Showing posts from April, 2011

Flat Out: Take Twenty 2011

After the utterly abysmal performance of my 40 to follow jumps team, it has taken some serious external prompting to rouse my enthusiasm for a similar venture on the flat. The winter months have not been kind. To my eternal grief, the project briefly crashed beyond the -100 point   barrier of shame. A mug punting low for a campaign that has previously seen seasonal profits as plump and regular as the bowel movements of a high fibre diet. The late season rally that saw me stagger and belly flop back to double-digit negativity offers no comfort. Explanations? Excuses? I can identify horses with progressive profiles who simply did not progress; I can point to a string of big priced placed horses and a run of near miss seconds; I can cling to rain, frost and snow interventions that halved the appearance of my better horses. But the bottom line is that I also picked some rank dogs, donkeys and trees. The likes of Dance Island, Mr Marker, Whipper Way, to name but several, should have bee

Tapas and tipsters

It was Bryn’s 40 th  birthday last Friday. By Sunday he was facebooking about buying seeds, gardening gloves and knee protectors ready for an afternoon of horticultural indulgence. By his own admission, the transformation from zestful youth to bucolic middle age had been meteoric. A mere two-day pupation.   His birthday bash was a good laugh. Brynaldo had taken over the ground floor of a tapas bar in Putney and filled the place with family, friends and an ipod’s worth of poptastic 80’s grooves. Some rather more  pop  than  tastic . Was that really Belouis Some trading aural blows with Kylie, Queen and Kim Wylde?  We were staying over at Nick and Den’s and had left the four children to fend for themselves in Worcester Park for the evening.  We kept disturbing visions of lasagne and dib-dab fuelled teenage mayhem at bay by drinking too much and turning off the mobiles…. This was Mrs A’s birthday bash too, in lieu of the previous day, Bryn having kindly avoided a clash and en

Stiff Little Pooh Sticks

Bryn has asked for a review the doner kebab I scoffed last Friday night. Understandable. Brynaldo’s been a connoisseur of decent doners as long as I have. He introduced me to the inspirational kebab roll (not a gymnastic move, rather a revolutionary way of serving everyone's favourite take-away classic rolled up in a tasty flatbread) in Windsor many years ago and has joined me in tirades against Nick’s insistence upon eating a doner with a knife and fork accompanied by…. mayonnaise. I despair. In a seismic shift from accepted practice, we consumed our kebab before - rather than after - the Stiff Little Fingers gig, and ergo, before a skinful of beer. Was this wise? Would the full flavour of chilli sauce and raw onions be too much for a system lacking the usual sense-dulling alcoholic insulation? To be honest, Bryn, the whole thing was a bit of an anti-climax. You know how we have become clone town Britain these days? Uniform high streets pandering to a population playing sa