Monthly Archives: October 2009

Life looks like this

A bit too busy and frankly distracting.

Somedays though it doesn’t look much like that at all, and on those days it always sounds like these guys.

They’ve begged, they’ve pleaded…

I accept no other illustrations!

I accept no other illustrations!

… but I’ll put good money on their entreaties coming without an apostrophe. So this evening the lucky, lucky people will get it – the mysteries of the apostrophe.

I am thinking of wearing two hats to the class, literally. One is an ugly ear-flapped, be-peaked job that will stay on in the stiffest of winds and keep your head warm and dry – I think it is known as a “mountain cap” and is by one of those gung-ho outdoorsy European manufacturers. Apparently it makes me the absolute spit of Elmer Fudd. The other is a straw confection (not straw as in scarecrow, but as in milliner) that I took to the Oaks but left in the car, it being a difficult enough job rushing from paddock to winning post and back again without weighing yourself down like the Quangle Wangle Quee.

The point being an apostrophe does the job of two hats; one for possession and one for ommission.

Let’s hope they get it šŸ˜‰

Does Sir Alex have the X-factor?

The X Factor Supremo

The X Factor Supremo

Apparently not according to one of my acquaintances, despite being a Man Utd supporter.

The thing is, they said, is that Ferguson just thinks he is the referee, whereas Simon Cowell knows he is.

Perhaps Simon could take up Sir Alex’s spot when he is serving his ban for being rude about Mr Wiley.

Apologies to the many of you who won’t know what the hell I am talking about!

The Man Utd Manager

The Man Utd Manager

I am no big fan of either, but I suspect they both know what they are talking about…

Life’s a bitch

I was going to blog two things today:

a) Rio de la Plata has a good chance in the 3.10 @ Newmarket
b) The Jigsaw Man is reportedly some tool and is expected to take the last at Cheltenham

As I looked at the cards there was the news that Inglis Drever was euthanised this morning after going down in his field yesterday with colic.

I am very gutted about this. He was only 10 and as his trainer said he hardly had a retirement to speak of. Howard Johnson also said the little horse had been his “pride and joy”. He gave me loads of pleasure too and it is a sad day indeed. I’m afraid my heart’s not in it.

@ Newbury

@ Newbury

The long march to Cleeve Hill

seems to have started. I hate that; we’ve not even finished the flat yet.

Sizing Europe a favourite for the Arkle? He beat the old thinker Harchibald (chase debutant) into second at Punchestown this afternoon. Surely Henry de Bromhead’s great beast won’t have enough speed. Anyway, I’m not getting into that now. It’s still October and we’ve not run the Dewhurst yet. In a sublime piece of bad planning and a clash of mother versus punter roles, I’ve had to turn down a trip to Newmarket on Saturday to take up an engagement at the Royal Opera House – Carmen for the family.

I can tell it is all going to end in tears.

If theres no horse on stage Ill want my money back!

If there's no horse on stage I'll want my money back!


I met this lady today in a residential home. She was in a wheelchair and well into retirement. She told me that when she first started work she earned Ā£1 and 20 old pence a week for a 5 and a half day week at a tailors. We were supposed to be talking about vintage fashion so she talked about “Bum-Freezers” and “Swagger Coats” and made what must have been quite hard times sound rather wonderful.

What impressed me most though about her was this: she gambles every day! She is housebound so I am not sure of the logistics but apparently she does ok. She also was very keen to tell us that “bad girls have more fun”, and judging by her demeanour I think she is right šŸ™‚

I’d love to get her to HQ…


Be sure to count the odd one at the back

Be sure to count the odd one at the back

I never blog about students because that would be wrong.

I just need to share this observation.

Guessing the answer for subtractions rarely works.

I recommend the use of a pen and paper and your fingers and thumbs (or ten of something else, if you have a greyhound their phalanges will do!)

Belief and beggars springs to mind sometimes. I think the 80s and 90s may have been a big black hole of primary education.

Tomorrow I will be singing the times tables to the girls. Hard-wired is way better than re-wired.

Sea The Stars bows out

One man and his horse

One man and his horse

John Oxx has just announced the decision that his colt has run his last race.

My instant reaction was to cheer and huge relief.

Mr Oxx has not put a foot wrong where his superstar is concerned. He has planned everything with meticulous care and concern for his horse. We are lucky that he had Sea The Stars and I am grateful for his wise and judicious nature.

If he were here, I would give him a hug.

Thank you John Oxx, your horse is the greatest, but you aren’t half bad yourself.

Ugly Cars

Minty the Civic (the one true German car lurks in the background)

Minty the Civic

My car is hideous. It is green (metallic and pale), it is an automatic (which doesn’t do for control freaks like me) and, for some inexplicable reason, it is always covered in dog hair and rubbish.

People keep driving into the back of it, without the decency to actually damage it, or give me a little light whiplash so I could claim damages and a dog-walking car dealing aquaintance told me last week that although it is very low mileage (because for the last 10 years no-one has fancied driving it much) “appearance is everything” and he would only run to a tuppence ha’penny for it. Gosh that’s a long sentence isn’t it? Deal with it! He then went on to say “they are good cars, they are”. Which they are. Reliable too, which is why I bought the bugger. Even with my neglect it still runs. Even though it is crying out for a new exhaust it still gets me about the place, albeit slowly up hills but we aren’t blessed with many of those round these sides. So I can say that yes, a Honda Civic is an exceedingly reliable car, even in the face of wanton neglect and possible abandonment. It will keep on trucking, although you may fall asleep at the wheel from the sheer boredom of being its pilot.

The full horror of the back seat

The full horror of the back seat

Search Terms – “dinners made of blue-tongued dog”

I know why this term threw up my blog, the most popular post week-in-month-out is one I did about dogs, including the blue-tongued Chow Chow.

Based on this observation I would say that the world’s most popular dog surely MUST be the Chow Chow, on or off the plate.

A popular programme around here is “Come Dine With Me”. I should like to put a menu together for the contestants to read what’s on it to camera.

“Hmmm, blue-tongued dog pate on brioche with fresh figs – this could be a winning menu…”

Of course, I am joking. It has been illegal to eat the Chow Chow (even in China) since the last century. And a good thing too, if you’re asking.

I couldnt eat a whole one

I couldn't eat a whole one

NB. No dogs were harmed in the writing of this post