Wimbledon Diary: Forget the pigeons, take aim at the car park charity pests

The Diary was once shot in the ankle with an airgun pellet, and while it did sting a bit, it wasn't serious. Now is not the time to go into the details of the incident but the situation involved a Catholic priest, a big dog with scary teeth and the front yard of a presbytery in Kisumu in western Kenya, at night.

The point is that an airgun pellet, believe us, needn't be that dangerous, but it can be a deterrent.

So now that the Wimbledon marksmen are no longer shooting pigeons ("Even though they're still swooping on Centre Court," fan Rachel Turner assures us), might we suggest that the shooting boys are sent to Car Park 10 instead to pop a few warning shots?

The £25-a-day parking fee is bad enough. But the mob-handed charity ticket sellers who have both doors covered as soon as any car stops are a pest. We are as keen on saving the children as the next diary. But this just isn't the kind of genteel behaviour expected of the world's best-organised sporting event.

Set your watches by the weather prophets of SW19

The Diary is mightily impressed with Wimbledon's ability to predict the weather in a country where it is a notoriously tricky business, as Michael Fish will attest. At the start of the day on Wednesday the word from Wimbledon was that Roger Federer's match with Marat Safin would not get on court until 4pm, which is almost exactly when it began. Uncanny. And during yesterday's rain-hit women's semi-finals the predictions were equally accurate, with forecasts suggesting rain would stop within five minutes and the sun would come out. And lo and behold. Bingo. Clouds clear, sun shines. Maybe someone within Wimbledon HQ has a hotline to the Big Man?

Also, the All England Club should be congratulated on the way the lines of communication are kept open with the punters who are advised, via the many Tannoys, when the covers are coming off and when play is to resume. Hats off. Maybe the world of cricket could borrow a leaf? You can often sit at Lord's with a tiny puddle at deep-square leg keeping the players in the pavilion, and the public in the dark.

Gurkhas – smart, effective, highly motivated and courteous

The Diary asked a few days ago whether it was the Gurkhas' warrior mentality that made them ideal to guard car park No4 at Wimbledon. John Whitwam, the managing director of G4S Gurkha Services Division (which supplies the staff, all ex-Army Gurkhas) rang yesterday to tell us: "Yes, but it's not only that. They're always effective, highly motivated, smart and courteous." G4S also supply Gurkhas to guard the UK's Critical National Infrastructure, including power stations. Fascinating.

Robson looking good to recreate Wonder Years on court for Britain

An eagle-eyed colleague has pointed out to The Diary that Britain's new junior tennis heroine, Laura Robson, 14, is the spitting image of the actress Danica McKellar, who famously played Gwendolyn "Winnie" Cooper, the love interest of main character, Kevin, in one of the biggest TV hits of the late '80s and early '90s. We can only hope that Laura's great progress here is the beginning of her own "Wonder Years".

Mad on the Mound

With no more Centre Court tickets available to overnight queuers until the end of the tournament, our daily fan feature switches to focus on an early arrival each day on Murray Mound.

Name: Sharon Ashton.

From: Shropshire.

Age: 50.

Occupation: Practice nurse.

Arrived on the mound: 12.30pm.

Who are you here to see? We're going on No 1 Court later.

Why? Because those are the tickets we got. We'd rather have been here for Nadal-Murray.

What's the best hill you've ever sat on? It's in Rome, the Capitoline Hill. We had a lovely picnic there last Spring.

Today's random question – did you see Murray lose to Nadal and have you ever seen such a spanking? I saw it on TV. It wasn't the biggest spanking. Murray will have learnt a lot of lessons. Nadal was sublime and he'll beat Federer.

If the All England Club served a pigeon that has been slaughtered at The Championships, would you eat it, if it was prepared nicely, perhaps roasted and dished up with scrummy seasonal veg? If they told me the source, no. But I had a friend at university who killed a pigeon on his windowsill. He made it into curry and that tasted nice.

Suggested Topics
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
Life and Style
An Internet security expert has warned that voice recognition technology needs to be more secure
techExperts warn hackers could control our homes or spend our money simply by speaking
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style