Lord H and I decided to end the year in style and get ourselves to Ascot for a day. We haven't been since the new grandstand was opened, and it certainly makes a hell of a difference. Ye gods, it's almost plush. And nice to be back at the horses once more - we don't seem to have been for a lifetime. Mind you, we're not the people the bookies want to see, as we don't spend more than four pounds a race and, besides, I always tend to go for the second favourite. Or maybe the pretty one. Ah choices, choices.
Mind you, we decided on a different system this year - which, for me, involved staring at the horses in the paddock as they stretched their fetlocks and also seeing (much more importantly) which owner had invited his cousins and sisters and aunts, thus showing a large amount of confidence in the outcome. Lord H's new system, on the other hand, consisted of working out which jockey had invited his girlfriend and was therefore hoping to impress her, with a consequently higher likelihood of a victory bonk later on. Results: two winners for me; one for Lord H. Which just goes to show that family triumphs over sex every time. Sad to say ...
We also attempted to circumnavigate the utterly peculiar arrangements for ordering afternoon tea in the new facilities. The waitresses were adept at lying and blaming the management, but not so hot on bringing us scones and jam. So we failed. Gloom indeed. Which just goes to show the power and speed of communication of the UK waitressing network: I'm sure that if I hadn't fought with yesterday's waitress over my clotted cream allowance, we would have been fine for tea today. I see that I will never be able to eat out in public again.
By the time we left - the last race being at 3.35pm - the torrential rain was making the car park (aka a field) into a veritable mire. Lucky we'd brought my Fiesta (called Rupert, by the way) and not Lord H's car - with a little care and only one moment of panic we managed to reach the tarmac unscathed. Though I have to admit that when the large car in front of us did get stuck, I fought a brief battle with my sense of civic duty and ... um ... lost, instead manoeuvring round it and abandoning it to its fate. Yes, I know - I'm an appalling person. But I wasn't the only one. And it was raining. Excuses, excuses, eh? ... The next time I break down in traffic, you have every right to drive past me sneering. I probably deserve it.
Tonight, I'm doing sod all. And proud of it. And we're having a Chinese takeaway from Waitrose - hurrah!
Today's nice things:
3. Chinese food.