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Whatever the reason for my latest malady, it has been, and continues to be most unpleasant; with non-specific flu-like symptoms I am sweating it out by consuming large quantities of water with long periods of horizontality on the sofa or prone on the bed in between changing my soaking clothes and sheets.

I suppose it all started about three weeks ago when I was violently attacked whilst out in the countryside, well, maybe that’s too strong a description, but I was bitten by a vicious little insect of unknown species but probably a horse fly or its smaller relative the deer fly which seem to be very prevalent this year. I didn’t feel anything more than a glancing contact on my face and I flicked it away and thought no more of it. Later the contact area started to irritate and by the following morning had swollen. It was the pain and the itching though, it hurt, like I’d walked into something and when the poison spread, caused stabbing pains behind the eye. It all passed off though and I was left with a red patch on my face which eventually blistered and crusted over. Then just as I thought it had all gone away, a week ago I was bitten again, this time on the elbow; once more I have no clue what my attacker was but deer flies had been seen nearby where I was bitten. I suspect I am now suffering from the after effects of the poison from two assaults on my person and after a few days of extreme lethargy and incapability of doing anything have now come-round sufficiently to turn on my computer.

From the age of about thirteen I suffered from uncontrollable hay-fever from late May to early July, it was six weeks of pure hell which lasted until the mid 1990s when I started to grow out of it, that’s over thirty years of annual misery which mostly confined me to the house, all medication just giving a mild relief with the symptoms, I tried everything, all to no avail. It was during my enforced imprisonment that I learned the rules of a certain ball game, on which I did become a little hooked, it helped while away the hours of the later weeks of every years’ entrapment.

Everyone knows, ball games and I are not compatible, I’ve written about it before, the rules of cricket are beyond my comprehension and having no interest don’t wish to know; Rugby is another, it took me until last year to finally ask a camera-club friend to explain what that was all about. I’m not completely absent from knowledge of sport with spherical projectiles, I can occasionally be interested in a game of bowls or snooker on the old goggle-box, but soon become bored. There is one game however of which I know the rules and scoring and that is Tennis, during my hay fever years this kept me entertained during the long and hot afternoons it was necessary to spend in a darkened room with a wet handkerchief over my face attempting to keep pollen from entering my airways.

And so, after about twenty years of abstinence, I find myself looking once more, albeit in a dazed stupor, at the annual tennis from Wimbledon. The names are all meaningless to me, I haven’t a clue as to their origin or their form but I have been fascinated to listen to, and see, some of the players who I well remember from their hey-day when they were the stars of history. I remember the days of, amongst many others, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Stan Smith, Sue Barker, Martina Navratilova, Boris Becker, and was surprised and interested to see them all featured on yesterday’s tennis, many on the commentary team deliberating at great length on the performance of present day tennis stars. Yes, the tennis has been mildly entertaining in my sweaty lethargic disorientation, but hope I feel well enough today to at least venture outside. On a positive note, I must be feeling better as I’ve remained vertical long enough to compose this drivel!

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