Rik Mayall’s death earlier this week has sent my entire generation into mourning. Just as soon as I have a minute I’m going to get The Young Ones and the relevant Blackadder episodes on DVD so I can play them to the bright young things, I decide. We can have a barter economy: I show them 90s things and they show me how to work things in the newfangled Modern World. I wonder if they have ever seen a video or a VHS machine – I can show them my Rik Mayall videos as exhibits but there is no longer any way of playing them.
I attend Queens with Mum for the tennis, which allows ample opportunity for studying these boys in their natural habitat. Having never been before, I am immediately bowled over by the tournament’s sheer loveliness. As we enter there is a Champagne Bar, where red-trousered young bucks loll on sofas, smoking. There does seem to be a lot of smoking going on, and that’s another issue with dating much younger boys – they smoke – something dying out amongst people of my generation. On a few dates already it has been difficult when the young man asks if he can smoke and I say no and then feel bad.
Anyway – back to Queens where purchase a couple of glasses of Cloudy Bay from the champagne bar and settle into our seats. It is hot and there is no shade and I am sweltering under my blanket and hat – I’m not allowed to expose my irradiated skin in the sun. The stewards are all tall, blond and the most attractive – and helpful – young people I’ve ever seen.
Leaving Mum in our seats, I make my way to the loo, passing a group of teenage boys in shorts and polo shirts with upturned collars. Observing how good they look in shorts, I realise that this is because they wear ones that are tight on the bottom – rather than baggy and exposing their pants, in the manner of hip hop artists. Also they wear loafers rather than sandals on their feet which looks far better. Add to this golden tans, luxuriant formula one driver hair and bright white teeth, and their beauty is assured.
It’s not all glamour and beauty, of course. There are some strange outfits too – a few young chaps have left home in their bedroom slippers and some sport jackets with their shorts.
It is so nice to be having a day off from dating, I think as I purchase an iced coffee and make my way back onto Centre Court to rejoin Mum. This is part of what I need to do too, of course – to have some actual fun – not casual sexuals but days out to events I enjoy but have been too ill to attend all year. Spending time with my family and friends is important too, as well as dating.
What would be better by far than internet dating is meeting someone at an event like this, or doing a new evening class in something or a course at the Jewish Centre. Now that it is summer and the evenings are longer, I resolve to look into summer writing courses and suchlike. But for now I watch the players battling it out on the grass under the cerulean blue sky and feel happy to be at this wonderful event with my Mum and to be alive.