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Deja Vu

Nothing profound today. I've just stumbled home in the darkness from the tennis courts across the road from my home on the coast. With Easter only days a way, I drove down from London this afternoon and my eight year old daughter dragged me out for a tennis lesson in the twilight.

There was a time when I almost lived on those tennis courts, in fact, I set-up my first business there as the local coach for the hordes of foreign language students that used to descend on this quiet seaside town during the summer months. I used to wear out a pair of tennis shoes a month on average and can vaguely remember the sore feet and exhaustion of six hours a day on a concrete tennis court.

Later at university, I was almost thrown-out for not attending lectures, because I found a job as coach at London's prestigious Vanderbilt Club, training and playing with rich and famous, Farrah Fawcett Majors, the Monkees.. well almost anyway. It paid my way through school and £17.00 ($30) an hour plus tips in 1977 was a small fortune to someone depending on a student grant.

And after that, I found my way into the company of the Wimbledon set. The old greats that few people today remember, Stan Smith, Heinz Gunthardt, Sandy Mayer but I was never really good enough to make it as a circuit pro but tennis did help me see the world.

Now I ask myself if I have the patience to teach my daughter, who knows everything and looks suitably bored when I show her old pictures of her father. These were taken in the days before the Cartoon Channel, BCC and I'm now a slowly rusting dinosaur, clutching a wooden racquet that I played with 25 years ago and you know what? It works fine after all this time!

I wish I did....!


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