Showing posts from May, 2011

Diary of a Caledonian Sleeper

Today’s news about the closure of Scottish airports because of Icelandic volcanic dust reminds me that there are other ways to get North of the Border. A couple of years ago, at roughly this time of year, I did a 36-hour round-trip on the Caledonian Sleeper to Fort William. This is one of only two remaining sleeper services in the UK and clings tenaciously to its fragile existence. Here’s my indulgent (and, yes, lengthy) account of this equally indulgent (and lengthy) trip in 2009. Friday 26 th June Today I am taking the first indelible step towards realising a long conceived plan. I’m buying tickets for the Caledonian Sleeper leaving Euston next Tuesday and returning on the very next evening’s Fort William departure. For years I’ve been aiming to do this trip. Finding the right time in the right space has been the challenge. The journey simply has to be in early Summer when the light is purest and days the longest in northern Britain. That gives me the op

Trials and tribulations

Mugpunting is off to a decent start on the flat. A bit of a surprise given my procrastination in embracing it during April. The Twenty to Follow project shows a squeak of a profit at 12 hard won points, with 6 wins from 16 runs. Only one of those has come in at a decent price though: Hoof It was deeply impressive in winning at 7-1 on the Knavesmire last Friday. Before the race, legendary trainer and professional character Peter Easterby’s son, David was talking about the horse stepping up to pattern company later this season. Given that confidence it was something of a surprise to see the price hold up at sevens. And I’m not complaining. Quadrant was also eye-catching in a maiden late in the day at Newbury on Saturday and hopefully there’s a bit more to come from him this Summer. So, despite the high profile and emphatic wins for my list horses Frankel and Canford Cliffs, it is these two boys that I take out of the last couple of weeks. The classic trials themselves have failed to