It never occurred to me before just how boring Wimbledon fortnight is - and that's with Andy Murray still in the competition. Or maybe that's how it's become or else, if you insist, how it's become for me.
The characters are gone from the game and their place, mostly, taken by assembly line East Europeans with names like a losing hand of Scrabble.
When I was a Fleet Street journalist I turned down many corporate invitations to a day out at the Championships. Sitting in the sun (or rain), looking from left to right and back again for hours on end seemed a high price to pay for strawberries and cream and a glass of Champagne.
But I used to enjoy the television coverage. However these days I can barely watch 10 minutes before channel-hopping. This afternoon, for example, a Ladies Doubles match lost out to the Loose Women comparing PMT notes.
The BBC's obsession with Wimbledon has made me question the value of tennis as a sport. Regular readers (today the blog passed 75,000 page views) will know I think professional sport is a contradiction in terms. In any sane world you wouldn't be able to earn shedloads of money playing games.
But this isn't a sane world and I've come to accept the craziness that exists, for example, in football (soccer), although I would rather hammer nails into my own brain than attend a golf tournament or F1 Grand Prix - both sports being equally fatuous.
Without the colour and drama of yesteryear, Wimbledon is exposed for what it is. The exploitation of a game, best suited to sociable social club members in pursuit of exercise, hi-jacked by the powerful alliance of money and snobbery.
I’m not going into that good night – gentle or any other way – for as long as possible. Hence the launch of this blog in December 2009 a month before my 65th birthday.
Why the blog's name? When my doctor temporarily prescribed statins to reduce my cholesterol levels she told me to exclude grapefruit from my diet. I received the profoundest sense of my own mortality.
I’ve never liked grapefruit but now banned they called to me siren-like from supermarket shelves.
Forbidden grapefruit, it can only be a short step until my body was denied solid food and then oxygen itself.
Originally a cultural blog subtitled last stop before the abyss, after building a large archive, I re-launched in a new guise in March 2012 and again in April 2014.
My interests are widespread; by nature I prefer to look forward rather than back. I’m male; divorced with grownup children; a retired national newspaper journalist; and a Londoner. GC