I had been invited to a garden party in Waterloo. The problem was that the Wimbledon men’s singles final – a battle royal between a rejuvenated Andy Roddick and an on-form Roger Federer – had not finished by the time I set off. I tried to follow the match on my mobile phone and the radio. As I drove out on the Chaussée de Waterloo I passed a tennis club called ‘Wimbledon’. That was it. The temptation was too strong. I stopped the car and went in, certain that the match would be on a big screen, and it was. I was made very welcome and was soon part of the crowd, ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ as the game went this way and that. There were chats during the time outs and they off course discovered I was from London. I was even offered a beer. It was a great experience. When it was all over, and King Roger was about to start the interviews, I said my thank yous and made my farewells. ‘It’s not bad, your Wimbledon,’ said one of the lovely ladies. ‘Well,’ I replied, ‘yours is not bad either!’
There was a high German contingent at the garden party and the subject on all the EU insiders’ minds was the German constitutional court’s recent ruling. ‘Brussels’ has greeted it with a certain euphoria because it seems to have unblocked one of the few remaining stumbling blocks for the ratification and implementation of the Lisbon Treaty. But, as several guests explained to me, the euphoria is misplaced and only understandable because people have not yet read the full judgement nor digested its implications.