When the weather's warm and the skies are blue a romance writer's mind turns to romance, yes?
Well.... I confess that sometimes on a gorgeous day it's hard to stay focused at the computer when there are so many other things happening. I overheard a writer friend saying recently that she suffered from the temptation of starting a new project when she was part way through her current book because it had the allure of the 'ooh, bright, shiny and new'! Sometimes it's easier to do almost anything else than write a book. Even housekeeping has its allure (limited I grant you) when the alternative is to work on a turning point scene that just isn't going well.
To my delight I found my day at the tennis full of unexpected surprises. Speaking of sitting down and watching others work - how about this? Between matches someone came out to mow the artificial turf!
We discussed this with fascination and eventually came to the conclusion the organisers hadn't gone barmy, but that the lawnmower is most likely a giant vacuum cleaner - designed to pick up those little bits of detritus that seem to bother tennis players.
To us it was pure amusement. And our smiles grew broader as we watched a second mower join the first. I wonder if we were the only members of the audience who found this sight rather odd?
Then of course there's the arcane ritual of changing staff. They're colour-coded of course, and there seems to be a rigorously-adhered to way of moving on and off the court. It was almost like watching a changing of the guard outside Buckingham Palace except the staff had traded sun hats for braid and there wasn't a rifle in sight.
As a day of entertainment this was fantastic. The tennis was brilliant and so were all the other bits and pieces you don't usually get to see on TV because of the commercial breaks. Next summer I'll be hoping to manage another day at the tennis or at least an afternoon sprawled on the sofa, ignoring my manuscript while I watch from afar.
What's your favourite summer distraction? Or given the seasons have moved on, your current guilty pleasure?
When I have a work job that needs to be done, I often procrastinate (as well) by doing housekeeping (that should have been done long ago). Right now I am procrastinating about doing our income taxes (due Apr 30). I re-organized my work office to include scrapbooking materials (and did a fine job, if I do say so myself) ... I "mactacked" my kitchen and bathroom shelves (quite a feat, when I have 52 kitchen shelves/drawers alone!) ... I had friends over several times ... and today I MUST get back to working on them. (Husband, daughter, and son income taxes take 10-15 minutes each; mine takes 11 hours because of self-employment, which I'm sure you can understand!)ReplyDelete
Good luck with your "guilty pleasures"!
Hi Laney, I see you know all about the delicate art of distraction! I can totally understand your desire to avoid doing income tax. I've just finished some and it was a real chore. As you say, self employment makes it complicated! I'm impressed by your productivity! Does that mean every time you have something you don't want to do, the housekeeping gets done? Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Annie, love the photos. And the mowers cracked me up - not surprised you laughed! How lucky you were to see Federer. I've admired him for years and as you say, he makes it all look so easy. But I can't hit a ball for love nor money, let alone run around the court without falling over. I know how difficult tennis is! Christmas is a shocking time in Australia to be on deadline, isn't it? I think here we're programmed from earliest childhood that January means holidays!ReplyDelete
Anna, you're so right. For me January is the time to relax with family after the bustle of a busy year and an even busier Christmas. Summer holidays is the time for relaxing and distraction and tennis is perfect (not that I'd like to play at that time of year - the heat is too much). This was a treat of an outing and we felt very lucky we saw Roger Federer and some other players we're interested in. Glad you enjoyed the mowers. Aren't they a hoot? There's a whole world of extras when you get to attend rather than just watch on TV. I'm guessing your favourite summer distraction is swimming or reading.ReplyDelete
Annie, I've never seen a live tennis match (well, I've seen people play tennis, and I've hit a ball badly myself, but a real, proper tennis match), so this was a fascinating insight.ReplyDelete
We play dog tennis twice a day at our house, where the humans hit the balls for the border collies. I'm thinking those vacuums would be fabulous for all the leaves and twigs on our play area - sometimes the ball bounces on a twig and it changes trajectory, which makes it hard for the BCs to judge the landing spot! Of course, we'd want those workers operating them too. :)
I would watch Patrick Rafter play tennis any day. That would be a great summer distraction.ReplyDelete
Annie, I posted a comment this morning that doesn't seem to have loaded so sorry if this appears twice!ReplyDelete
How amazing to see Roger Federer! I've been to the Australian Open and it was amazing.
As for guilty pleasures, I love magazines. I buy so many I never have time to read them all. So my guilty pleasure is hiding away somewhere reading my favourite mag.
Hi Rachel. I love the sound of dog tennis. There used to be a guy who'd be out in the park when I came home, hitting a tennis ball for his German Shepherd. At least one of them got exercise! Both seemed to enjoy it. Oh, I don't think you need one of those vacuums - I'm sure the unpredictability of it is one of the things the dogs enjoy.ReplyDelete
I really enjoy seeing a good live match. It's a rare treat. Several years ago my daughter an I got seats on the spur of the moment for a day in Sydney. They were front row seats (in the sun which is probably why) and just above the spot where the ball hit the wall if the receiver missed the serve. Experiencing Marat Safin's serve almost at court level gave me a whole new respect for professional players!
Tammy, I can understand that. What a great way to spend an afternoon.ReplyDelete
Jennifer, now that's a great guilty pleasure! Where do you hide, I wonder, to read uninterrupted? I was at the newsagent yesterday, buying a magazine on the outback for an elderly relative who's unwell and it was hard work making it out the door without picking up several other glossy, expensive magazines. Some of them are so very tempting. Like you I've got several tucked away I haven't had a chance to read. Maybe when I get the next book in!ReplyDelete
What fun. I think I would enjoy the 'antics' as much as the tennis.ReplyDelete
Mary, we certainly did, though I have to say the tennis was superb. Lots to see and do away from the court too.ReplyDelete
I'm not really a tennis fan, but I love to go to live games of sport -- both for the atmosphere and all the bits and pieces that never make it onto the telly, so I loved your behind the scene pics, Annie! :-)ReplyDelete
My favourite distraction at this time of the year is the beach -- not for swimming, but for walking. The temperature is perfect and the sun not too fierce. But...you and Jennifer make me want to go out now and buy a whole load of glossy mags. Hmm...
Hi Michelle, there's something about live sport, isn't there that gives a whole different feeling to watching it on TV.ReplyDelete
I like the idea of walking along the beach in summer - especially early or at sunset - it's just beautiful and so energising. I live near both the sea and the lake and I'm sure those vast expanses of water give off some special creative vibe - as well as helping me relax.
Hi Annie - I'm so jealous! Tennis is my favourite summer sport to watch. I love the big four tournaments and stay up in the wee small hours watching when I can. In winter - well, I'm a rugby league tragic and HAVE to watch every Broncos game. Other distractions from writing are generally my animals - I love taking my dogs to the beach for a walk. And my horses get any time I can spare. Beats procrastinating with housework :) Great post.ReplyDelete
It sounds like you mark the change of seasons with the change in sports! I'm imagining you wrapped up in winter going to the footy. I love seeing the tennis tournaments on TV but they always coincide with deadlines and other things so I miss most of them - except the Aus Open. Love the sound of your animal distractions. I think they've got a way of keeping us grounded. So glad you don't have to rely on housework to procrastinate!
Hi Annie- how fascinating to see 'behind the scenes' at the open! And I wonder why the bright blue courts? It looks like you had a great day watching the masters at play!ReplyDelete
Guilty pleasures-I guess that would be sneaking out for a 'quick' coffee with friends- often turns into lunch- often turns into all afternoon!
Great post, Annie. Loved the photos.ReplyDelete
as for guilty pleasures - anything that doesn't include work, and maybe has a hint of chocolate or strong coffee involved.
How interesting, Annie! Great pics and what awesome colour with the blue and red! And those "mowers" - having never been to the tennis, I know I'd have been fascinated by them too!ReplyDelete
Guilty pleasures - a year round one... that extra piece of chocolate that I know I shouldn't have!
Louisa, isn't it amazing how fast the time goes when you're out with friends? I can imagine coffee stretching to lunch then afternoon tea. What a lovely guilty pleasure!ReplyDelete
Hi Sue, I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. I can relate to your guilty pleasures too. Both sound very tempting to me.ReplyDelete
Sharon - another chocolate addict? I'd never have guessed! And it's such an easy indulgence, isn't it? Hope you're enjoying some now.ReplyDelete