Sunday, 18 March 2012

Race week




There's been something or other going on at the racecourse this week.There have been giant blimps floating about in the sky - and the constant buzz of helicopters carrying the rich and famous to and fro.
All the shops and pubs are decorated with green balloons or streamers and shouty banners "WE SERVE GUINNESS!" "RACE WEEK BREAKFASTS HERE!" "GET YOUR RACING POST!"
Florists and garden centres are bursting with shamrocks and heather (sorry, LUCKY shamrocks and heather!) Even the charity shop windows are displaying grimy old binoculars and battered biographies of retired jockeys.
Apart from all the shamrock green, there's an awful lot of pink about. And its the men's trousers that I'm talking about here. They are dirty raspberry, sun-faded strawberry or coral coloured - and they're being teamed with candy-pink and mauve shirts - eek! And the hats! Why do race-going men wear such mad hats?


The women aren't exempt by any means. This week they've been tottering about the pavements and cafes in those high-heeled shoes that seem to have an extra two or three inches of sole on the bottom. These women are in actual pain - at ten o'clock in the morning! And they distract attention from their pained facial expressions by wearing a fascinators upon their heads. Fascinating!

All the young people of Cheltenham will have skipped school this week - first, to go and hang around the train station to see if they can spot any famous people arriving; then, to go off to their temporary jobs in bars, restaurants and cafes (for the ginormous easy-come-easy-go tips!)
Older Cheltonians will either rent out their houses to a bunch of drunken Irishmen and go ski-ing on the proceeds, or simply hunker down and attempt to avoid the town centre, the pubs and the horrendously unmoving traffic for a week.
In the chemist's on Tuesday, I was sorting through a selection of nail polishes, when one of those men in a big hat and pink trousers came in rubbing his hands against the cold and said, "Have you got a hot tip for today, my lovely?" to the old lady behind the counter.
"Always warm the pot before you put the tea in," she advised him solemnly.

It's impossible not to be aware of the buzz, though, and this year (as every year) I shall find myself saying to someone, "You know, I really must go to the races sometime..."
Anyway - in case you're interested - the news from 'Nam is that Kauto Star didn't win. He was pulled up. But everyone clapped and cheered him anyway. So there you are.
I really must go and watch it next year!


It's Mother's Day today, so I'm having a lie-in. My nine year old brought me - not just breakfast in bed, but an actual breakfast menu first. How's that for service?




Briosh? I didn't know he was even aware of briosh! And I'm not at all sure that we have any in the breadbin. To be on the safe side I opted for coffee and a sausage sandwich.
My five year old bought me a chocolate heart and a card with a kitten on - which he considers to be a great joke since I'm not at all fond of cats. Especially the two that live with us.





Later on, husband has promised to provide Chinese food - and there is a homemade Victoria sponge cake for tea. I am a happy mother!

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