Every year for the past 10 years I have waited with anticipation for 'Wimbledon fortnight'. I've always enjoyed tennis but it didn't really become part of my life until my mother met my stepfather who's family has been involved in grounds keeping for generations; tennis grounds are their specialty and for a time, Wimbledon their home. As the sports industry gets bigger and more lucrative, Wimbledon has remained unspoiled by hundreds of sponsors and commercialization and has kept its traditions alive without bending to modern requirements (for example the compulsory whites regardless of individual tennis players' brand endorsements). The tournament has become a part of British tradition and the most sort after prize in professional tennis. From the immaculate grounds to the impeccably presented umpires, ball boys and linesmen, a visit to Wimbledon is a visit to another world. A brand that truly lives and breathes its values and doesn't falter in the face of commercial pressures. I love Wimbledon because it makes me want to aspire to be great in every aspect of my life. I don't play tennis but a day at Wimbledon inspires me to win at the games I do play.
For me Waterstone's is so much more than a book shop. Whenever I go there time suddenly has no meaning. The atmosphere is always so relaxed and friendly I find myself spending hours at a time perusing the shelves and chatting to both the staff and the other patrons. Finding someone who has read the same book as you creates an instant bond and it's so satisfying meeting like minded people. I find myself gravitating towards Waterstone's entirely by accident, even in cities where I've never been! It takes you out of the hustle and bustle of the high street where no one has time to stop, say please or thank you or even acknowledge your existence because we're all too busy on some errand or another. But in Waterstone's we're all the same; taking a secluded moment to ourselves to enjoy the small pleasure of a really good book.