of one. Growing up in Georgia, we often had barbecues in the backyard or picnics in the park. In London with the inclement weather, eating outdoors cannot be taken for granted. Never mind that I no longer have a back garden. So when the opportunity hits, we take to the balcony or head out to a restaurant with plenty of outdoor space.
  • People watch. What makes people so special to watch during the summer? Everything, everything and everything, encompassed in the atmosphere ranging from exciting to easy going. Whether on a bus, a bicycle or in a Bentley, ladies and gents step out in their glad rags, come rain or shine, for the summer garden parties, summer events such as Ascot and Henley, or private functions including weddings.

So what else is right about summer? Do tell, right here on sonjalewis.com.



Right time to be an American expat in London

On this side of the pond, everyone is talking about Usain Bolt, who won the 100 meters race last night in 9.63 seconds, and Jessica Ennis, the heptathlon champion;Mo Farah, winner of the 10,000 meter race; Andy Murray, the gold medallist of men’s tennis, etc. On the other side of the pond, I expect the nattering is well underway about Usain also, even if NBC didn’t show it live (excuse me!). His name has to be right up there with Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Serena Williams, Gabby Douglas, and Sanya Richards-Ross.

Yes, now is the time to be a citizen of the world and ever so right to be an American expat in London. Lucky me!  I am beaming with pride. To have both my birth country and my adopted country in the top three slots of the medals table is more than any expat could expect. China is first, the US second and GB third. And to live in the great city where it is all unfolding is the icing on the cake.

I didn’t think it could get any better than the athletics of Saturday night (Jessica Ennis and Mo Farrah firing up the stadium for team GB) until I saw Sanya Richards-Ross take her Olympic 400 meters gold in Chanel earrings. Now I know, I was not supposed to be focusing on style when this 27-year-old woman was making history, winning her gold in 49.55 seconds to give the U.S. its first track and field gold of the 2012 Olympics. But I couldn’t help myself.

May the team get more! But in the meantime, I have to give Mrs Richards-Ross her props. The athletes all have their own style, some with colourful beards and others with tattoos covering their muscled arms, but Sanya, if you ask me, is a cut above the rest in the style department–jewelry, nails, make-up, hair, etc…

Enough said but since I’m on the subject of style, I’m going to have my say about Gabby Douglas. The girl’s pulled back hairstyle is fine people, nothing wrong with it. And anyhow, as Gabby has so much as said, what’s hair got to do with it? This 16-year-old has won two gold medals in three days for goodness sake.

Were it not for her, team USA would be lagging behind China big time. It’s enough that they are three gold medals ahead of us as of this posting. Let’s stay focused here.

Tomorrow, Paul and I are back at Olympic Park for our final event and looking forward to being there and getting there. Last time around we discovered the Javelin, a high-speed train, from King’s Cross.

One Olympic volunteer described it as being faster than Usain Bolt. Maybe…okay so it is but it is a machine you know. But one thing for sure is that when this London Olympics is all said and done, we’re likely to stop talking about the Javelin. For years to come, however, the world will go on and on about Usain Bolt.

Go Jamaica and Happy 50th Independence Day. As I said, now is the time to be a citizen of the world! And to be an American expat in London is just right.