Monday morning arrives and the I’ve already loaded the car, which thankfully is big enough to transport two stringing machines, albeit in component parts, not fully assembled. In addition to the two machines, I have a bag of accessories, a string bin, my clothes bag and my toolbox. Matt lives in the south so I won’t be sharing a car with him. I’ll miss Mark on the journey to Birmingham. This is when we previously discussed the upcoming tournament, which players we’ll string for and results from the previous week at the German Open.
I arrive at the apartment around 2pm and sort out the keys etc. Matt arrives in perfect time. I’ve completed the admin and already unloaded one machine from the car and delivered it into the apartment. We are soon at work emptying the cars, excitedly chatting about the forthcoming week.
This is my fifth All Englands and they’re all different.
I’ve no idea what will happen during the week. All I know for sure is that it’s unlikely we will get the second wave of restrings towards the end of the week as the Swiss Open took place earlier in the year, possibly to make way for the Commonwealth Games. I hope the timing reverts to the week after the All Englands next year.
With all gear in the apartment, we re-arrange the main living area to accommodate the stringing machines. I select a spot near the long window under one of the downlights and Matt takes up residence under the other downlight. Lighting is always a problem at events like this. Thankfully we have a huge window from floor to ceiling spanning the length of the room so we have more light than usual, but it’s not enough. I brought additional lighting with me and we will also be testing brand new portable lighting when it arrives on Tuesday.