Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Giddy Up!

That's it. Up with this, I will no longer put.
Having returned to chez-chap to find Alan the Cambridge Coolie still grinding away at the tiles I was hoping for material progress.
I am pleased that I have a bathroom floor and walls - but they still lie un-grouted. Splashbacks have gone on the walls in the scullery - but there are a few minor snags with the electrical sockets (not to mention my eye-sockets).

However - the dust has finally got to me, and I have fled to my operations north of the frozen frontier.

There is a race meet on here, but unlike the Derby or Ascot, York seems to be full of plump girls and women from Leeds in their finest designer chavery. You know the sort - Designer sunglasses, Debenhams dresses and spiky shoes. The train was full of them this morning, drinking Bacardi Breezers (Tart fuel) on the 07:19.
I am sure there is a suitable pithy phrase to sum-up the sort I mean. All cash and flash but continually chewing gum in the street? (A chum suggests 'Northern' - but I fear trash is endemic throughout the country.)
No, a chap's wits are tested to the limit by this, as it is often not possible to divine the true nature until one of these bejewelled pachyderms dains to speak. Then one has to mutter dark words about being late for one's proctologist and beat a hasty retreat.
Going to the races used to be a mark of breeding. Nowadays it is full of the most odious sorts of people, including hen parties and the like. So I have some words of advice for coping with the melee, sorting the wheat from the chaff and allowing one's self to pass the time in a Northern Town with a Race meet without incident.

1. Never on any account go to Doncaster. I cannot state this highly enough.

2. True Breeding doesn't need expensive finery to show. Certainly one may wear a Saville Row suit, or the finest shirts, but at an occasion like this it marks you as part of the spiv class. A simple Norfolk Jacket, with appropriate trousers and a brown trilby. It is also one of the occasions when you are permitted to wear brown brogues mid week. Jockey's silks may get you entrance to the riders enclosure, thereby gleaning some useful tips on form, but you are also likely to encounter some of the jockeys themselves - and they are renowned for their brutal and predatory sexual nature amongst themselves. An interloper may awake after a scuffle to find their body-hair waxed, and faces painted on your buttocks for devilment unknown.

3. Ladies - it is not Ladies day at Royal Ascot, you are in a provincial town at a minor race meet of less than 500 guineas. Dressing like an ostrich marks you out as the primark classes and leads the rest of us to suspect you live in velour leisure suits. Pink wellingtons will make you look pointless and a townie. Flat cap and puffa jacket merely says Sloane. I recommend that if you insist on coming then hunting tweeds or tiger calicoes will suffice.

4. Drinking on the train - unless it in the Dining car marks you out as either an off duty nurse or a soldier. Smoking is now prohibited, so I recommend that one uses the handy table tops to cut and snort liberal amounts of cocaine. Coach B is the quiet coach, Therefore no one can say anything.
If you are fortunate to have a reservation to take breakfast, make sure you enjoy the full English. Anything less is a waste of tablecloth space. If you order at King's Cross you also get the added delights of the watching the waiter stagger up the aisle with a tray of steaming bacon as you negotiate the points at Welwyn North - with the usual low-gravity antics involved.

5. Finally. If questioned by the locals - it is perfectly permissible to invent racing tips: 'Dead-Dog at the 3.15 is a dead cert at 100:1, old boy'. If said with the right look in the eye, the locals will take the cut of your cloth to imply you are an owner or the like, naturally taking you for a man of your word will go and place his entire week's wage earned at the coal mine on the horse. Amusement will be derived when you summon the constable to have the man removed as a penniless vagrant - and taken to the work house. The socially minded among you can offer to send your washing round to his wife so she can earn while we breaks rocks.

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