There are probably not enough negative words in my dictionary to describe how much I hate anything to do with gambling. I have got far too much respect and modesty when it comes to money…
However, there are those very few days every year when I put some money aside (£20 all together to be precise; living on the edge, I know) to bet on the horses that have the wackiest and funniest names of all. Some of my best picks so far include:
- Drop Out Joe
- Dodgy Bob
- Big Shu
- ShakaLakaBoomBoom (I mean come on who wouldn’t choose him?!)
- Air Horse One
I would be lying if I say I have ever won much (if anything), possibly due to always choosing the right outsiders. I kind of go for them because I feel sorry that they have got so little support and want them to prove everybody wrong. Matt says that I never learn. I don’t want to.
Horse racing is big in the U.K., it is a cheap day out for families, a sophisticated excuse for students to get drunk (not that they need one, right?) or a big corporate event where companies treat their clients.
Depending on how much you want to spend and what you want to get out of your day, you can go for different packages. You could either hire a box (you get served three course meals, alcohol is flowing and you get to watch the race off a posh glass balcony where you feel a bit like a celebrity/royalty/morron looking down at the rest of the crowd/peasants, hence you need really fancy clothes, high heels and one of those pompous funny hats); or you could buy a general admission ticket (you are now part of the crow underneath that balcony) which gets you an over-priced pint of larger, at an over-crowded bar, and with a little bit of luck, you might even get an over-grilled sausage with under-cooked onions (that is because they always run out of the hod dogs). Here fashion is not as classy and important as it is at the glass balcony and you get the whole spectrum of styles and colours.
I have done the races at the glass balcony and I have done them with the crowd and I have to admit that the latter is far more enjoyable.
We are lucky to have a racecourse 10 minutes away from Bath city centre so it was a no-brainer how we were going to spend the Bank holiday Monday.
We woke up early, had breakfast (my famous cheese and ham toasties) and in no time we were dressed and ready to go. I did not dress up fancy as the weather was horrible and it was advertised as a Family Day so I kind of couldn’t be bothered (oops).
We got there just in time for the first race. It was full of children having ice cream (regardless of the cold heavy wind) elderly gentlemen in beautiful old-fashioned suits and loads of young boys and girls showing off their most vibrant TopShop outfits and their highest heels. In contrast to me and my burgundy boots, faded jeans, fake fur coat and funny hat.
The smell of hot dogs and burgers and the children’s laughter took me back to a happy place where I completely forgot about my anxiety of going back to work after a long relaxing weekend (see here).
I will now let the very few shots I took take you to this happy place while I cooking dinner for my very hungry man…