Race Day Musings And Other Stuff


If we were having our regular Sunday catch up over coffee, this week the drink of choice would be a flat white.  I had my first proper one for ages the other day and it was lovely.

I’m going to start with what I did this weekend.  As anyone who read yesterday’s post will know, I went to The Grand National.


Last time we went we were in the cheap seats because we didn’t really have the foresight to by tickets early and decided that we wanted to go.  This time we were in one of the new big stands and the whole experience was much different.  For a start, I put a suit on to fit in and I got to wear the most expensive shoes I own for the first time in about 18 months.  Yes, those most expensive shoes I own that my “consultant” at the time labelled “school shoes”.

We first went to the parade ring where previous winners were being, well, paraded.  I wondered if they remembered and so knew why they were there.  You know, whether the horses got out their boxes at the venue and thought, “Ah, I remember this.  I think did alright here a while ago.”  It was at the parade ring that I also made a friend:


We had a bit of a wander round and then went to go to find a good place to watch the racing.  What I didn’t really realise was how little seating there would be at the course in general.  I knew we were on a “terrace” but even in the bars and the concourses, there was absolutely no where to sit except grass and toilets.  At 33, I’m too old to be stood up for 7 hours!  A lot of people chose to sit on the dusty steps of the terrace which meant there was quite a lot of ferocious bum rubbing when they stood up.

What else did I note? Erm, yeah, what the punters were wearing.  Aintree has no dress code.  It does have some guidelines for women to what I see as “keep it classy” because there is a bit of a reputation for some of the locals not to leave too much to the imagination.

For the most part, I think everyone adhered.  There were some people who looked absolutely amazing.  Let’s caveat the next bit by saying that I’m not known for what I wear… There were, though, some who obviously thought that if they wore something expensive they would look great, whether or not it actually fit them.  And I still don’t understand wearing a suit with really tight pants rolled up to half way up your shins, no socks and loafers.

It’s also easy to spot the people who wouldn’t normally ever touch a suit.  I know I wear one very rarely, granted, but I’m still relatively comfortable in one and like to think I know how to put it together.  Others looked really uncomfortable and like nothing quite matched – skinny ties with thick collars, shirt sleeves too short, shoes and belt not matching… That sort of thing.

The thing about getting dressed up, though, is that you’re watching horse racing.  Having been there, amongst it, I’m not convinced that an event that has its roots in rural community suits (no pun intended) such a dressing up of it’s audience.  Having lived semi-rural the majority of my life, my posh shoes and other people’s high-heeled strappy sandles simply aren’t cut out for day to day activity.

My final observation was that I hadn’t noticed for a long time how many people still smoke.  Football stadia are officially classed as “indoors” despite being open air once pitchside.  These stands weren’t and there were loads of people lighting up.

Erm, right, what happened in the racing? Horses ran round in circles jumping hedges.  Some fell over, most didn’t.  Others got half way round and decided that they’d had enough.  Some won, but generally not the ones I had my money on.  But I got to stand in the sunshine (and now have a bit of a tan) and ate an amazing chilli dog so it was a reasonable day.

The only record of me being there was this picture from the fan camera.  Yep, I’m taking a photograph and have my phone in front of my face.  Brilliant.


Right then, work.  I’ve said that I would like to stay until the offered 31st December.  I still have no paperwork and I don’t know when it’ll arrive.  Most of the deal has really screwed me over and some of it is actually quite unfair.  What annoyed me was when HR were quoting a policy that they’d had precedent for breaking and which clearly did not have the intention with which they were interpreting it.

Still, it felt like the best thing to do and the project, if it turns in to what I think it will, is something that I’ve been wanting to do for years.

Long term readers of this blog might be able to identify who I’m referring to here, but while I was discussing everything I had a voice in my head telling me that I was taking the easy option and wasn’t taking a chance.  To an extent, she was right.  However, this was no easy decision for me; there is a lot I don’t like about where I work, they made everything sound like they were doing me a favour rather than me being the right person for the job and the chance to rest and regroup was appealing, but staying just felt like the right thing to do.

To round up a few other things that happened this week…  I saw this atrocious parking:


And this bus:


And these Doc Martins abandoned on a ticket machine in a car park:


I played football this morning.  We were on the receiving end of an absolute hammering.  I played the final 25 minutes and, although we got beaten, I thought I played reasonably well and really enjoyed myself.  It kind of felt like I was back to the days where I could just run around chasing everything and I kind of forgot about my back.  I don’t think it’s any coincidence, though, that the last few games where I’ve had no problems have been on decent, firm pitches rather than mud pits with massive divots.

And I caught one new Pokémon.  It was a right pain to get too, and it’s rubbish.


I think that’s it.  Have a really good next week.

We’ve got the power to be loving each other
No matter what happens, we’ve got the power to do that
(On a le pouvoir de s’aimer, okay?)
We’ve got the power to be
Ringing the great bell out there above us
We’ve got the power for that
We got the power to do that

[Jehnny Beth (2D):]
They dream of home
I dream of life out of here
Their dreams are small
My dreams don’t know fear
(I got all you)
I got my heart full of hope
I will change everything
No matter what I’m told
Or how impossible it seems
(We got the power)
We did it before
And we’ll do it again
We’re indestructible
Even when we’re tired
And we’ve been here before
Just you and I
Don’t try to rescue me
I don’t need to be rescued

We’ve got the power to be loving each other
No matter what happens, we’ve got the power to do that
(On a le pouvoir de s’aimer, okay?)
We’ve got the power to be
Ringing the great bell out there above us
We’ve got the power for that
We got the power to do that

Get yourself up to the silent altar
And call me
But don’t forget the machines
‘Cause if your choice is chipping it down on the M1 (1, 1, 1)
Then you’ll wake up in the morning
You’ll be storming, oh, oh, oh

We’ve got the power to be loving each other
No matter what happens, we’ve got the power to do that
On a le pouvoir de s’aimer, okay?
We’ve got the power to be
Ringing the great bell out there above us
We’ve got the power to do that
We got the power, power, power-pow-power
We got the power

We got the power

We Got The Power by Gorillaz featuring Jenny Beth

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