Life chez Whiskers
Our horse racing syndicate has declared a horse to run at Royal Ascot. There is about a 40-50% chance that it will be selected from the 54 entries.
Our horse is running! There is now a chance that we may receive owners’ tickets. Immediately check the dress code.
Ladies: just outdo everyone else, dress for an important occasion and wear a hat.
Gents: matching trousers and jacket. Socks over the ankle, collared shirt and tie. What?! No bow ties!(apparently this year’s theme is style, colour and material).
Bow ties used to be acceptable. I have about 40 of them but no “normal” ties.
Order sent to Amazon for silk tie, pocket square and cufflinks combo. Secondary order for silk waistcoat, tie and pocket square combo. Confirmed delivery Tuesday, with racing on Wednesday.
Memsahib chooses her dress, tries on two matching hats bought for racing and rejects them.
To Windsor races in the evening, where we discover that our chance of winning tickets in the ballot is around 1/4 to 1/5.
09:40. I have been drawn for a ticket. I ask for this to be transferred to the Memsahib and I will buy a discounted ticket for £55 (instead of £77) with fewer privileges. We spend an hour seeking dog care, and one of Her friends comes to the rescue. Then off to town to buy a new hat, and maybe an emergency tie.
Four hours later. We come home with a new trouser belt for me; two hats, a pair of shoes, a handbag and a jacket for Herself. My Amazon package is on the doorstep.
Everything is tried on. Handbag is rejected, maybe…
Waistcoat is perfect, if only it was two sizes smaller (i.e. the actual size stated on the label). Memsahib offers to take it in. I tell her “not today!” Repacked for return. Activate plan B for me. Existing clothes with new “club” tie.
Memsahib searches for the belt for her dress. We start working on plan B, C, D, ….
I search for parking arrangements, knowing in which car park we will meet to collect our tickets and socialise before racing. Ascot website is a nightmare of circular cross-references and “404” failures. Eventually I find that “advance parking tickets” may only be bought on the day with cash. I send an e-mail to Ascot Racecourse Customer Service asking how they administer this bizarre arrangement.
I check the best route to try to ensure that we are directed to the correct, or at least to a reasonably close, car park when we get there. I don’t need to walk two or three miles in high heels, but I still don’t want to walk that distance in any case. Wherever we go it will cost at least £45 to dump the car in a muddy field. (Strangely you can park a car for £45, a bus for £90 but a limo is £253. Someone knows how to rip off people with more money than common sense!)
And so to bed, wondering if it will actually be worth the money and the stress…