Friday, October 25, 2013

Excuses, excuses, excuses

This is very bad: nine days since my last posting.  Very slack.  In my defence, I can say that I haven't been mooning around doing nothing - but, even so, it's not very good.  I posted on Wednesday last week, then Thursday afternoon I was looking at some yearlings set to go through the sale on the following day, and then that following day was spent at Tattersalls.  (That Friday being the day of part three of Tattersalls' October Sale, which was the only part I attended, as I'd taken on board the message which had become clear shortly after the start of the two-week sale, that all bar the tail-end was likely to be a sellers', rather than a buyer's, market).

Over the weekend we had a treat as our French friend Alix Choppin visited us with her father, who was paying his first visit to Newmarket (and to Ascot, whither they went on the Saturday, Champions' Day) to honour his
70th birthday.  It was lovely to spend time with them - and to ride with them, M. Choppin making his belated debut on the Heath on the Sunday morning by cantering Panto up Warren Hill, while Alix rode Douchkirk and I rode Forgiving Light.  Even the rushed onset of a rainstorm couldn't dampen the enjoyment of a lovely outing.  If I'm still riding that boldly and well in 23 years' time (if I'm still alive in 23 years' time) I'll be very happy.

Anyway, I got into this week, had the usual start-of-week assignments (Town Council meetings, Thoroughbred Internet article, Winning Post report etc.) plus an unexpected afternoon in the At The Races studio on Tuesday (I stood in for an indisposed Jason Weaver, even though I suspect that I was at least as 'flu-ridden as he was) and then I've been chasing my tail ever since, with some work to be done for the Irish Racing Year Book to be fitted in too.  Plus my Al Adiyat colum, which runs through the racing season in Dubai, resumes as of this weekend.  But at least I'm becoming healthy again - and we've had some days of lovely weather too (interspersed with some terrible rain) and that helps to make one feel better.

So that's that.  The more involved the excuse, the less plausible it generally is - but c'est la vie.  Anyway, here's a chapter, ending with one of the many photographs which I've taken of the lovely weather (with Thursday last week and Thursday this week, ie yesterday and eight days ago, being the two nicest days, the photograph in this chapter having been taken yesterday) following the first three, which comprise Alix and her father on Sunday morning, followed by one each of the two yearlings who arrived here from Park Paddocks last Friday, the first one shown being a daughter of Motivator and the second one being a daughter of Champs Elysees.

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