Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A braw new naig wi' the tail o' a rottan

Yesterday we toddled out to Thoroughbred Park for the Melbourne Cup Day meeting* because even though I'm not a gambler

  1. I enjoy our cultural traditions
  2. the Old Flame enjoys the races and a flutter (it's where my dour Scots Presbyterian heritage runs up against his riotous Irish Catholic one) and
  3. because free entry to the race meetings is a perk of our rather expensive membership.
One of the traditions of The Race in Melbourne, is champagne and chicken partaken of in the carpark. We honoured the tradition by consuming an Asian inspired mango, noodle salad with mint, basil and bean shoots and honey soy marinated chicken in the members' outdoor seating area. The couple opposite us suggested that at $7 for a scant steak sandwich from the Lions stall, we had the right idea. We did buy a couple of glasses of champers, though.

There were horses; bookies; women in skimpy clothes, ridiculous hats, fake tan and, later, sunburn; men in suits with silly shoes and ties; champagne and knitting.

I bet what I could afford to lose which was $5 each way on a nag that came in 19th out of 21 but still came home much better off than most in attendance. insert smug Reformed look here

Actually, I overspent the $20 budget by $1.50. A round of champagne for 3 cost $16.50.

We were kindly and generously befriended early in the day by a woman who invited us to share her table in the members' bar. She's a horse owner and also "owns" her table for the year. As there is a ballot for unowned tables for major meetings like this one and seats are $50 a pop, it's a fortunate person who gets bottom real estate in the airconditioned comfort of the members' bar. Our new friend's table was right on the finish line so we had a grand view of the local races as well as the telecasts of the Flemington carnival and other interstate runs.

And we got home in time to enjoy a bit of gardening.

*We get the day off in Canberra because our local Labor Government wanted to shaft the Federal Howard Liberal Government for introducing industrial legislation that made our union picnic day illegal and the majority of Commonwealth public servants work in Canberra, making it one fewer productive days for the Federal Government. It may or may not change back now that Kev runs the national show and if when that legislation is repealed or amended. hint, hint Kev


2paw said...

What a fabulous day, the repast and the bubbly look excellent. Glad to hear you didn't have to go home wearing a barrel. I have always wondered why losing punters have to wear a barrel, and where all those barrels come from!!!

Lynne said...

Sounds like a good time was had and your 'picnic' certainly looks more delicious than a $7 steak sandwich.

Kuka said...

oh, your picninc looks delish.
Talking about public servants and "productive days for the Federal Government" kind of makes me laugh a teeny bit - you know, the Hollow Men and all that hehe

Michelle said...

You lunch looks delicious! And mmmm. Champagne.

amanda j said...

Sounds like a perfectly lovely day!