Recently had my first Ascot experience. Was invited to the National Hunt (jump) racing and it was amazing! I’m hoping it won’t be my last. First of all, I love horses anyway (I have a country life photoshoot in the pipeline, but it’s been postponed due to weather), so despite the grey skies, one of the most exciting parts was seeing how amazing the animals are at close range, absolutely beautiful, proud, and muscular: true athletes! I’m a big lover of nature and the outdoors and the racing reminded me of the Grand Prix, or a woman getting undressed: great to watch but over too soon! I’ve decided I want to own a racehorse, I shall call him Curly Billie, and he’ll loose every race he enters. When he finally dies I’ll turn him into a giant lazagne and serve him up at a dinner party (this is one of my slightly more surrealist blogs).
Luck was most definitely a lady – I managed to make a small fortune (okay, I’m exaggerating the term “fortune” somewhat) from a £5 bet, where I managed to predict both the first and second horses finishing! I’m not really big on gambling, but every time I’ve ever gambled I’ve done really well. I remember being early for the Cirque Du Soleil in Vegas, so sitting down and putting a dollar into the most old and decrepit fruit machine. I guess it hadn’t paid out in decades, because 10 seconds later, I won £400. The only problem with this type of experience is after a few wins (and a few drinks) you start genuinely believing the reason you’re winning isn’t luck, it’s some sort of divine gift (I do have many devine gifts, they’re just of a totally different nature!). But anyway, the races was a great experience and I empathised with the horses somewhat: I too, have spent many an afternoon being mounted and whipped by a small irishman and it was no fun at all.
Hmm.. I do sometimes wonder if my humor comes across to people who haven’t met me!
Ooo by the way I’m writing this whilst watching the most amazing show about Rick Stein travelling around France eating and drinking in the most wonderful little locations. Maybe I will do the same this spring. I was lucky to have a lunch date with one of my favourite people at Rich Steins place in Barnes- I love seafood. This show reminds me of Keith Floyd (do you remember him!?). Ugh… makes me long for sunshine, red wine simple food.
Wait, I lost my chain of thought for a moment. Back to Ascot! If you know me, you know life as Billie is a tale of two halves – half modernist, half traditionalist. Traditional Billie has been enjoying game season (had suchhh a delicious dinner at Game Bird at the Stafford). I do love traditional things, and such a treat to be finally at Ascot (have had opportunities to go for several years but somehow it never quite worked out). Anyway, was a lovely day out and I really enjoyed being in an environment so steeped in history, and I would love to go to Royal Ascot in the summer (hint hint if you’re reading this Prince Harry!).
My next adventure?
Currently packing for a short break hiking the Amalfi Coast this weekend. Jimmy Choo hiking boots at the ready – what an utter embarrassment to the hiking community I am! You’ve heard of models walking a catwalk? Well, the Amalfi hasn’t prepared itself for it’s very own one woman cathike! And another new place for me to explore. Can’t wait to stomp around in my hiking boots pretending I’ve got a sense of direction (I have none, I frequently get lost between the hotel reception and the room I’m staying in, and despite having been a Lononner my whole life, last week a tourist asked me how to get to Madame Tussauds and I had to consult google maps (it was across the street!)). I’m really enjoying my travel dates and there’s nothing like the thought of a Diavola pizza at the other end to get me over a mountain! You know I love the city lights, fine restaurants and all that jazz, but this year I have really enjoyed mixing things up with some wellness and activity holidays too. I think my dream holiday would definitely be a 3 days foodie, shopping and culture, then 4 days fitness and beach.
Have so much to tell you, it’s been a CRAZY year for me! But I’d rather tell you in person than on here.
See you soon,