Category Archives: 1

Time for a little joyful event focus

I mention the old London – Paris bike ride for charity (The Big Issue) from time to time but now I have to get a bit serious and do some fundraising.  The training is coming on “ish”.  Today I cracked the beast that is Pier Hill, that which has defeated me a couple of time already.  The trouble is, once at the summit (I am not sure of the altitude but it is but a nipple in the mammography of hills) I had to rip out the earphones blasting “now very irritating motivational dance music” like a maddened patient hooked up to life support machinery and then concentrate very hard to keep pedalling and not collapse.

What I will do when I am faced with an actual, real, never-ending hill in the heat of mid-July I do not know.  Suspect strongly that weeping will be involved.

Anyway, I quickly espied a scenic vista that I thought I would share with you.  Cunningly I could also stop to artfully frame said shot and my heart and lungs could have a second out from pounding and burning.  This is what I managed.

Obviously the lack of oxygen to my brain had taken its effect...

Obviously the lack of oxygen to my brain had taken its effect...


Fortunately I had also had the presence of mind to take a snap when cycling in a more civilised fashion along the front. 

Nice as this is, I am starting to wonder why the pics are coming up so small?

Nice as this is, I am starting to wonder why the pics are coming up so small?

Answers on a postcard please on either my comments or on the fundraising page below.  Many thanks 🙂

It’s a dog’s life!

A lurcher's life in this case

A lurcher's life in this case

A new haircut goes unnoticed

How many times does this happen ladies? 

When I pointed it out, the kids said your hair looks longer (interesting and I’d lost at least 2 inches all round) and the OH said it looked darker.  The lovely hairdressing lady must have had one magic pair of scissors.

I should have never called this blog “makemeadiva”, it would be far more accurately entitled “stoptherot”.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

Sun Tzu “The Art of War” 500 B.C.

Scary Chinese General from over two thousand years ago

Scary Chinese General from over two thousand years ago

I can’t add to that really.  Except to note that if Sun Tzu blogged I’d definitely be his lurker.

Cheltenham Epilogue

There are two post scripts from The Festival. 

1) Neptune Collonges was sadly found to have sustained a tendon injury during the Gold Cup and will be out until 2010/2011 season.  From reports it seems that his owner, John Hales, attributes the injury to the reason he ran lower down the field in the race than was certainly expected.  I hope they get him back sound and have more great days out with him in the future.

2) Kasbah Bliss DID NOT STAY.  I did not attend to the detail of the World Hurdle which was this.  In 2008 KB finished a worthy second to the magnificent Inglis Drever which was good form.  I thought a replication of that would be enough, as indeed it may have been ON the OLD course.  But last week’s race was run on the NEW course as was the race in 2007 wherein he finished 5th.  The New course has a longer run in and is said to expose any chinks in a horse’s stamina.  This information was shared today by Mel Collier in the Racing Post’s Anorak Corner.  Now I am not sure how one would have got this information except by using the evidence of ones own eyes but it just goes to show you must factor everything possible in before putting your money down.

Slapped wrist!

Get well soon Neptune

Get well soon Neptune

“Marketing Judo”

I was given this book to read today.  I am on a three day course over three weeks to uncover the mysteries of marketing and marketeers.  It’s all very interesting, but not six hours interesting, which is nearly how long I spent in the room being demystified and mystified in equal measures.

I can’t say I’d ever want a job in marketing but I do have to consider the issues and then market services in my job.  Apparently we must be distinct in the difference between services and product.  Although in our case it is separate again, being an offer.  I really don’t like that term myself.  You see, you can proffer your offer and potential recipients can offer to stick it up your arse for you, after all that.  Anyway, there will be less of that if I get the marketing bang on.  Allegedly.

Reading that back it looks like I might be offering services!  Well I am, but not THOSE kind.  Although come to think of it I am sure marketing the oldest profession is a darn sight easier than  marketing Skills for Life courses. LOL 🙂

Where do business cards go now there are no red phone boxes?

Where do business cards go now there are no red phone boxes?

Crimes against humanity – according the OH

For some reason the dog (otherwise known as Rudi, or the lurcher or in some circles a “longdog”) favours sleeping on the OH’s side of the bed when he is in it (he being the OH).  When the OH is not in his bed the dog favours arranging himself artistically in a fluffy pile of pillows where he looks so engaging I cannot bear to turf him off.  The OH has no such qualms and then turns on me and roundly berates me for “allowing” the dog to recline at his leisure with his arse on his pillow!

Of course I have never noticed that aspect of the tableau.

A thought or two on American racing and maybe some questions

There’s a lot of it.  It’s all on left-handed oval tracks and punters are privy to track workout times and exotic bets.  Sounds good eh?  I reckon, with a bit of  study it could prove quite profitable. 

The downsides seem to be mainly on the dirt tracks where you get deep closers – i.e. horses that come off the home turn off the pace and run down the leader(s) in the straight.  The visual impression often is that horses start going backwards and the deep closers just catch up and a depressing business that is to be sure.  Also I never quite feel I really know what’s going on but to combat that the tv pics handily show the numbers in the first 4 places at the bottom of the screen.  Also the 1 horse breaks from the 1 stall, 2 from 2 and so on.  I am not sure on the old US tactics though.  It’s as difficult to win from the front there as it is here but the mainly uniform last bend seems to give the hold-up performers a fair enough crack of the whip.  They also have some crazy 2 furlong races.  Blink and you’d miss those, for punting purposes it probably is best to blink then.

If you are in the dark about all this and have 30 minutes to spare you can follow some of the action free here:

Anyone out there willing to put me straight on some of the nuances of over the pond racing please?

Apologies, blink and youd miss it (US 2f race)

Apologies, blink and you'd miss it (US 2f race)

Enough of horses for five minutes

Let it be recorded that the International Women’s Day event went off last weekend as these things have a way of doing.  Personally I was glad to see the back of it and will steer well clear next year.

The cycling training continues apace.  Four hills today and counting and horror, I was timed up them.  My companion had the idea I would be beating the first time on the second occasions (2 x2 hills) but my withering look (to myself) was probably not quite the right mental attitude and I was indubitably slower on the second wave of attack.  Not to worry, I live to tell the tale although my beetroot face had its own tale to tell too.  Let’s not go into that.  I can’t worry about the training and the hills because I now have to worry about the fundraising.

Any tips very welcome.

Id be a bit worried if someone sent me this as a Valentine...

I'd be a bit worried if someone sent me this as a Valentine...

I’m in reflective mode

1) What are the chances of one owner winning the Champion Chase and Gold Cup in the same week – has it been done before? 

2) Odds on same for next year would hardly be generous

3) Paul Nicholls is an exceptional trainer in many respects.  In terms of Denman and his renaissance today – I was wrong and I am glad to be so and I take my hat off to the man 🙂

4) Ruby Walsh is one lucky fellow!

5) That my reflections would concentrate on the humans in the first instance because the satisfaction at Ditcheat tonight must be truly immense.

6) That State of Play, Rambling Minster and Garde Champetre have an outstanding chance in the next big jumps hoorah (courtesy of Dr AMB Stats & Co – you know who you are ;-))