Hi guys, I hope you haven’t forgotten me!! I know it’s been 59 days (and counting, eek!) since my last post, so yeah, soz about that!
ANYWAY, back to it… We decided to go to Ascot races for B’s birthday cuz we fancy bitchez! And it’s always nice to have a reason to buy a new dress! FYI, mine wasn’t new, but I had only worn it once to a wedding a year ago and thought it needed another outing. I was designated driver for our road trip, so I thought it best to be prepared for every eventuality with plasters in my handbag, an emergency kit in the car of hand sanitiser, headache pills, safety pins, tissues, wetwipes, more plasters, suncream which I obviously wore and definitely didn’t get burnt, (ahem…) chairs for a lovely alfresco picnic when we arrived. I bought plates and cups and napkins, basically everything but the kitchen sink apart from an umbrella – you’ll see what I mean later!
The journey was supposed to be about 1 hour 40, but at five to ten minutes away from our destination (according to the trusty satnav) we hit horrendous traffic! I guess it was to be expected, but the sights whilst we were queueing for the car park were… Certainly something! There was a limo in front of us a few cars ahead, and it stopped a total of three times – first was to empty a champagne bottle (not of champagne but it’ll become obvious in a sec). The second time we saw a lady climb out and squat behind the open car door (we were behind so couldn’t see her THANK GOD) and the third time, the boys thought they’d have a piece of the action too – five or six of them got out the limo and lined up against the side of the road and took a slash for all to see.
We had to navigate our way into a field which was the car park and I thought we’d be able to settle down and whip the chairs out, crack a bottle of wine open and dine (with our pre packed picnic) in the fresh air, but no. The heavens well and truly opened on us! We had driven through some showers on the way up, but this was something else! So needless to say the chairs didn’t get an outing (side note: they are in fact still in my boot) and we sat and drank wine in my car!
We eventually made it to a shuttle bus to the grandstand – we had to wait for a break in the rain because clever clogs here, being Little Miss Prepared, had forgotten an umbrella. Doh! So I changed my shoes and we squelched across the field to the bus, and made it to the stands.
First race was at 2:30pm, after the Queen had done a little tour of the course, and we’d got stopped by the Royal escort, we finally made it in to explore the area! We found one of the betting stands nearest the course and went and investigated.
We all put some money on a horse for H as she wasn’t able to make it, and we all opted for Cougar Mountain!
It didn’t win us anything but it was the name that entertained us.
After collecting our (not so) many winnings from the first race we headed to the bar, and quickly decided this was not going to be a messy affair! We’d have had to take out a small loan to get plastered – pint of cider £5, half pint of Pimms £8.50! And if I remember rightly, a bottle of champers was £1275036 (probably).
As the races were about 30-40 minutes apart, we got ourselves into a little routine of collecting winnings, placing bets for the next race then having a wander and getting a spot on the fence. I think we all had a winner at one point or another too so that was an added bonus! I really enjoyed being stood so close to the racecourse as when the horses thundered past they made a monumental racket!
We got some food (onion rings and chips for me, portions were way more generous than expected though!) and found a bench to sit on. The sun finally made an appearance too after a cloudy start!
We decided we wanted to get a jump on traffic leaving the grounds so did last minute loo stops and placed bets for the final race, then stood near the exit so if no one was fortunate enough to win we could make a quick dash once the race was over.
Made it back to the car after what felt like a trek, especially as we realised we took the long way down and round rather than just down some steps! Fired up the satnav, and got on the drive home. Now, what the satnav didn’t know was that Ascot was basically whittled down to a giant one way system for the races, so it kept trying to take us the wrong way.
We eventually made it home by going via Windsor, and getting on to the M4, got confused at a sign for Maidenhead (which we all thought was in Kent – think we got muddled with Maidstone!) and through the scenic side of Basingstoke! Eventually got on to th M3 to come home and dropped the gals off at the takeaway for their dinner.
When I arrived home I realised that I had caught the sun horrendously on my one exposed shoulder (so much for Little Miss Prepared and my suncream).
So the things I learned from our jaunt up to the racecourse: always wear suncream, always take an umbrella (this is England, you can never be to sure weather wise!), Maidstone = in Kent, Maidenhead = not it Kent and finally, if you have to pee whilst travelling, make sure you’ve got an empty bottle of Bolli to hand, dahling!
Until next time – hope it won’t be so long though!