THIS week I have been playing the best tennis of my life. To be honest, I have been playing the only tennis of my life.
I have been unbeatable, even though I was playing as a girl. It was not on grass or clay. It was on a Wii video game in Donegal.
I am sure purists will insist I have not experienced the real deal but it’s been raining. Besides, I don’t particularly like tennis but Wimbledon fortnight has been on and I thought I should make some kind of effort.
The Wii belongs to my grandsons in Ireland. We bought them it for Christmas but I had never seen it in operation.
For those who don’t know this is a virtual gaming machine with an unfortunate name where you stand in front of a TV screen holding a hand control and pretend to hit a ball. Your contortions are interpreted electronically. According to your skill and effort the ball is smashed by your on-screen persona (or avatar) over the net.
Seven-year-old Lorcan set it up for me and left me alone. I didn’t go straight to tennis. I considered my options as I didn’t want to show myself up and chose golf as my game of initiation.
This is another sport for which I hold no passion. In fact, my apathy for it lifts only during the Ryder Cup. But it is a solitary game and I would be out on the links alone with no-one watching my endeavours. So I played a few holes as a beginner to settle my hand-eye co-ordination.
Sadly, my heart was not in it. I felt self-conscious actually swinging my arms as if I had a club in my hands in an empty living room. Besides, I wasn’t very good. So I moved on to ten pin bowling and was surprisingly excellent.
I was quite chuffed until I worked out that anyone over the age of four could consistently get top marks because the game was so easy.