Ascot For a Game Bird

Hi Yummies!

 

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,

Big hugs,

 

Billie x

Dream Hikes

A couple of hikes that I’d love try. The Routeburn Track in New Zealand, and the Kings Trail in Sweden:

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Steak (Fiction)

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Please take this poem in the good humour that was intended at the time of writing!

 

STEAK.

 

2017
19:57
Some central London steakhouse.

 

I should have known
Not to trust a man
Who proudly announces that he
Takes his steak
“Very well done”.

 

I like my men
Slightly more
Ashamed of their sins.

 

I want you
To have very well done steak
Behind closed doors
But in public to
Do the right thing
And have it medium.

 

Your steak is sat in front of you
Cremated
Grey
Tough
Dead in vain
Asking why you show
Such a humble creature
So little mercy
As you drown the very last
Of its beauty in
Peppercorn sauce.

 

Has no one ever
Had the decency
To tell you
You are eating your steak
The wrong way

 

You decide on your cut.

 

A
Rump steak
“Very well done”.

 

I wish you’d stop saying it –
Blasphemy.

 

I’m highly suspicious of you.
And that very well done steak.

 

*****

 

Mine is
The right way.
I roll up a pressed, pink
Silk sleeve
And reach for my steak knife

 

I can’t stop
Staring at your meat.

 

You’ve
Been unfair to the animal.
It’s a dry
Hunk
Of unpleasantry
You might as well have ordered
Goat.

 

Christ,
I’m a lady,
You can’t just
Casually order up a
Well done steak and
Expect me
Not to
Notice such a
Vitriolic
Vandalism

 

It’s sadistic,
We can’t be together when you treat a
Steak
Like that

 

There are only two types of people:
Those who eat their steaks like this
And
Those you can trust.

 

It’s a sirloin for me.
There is no other way

 

Well,

 

T Bone, debatable, but I like the
The fat;
The only one I don’t like is the rump
And
That’s what you’re having
And you’re having
It the wrong way and you’re also
Having
To saw at it just to get through

 

Like a
Heavy handed lumberjack to a
500 year old oak

 

Filthy.
Utter filth.
That knife (a Laguiole with a birch handle)
Is a work of art-
Watching you eat is like watching a man
Piss
On a Picasso

 

I want to help you
I want to tell you

 

About the feeling
When the knife slides through
Like a guillotine:
Ecstasy.
Hardly any resistance
Colour on the fat
Just enough juices
To be absorbed by a
Ready
Willing
Potato.

 

Slicing that rump
Should be
An act of subtle perfection like
Penetrating a woman.

 

Soft.
Beautiful.
The right way.

“Medium rare”.

 

Brown and then
Blushing and then
Pink and then
Red

 

We are talking about
The EU or something
But I don’t care about your opinions
Because of what
You did
To your steak.

 

Two thirds of the way through you’ve had
Enough
And I
Tentatively
Suggest
That you might bring your steak home
To use as a door stop.

 

After you finished
Flossing your teeth with your
Very
Well
Done
Steak

 

You ask me on another date
But it’s sushi.

You probably take your sushi well done too.

 

But,

 

That’s another poem.

 

-BF