Showing posts from March, 2015

Better than Christmas

This year, for the first year, we based ourselves in Cheltenham. Naturally, this is the aspiration of any regular festival stalwart. However it is harder to pull off than you might imagine. Securing a berth in the hallowed heart of this Regency gem is either an exorbitantly expensive or frustratingly booked-up undertaking. Had Mary & Joseph pitched up here for the virgin birth, the only way they would have found a stable would have been to part-own the favourite for the Supreme. In which case any Irish landlady would have willingly thrown open her doors. There is another way. What you need is some very good mates who are happy to convert their splendid abode into a 5-star b&b for the duration. Best result of the week.   Chris and Laura, impeccable hosts, looked after us wonderfully. And it was not without some risk on their part. Yes, they knew me. And I could vouch for Si. But they had never met Nev before… Still, the behaviour benchmark was fractionally lower than we had

Festival prep

I’ve fallen back into a commuting routine, four days a week at least, for the last few months. Following contracts around like a blood hound. Journeys to work at this time of the year usually afford precious time for clear headed ante-post Cheltenham study. At the moment though, I seem to be getting distracted.   Too much commuting has cumulative impacts akin to sleep deprivation. As much as I like travelling, the daily grind into Euston and down the Victoria Line is not my ideal of frontier-pushing exploration. Unless you count the occasionally unexpected vistas: I encountered a large, ponderous, duffel-coated chap in front of me on the stairs this morning, lumbering a large black holdall which caused a curious rolling motion in his gait. As I passed him on the platform I chanced a glance at his face and was confronted by enough untamed, thick black nasal hair spraying wildly from his nose to suggest the undergrowth you could only expect to see on an Amazonian trek. Has no-on