This week I spent mostly being a steward at Cheltenham Festival. This was the view from the poshest boxes in the Princess Royal stand which I took on Saturday, a training day. In the end I only worked three days not the full four, but six and a half hours standing on a cold stairway took its toll and my back was aching off by Thursday night. It was a long day although only 10 until 6, in fact I left home at 8.15 and got home at 7.15 because of traffic and getting off the site. And then it turned icy cold again. And this is young Bertie’s idea of hiding.😊
I’ve had quite a hectic week. Sunday was a day from Hell. My niggling tooth which has been super sensitive on and off for well… years has been slowly getting more and more hard to cope with. Nothing wrong with it, but it’s close friend, my wisdom tooth next to it, has been pushing it for years and has decided that this would be a good time to appear. So off he went with a vengeance this week and by squeezing my back molar sideways turned what was just a sensitive tooth into a screaming banshee. A trip to the dentist then and an X-ray, the poor chap was pondering what to do and in the end decided taking the molar out was a whole lot easier than fighting with a wisdom tooth. A bit of invigilating, two lovely lunches with friends, (partial) new stripes for SilverBeast – expensive, but put in the shade by the cost of new bathroom taps 😳. ( it’s not worth replacing the cartridge thingies on these fancy taps- “might as well get new taps love”. Who would have guessed that?)Then a few WOW moments…
Wow 1. Tooth out with absolutely no pain whatsoever at any point. Dentistry has clearly moved on.
Saturday was my training day for my Stewards job at Cheltenham Festival.
Wow 2. I had no idea how utterly huge and extravagant event it was. There’s a Boodles in the tented village for goodness sake. (Like Tiffany’s – they don’t price stuff just leave you to guess)
Wow 3. There are 8,500 staff to 70,000 visitors- that’s about the same ratio as some cruise ships.
Wow 3. I have never seen so many tables laid up so beautifully in one place, half the worlds wine glasses must be there, and most of the current barrelled Guinness.
Wow 4. Still very naive about this but the work involved in getting this kind of massive event up and running is mind boggling. They are working hard today.
Wow 5. I will be in the Princess Royal Stand, the very poshest of the posh, that’s where the picture is from. The Royal Box is on the far left. No-one is quite sure how as a newbie I got that but hey, I might have to learn to curtesy. This is my jacket, I get a scarf and blazer on Tuesday.
At last today it looks like the big freeze is over. The snow might get washed away by the rain soon and the temperature is civilised again. I’ve done some invigilating this week for ‘A’ levels but by Thursday the school was closed. Not an exciting week, mainly trying to keep warm and staying indoors although I did venture out to Malvern on Saturday morning to keep a hair appointment. It was a lovely walk setting out at 8, walking 2 and a half miles, having a haircut, then walking home, with a brief pause at the jewellers to look in. The chap in there was clearly going to have a quiet day, and suggested I buy some earrings to make it worth him turning up. I nearly did, actually very nearly did. It was probably only me not having my glasses with me that stopped me. I couldn’t quite make out the price 😮. The cats were on top form despite the weather, Ola caught a lady blackcap much to my dismay. Bertie brought home a mouse, lost it in the fireplace and pulled all the coals out of the gas fire to find it. These pics I took in the garden today
He’s not such a skinny lad any more
These poor things were completely bent over in the snow and I thought they were goners, but they have perked up ready to greet the Spring again.
You can still see some soot on his face from his fun with the coals, his feet are still grey.
Young Bertie looking out at what would appear to be a lovely Spring day. But he’s no fool, he was cosy and warm while it was freezing outside. I haven’t done anything exceptional this month, just been busy doing ordinary stuff. I went to my mum’s for her birthday and we both went to Folkestone for a walk in the sunshine.I’ve had some nice meals with friends, got myself another little job being a steward for Cheltenham Festival, that’s a week’s work in March, with the option of more on other race days if I like it. I did tidy the garden for an hour, particularly the pond which was full of dead iris leaves and needed cleaning up before the frogs arrive for their yearly frolic.
But it has been so cold, as it was again today. I went for a walk but only a baby’s walk – if it’s as cold as that on my side of the hills out of serious wind it was going to be diabolical on the top. The sunshine was nice but it was good to get home again.
I had a brief detour to my man down the road to get a new battery fitted in Pacey. Then up the hills for a walk, not such a balmy pre-Spring day today. It seems to have been cold forever. This is one of my favourite spots – a long disused quarry. Something to do with the way it is shaped means that once you are in it you are sheltered from any background noise. It is a wonderful spot to sit in the sun. Once, a lifetime ago me and Worth tried to climb up there to the top. We didn’t.
Baking again Last week I made this magnificent Lemon Meringue Pie. The Elf was coming today so I made this
As discussed previously with Andy, a good crumble is getting quite hard to find if you are eating out. Most are a miserable pot of overstewed apple with a sprinkling of muesli on top. This however is a proper apple and blueberry crumble. Fruit soft but not mush, crumble crisp and sugary on top, soft underneath, fruit /crumble interface sticky with some juice absorbed from fruit, and gloopy custard on top. This was very good indeed even if I say mso myself. As I have shared this with the Elf, the rest is mine, all mine. Stay away.
Our last full day today and again I opted out of going to the school and instead sat outside in the shade. It’s been an interesting time, not a holiday in any sense that I understand, much hotter and more hardcore than I had anticipated, but I think the heat is unusual for them too at this time of year. Together Beastie and I travelled a lot but only ever in civilised Europe. He had been to “exotic” locations in the past and said he wasn’t interested in going back. Now I understand that point of view. I too have no desire to go to some artificially nice resort where the locals live in slums but you never go there and see them. I like exploring my destinations but found little here that I wished to find out more about. There are certainly beautiful things to see but the amount of awfulness that surrounds them spoils it for me. The inequality of it is beyond my power to change, so I will stay away. It would be nice to think my being there and spending money would somehow help these poor souls but in this greedy world, I know it won’t. Yes, it opened my mind but once is enough, and I shall follow Beastie’s advice and stick closer to home and civilisation.
The other thing is that I am aware I am a very “stand alone” item. I cannot be one of the herd and when I find myself in the company of overpowering companions I walk away and leave them. This does not make me a popular person! But as time passes and some get to know me better they find out I am… well apparently cute and sweet, only because I don’t bitch up others and tell tales. It seems I am an oddity among women/ people by shying away from any kind of group, not making friends easily and happy with my own company, and some find that hard to deal with. That much is true, that’s just me.
I can’t wait to get home, to snow, the hills and my cats and to all that is lovely in my life. In the bigger scheme of things I am amongst life’s very lucky few, whatever comes my way. Actually we all are. In a world with 7.5 billion people we are at the very top and that is easy to forget.