Doing battle with daily dragons

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Day At The Races

After the lunchtime news, at the point that I usually lunge for the TV remote to prevent myself from being aesthetically dirtied by Neighbours*, I was instead intrigued enough to watch the start of racing today at Royal Ascot.

I have to admit that I’m not a great horse racing fan. Any sport where, to convince and animal to carry 110 pound guy on it’s back faster than all of the OTHER animals with 110 guys on THEIR backs, it has to be soundly beaten for several furlongs, doesn’t sit well with me. I also have to admit to a tiny bit of apprehension about horses. I was never one of those little girls who wanted a pony; I was always slightly afraid to have a pet that could kick me to death. Where we live now, in Buckinghamshire there are a number of renowned racing stables who exercise their horses in nearby fields. These twitchy, eye rolling, head tossing, mouth foaming, bit chomping bastards are prime candidates for the mount of one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.

At any rate, amidst the bewildering commentary liberally peppered with words like “cuppy”, “chute”, “bobble” and “blow out"** there was the obligatory fashion report along with the obsequious arse-licking that accompanied the daily royal parade. The hats are of course the main focus of fashion at Ascot and there were some truly spectacular headdresses on display. My favorite was perched atop the head of Michael Owen’s wife and looked as if a white peacock had had the misfortune to run into her head in mid flight at mach 3.

But, to tell the truth, it’s jealousy. I YEARN to wear a huge and inappropriate headpiece. Hats are certainly more the rage here in the UK than they are in the US. Weddings here are prime hat wearing occasions, but everyone we know who’s gotten married has either gone somewhere else to do it or the bride was knocked up, so they had to make do with a registry office affair. I am, myself, champing at the bit for an excuse to go out and buy something to ram on my head with enough feathers on it to almost completely obscure my face, and I desperately need someone to create an occasion for me.

So if anyone out there is getting married and planning on a posh event, my hat and I promise to sit quietly in the back and not be any trouble.

I might even buy you a pony.

* For American readers, a vile Aussie soap opera where everyone lives in paradise, but complains non-stop about how crappy their lives are.

**Which I thought was very funny in regards to horses. “Yeah, my horse had a blow out on the back straight. Can I get him patched?”