Where were we?

After getting back from my mums —wow it’s two weeks ago now— on the Thursday I went to Wincanton races courtesy of Racing UK http://www.racinguk.com where I had acquired a couple of free tickets.

As the weather was still chilly my other half declined so I ventured off on my lonesome to darkest Somerset.

I collected my two tickets and spotted a chap striding across the car park towards the ticket office so I approached him and asked if he wanted the spare ticket.

“How much do you want for it?” he said as he looked at me in a suspicious way.

“ Nothing, it is free. Just follow me “.

He said thank you and went off on his merry way with an extra £15 in his pocket to invest.

My good deed for the day was done.

Friday I had an appointment at the doctors, not too early of course as I now have a bit of a lie in.

I did have a bit of a list for him and the doc of course managed to find an excuse for drawing blood from me. ‘At least an arm full’ in those immortal words from Tony Hancock.

He prescribed some Viagra eye-drops as I said I wanted to look hard.

Saturday, mon amis, we had our Bampton Twinning French themed soiree.

Rosemary & Roy had laid on a great meal, French style, and we demolished several bottles of Muscadet. The more we drank the more we raised for the twinning so we had no choice!

I did have photos on my phone of us dressed as ‘Onion Johnnies and French Tarts’ but they have been lost – all will be explained later.

Roy had put together old cine films and videos of previous twinning get togethers so it was strange seeing a few of the Bamptonians with hair and dark hair at that.

Sunday was therefore a bit of a slow day. It was a good job the doc took my blood samples on Friday morning and not on Sunday morning.

Wednesday I had to, yes had to, go to Cheltenham races as it was a reciprocal day from my Exeter membership.

As part of racecourse membership, we get free days at each other’s so it had to be done, as Cheltenham is just the best of racecourses.


I thought I would use my Exeter car-parking badge to get me into the Cheltenham member’s car park as it saved me walking a long way and I could also get a quick getaway after the last race.

I entered the racecourse driveway and met the first steward.

“ Exeter member on a reciprocal day” I said.

“You are in’ he replied and pointed towards the members car park.

When I got to the car park a young chap looked at my Exeter sticker and asked me to wind down my window.

I explained and he looked non-plussed so he said, “ I will ask my colleague.

His colleague was also non-plussed but when I explained what was happening he happily let me in and thanked me for telling him.

As I wandered into the racecourse I spotted Ray who has a house up Mary Lane and visits some weekends.

He and his wife are members at Cheltenham and he said I would see Pat as she was sat at the table just through the door in the Annual Members bar.

I duly found Pat and Ray soon joined us and we spent a couple of hours together.

I did venture out into the fresh air a couple of times to check out the stalls and look at the horses in the parade ring.

On my third return to the bar a different steward to the previous times confronted me.

“Can I check you badge sir?” he said.

“ No problem’ I replied.

“Sorry sir, reciprocals are not allowed in here”.

I did hope that Pat & Ray didn’t think I had deserted them.

Thursday was a quiet day at home. We did have some chaps around to replaster the kitchen ceiling, which meant clearing it before they arrived and cleaning up when they left.

Thursday was also a quiet day, as my phone did not make a noise at all.

In attempting to fix a new screen protector to my phone, late on Wednesday night, it tumbled down the toilet and for some reason it stopped working. Hence the lost photographs I mentioned earlier.

Friday we set off for Guildford as we were visiting stepdaughter and hubby.

We stopped at the petrol station at junction 27.

The Shell garage has had a bit of a revamp and they had flags and balloons out to promote a new attendant service.

I got out of my car and this chap in his red and yellow jacket came over and wished me a good morning then said “ Would you like me to refill your car for you sir”

I replied “ Thank you very much, that will save me 70 quid”.

He didn’t get the joke!

We had a very pleasant weekend doing the usual sort of stuff you do with families – going to the pub, going shopping, doing some gardening, eating, drinking and generally slobbing around.

Tuesday I had another reciprocal racing day at Punchestown but as this was in Ireland I declined that one.

When we left the Post office our friends and customers kindly gave us lots of gifts, one of which was a voucher for the Swan http://www.theswan.co/theswan/HOME.html so we thought we would do that on a quiet Tuesday night.

Wrong – it wasn’t quiet – the place was heaving.

We got there just after 7pm and after three changes of seats we finally found a base from which we could order our meal.

We had a great meal and managed to catch us with several friends then it soon was 11:30.

I did bump into a local trainer and I mentioned I was going racing at Taunton on the Wednesday to cheer on Tim & Jayne’s Exeter Inn http://www.the-exeter-inn.co.uk horse that was making its debut.

He said “I will leave you a ticket on the gate” –“thank you very much” I replied.

But first on Wednesday I had a new job – Plumbers Mate.

Pete the plumber was here fixing out solar system and as he had to go through a hatch in the wall to get to it he needed someone to pass the tools and equipment when he needed them as it was tight fit getting through the hatch.

Here he goes into the breech.


He finished the job just after 3pm which the time I wanted to leave to get to Taunton.

When I got to the races I went to the trainers ticket window and said I had a ticket to pick up.

The trainer (Stuart) had not arrived but the nice lady believed me and gave me the ticket.

Stuart’s horse ran really well to finish third and was proudly led back into the winner’s enclosure by Stuart’s wife.


It was ladies night at the races and it did look strange seeing some females all dressed up to the nines alongside the country set.

I saw a couple of young ladies tottering in on high heels – a pity I did not stay around to see how they managed to get back to the car park after a night in the bar.


This lady in the hat only came second in the best hat competition – good job I didn’t bet on her to win.

I did bump into Pat & Ray and explained why I had deserted them at Cheltenham.

I found Tim and he hoped his horse would not be last and would be glad to beat at least one other.


The horse looked fine but ran around its own time at the back of the field finding the corners a bit of a challenge.

His horse (number 13) came 13th of the 14 runners but was last to finish as the other horse pulled up.

Better luck next time.

This morning, after my previous days labouring and evening in the fresh air I wasn’t an early riser.

The doorbell rang at 8:30 and I got a nudge from my other half “It’s the chap here to collect a parcel”.

Translating this from female speak to male speak meant ‘can you please get out of bed, put on your dressing gown, get the parcel out of the shop and hand it over to him’.

I did attempt all of this but unfortunately by the time I opened the door he had returned to his truck.

I thought ‘Should I go out into the street in my dressing gown to speak with him?’

Don’t be silly!

I went back inside and went to the bathroom for a shower.

I heard the phone ring followed by my other half saying “He is coming back now” which translates into ‘ can you stop what you are doing in the bathroom, put your dressing gown back on and go down and open the door’.

When I got there he wasn’t collecting a parcel at all – he was delivering three large boxes of jigsaw puzzles that my other half is selling on her website http://www.clairejanegifts.co.uk

By the time I had done all of that and got ready I was then late for the cricket.

First day of the cricket season at Taunton and I missed the first two balls – about 7 months to get ready and I’m late!

I was dressed in several layers, as the weather forecast was not very promising however the sun did eventually appear for a while so I did remove my overcoat. I did take three coats and jackets just in case but I forgot the sun cream.

I did manage my first pint of the cricket season.


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