Showing posts from February, 2014

Mum's gone to Iceland

The holiday companies are in marketing overdrive at the moment. This last fortnight I’ve had e-adverts from every travel agent who’s webpages I’ve however fleetingly stumbled upon. I’ve had shiny adverts dropping through the letterbox from sundry flight bookers, villa renters and trek organisers. Gawd knows when/how I signed up to this lot. Maybe they knew I was in the market for a short break. I’ve been planning a surprise escape for Mrs A and I for some time. One of the speculative fliers to land on the mat recently is a relic of a previous surprise trip. Early one Summer circa 2007, on a listless and becalmed office Thursday afternoon, I noticed the those insightful people at the Met Office were forecasting lovely whether for that forthcoming weekend. Only on the east coast though. Cloud and unspecified murk was predicted for much of the rest of the country. ‘Right! We are off away this weekend’ I declared, to no-one in particular. Kelly, sat at the desk opposite pe

Shaping up: Festival 2014

My 2014 Festival Schedule of Shame is already looking much plumper than at the same stage last year. I put this down to the emergence of earlier than usual non-runner-no-bet markets on the Championship races and more attractive prices in Victor Chandler’s non-runner-free-bet policy. Last season I tried hard to cut down on flabby, reckless ante-posts and to save my investments until nearer the day.   I was not so taken with VC’s thrifty prices on my festival fancies then, even though offered at no-show-no-risk. The result? My most numbingly painful and loss-laden Cheltenham in years. I had long held that bullish ante-post punting was giving me an eyes-like-saucers, big-odds-seeking build up to the Festival whilst in reality driving sink holes into my betting strategy that could swallow half of Hemel Hempstead. Last year was an attempt to curb those instincts. It clearly made no difference. It’s back to chasing the value this year. Good thrill hunting is winning out against

Sausalito Sausage

Home alone. Mrs A is visiting Auntie Sue in Tenerife for a few days. Very nice too. Sunshine, warmth. Wine, cheese... Wine, cheese.  It’s a weekend trip: Thursday to Tuesday. (Whisper it, but that sounds more like a short week to me.) The girls are out too. Daughter No. 1 is being Bohemian in Camden and Daughter No. 2 is sleeping over/birthday partying. So the Sunday morning calm, after some frenetic Saturday sporting action, is giving me a chance to have a first look at some Cheltenham ante-post action. I may not even poke my bounce outside the front door this weekend. Of course there’s the domestic challenges to content with too. “Daddy, that pile of clothes on my bedroom floor needs to be ready for school on Monday. Bye-eee.”   I had to fix the washing machine door first. And the ironing to look forward to later. (But I don’t do socks.) But first, a squint at the markets. Which of my 40 to follow horses might line up at the festival? I snaffle Melodic Rendez