11 was a racehorse

7 11 2006

I thought I was all cynical and jaded, given my usual reactions to things like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. But here I am, in some kind of bias-cut asymmetrical skirt with a black & white floral pattern that makes all kinds of pleasing swishing motions, and cute black high heels. Earlier today I was wearing a hat and eating cold roast chicken and salad. Admittedly the hat was made out of newspaper with sparkly bits stuck on, but hey, it was a hat.

It felt like a holiday in the city today. Did anyone else notice it? As well as pissed punters and tottering boob dresses roaming the streets, people were in that relaxed summer mood and smiling randomly. It’s made me feel all warm and generous towards the world. Not least because I got an early mark (under orders to use up some of my flex – can hardly say no, can I?) and got to wander about in the sunshine, skirt swishing, and smile randomly myself.

I was thinking about last year, when we forgot about Melbourne Cup until the day was upon us. Realising the significance of the date over our morning cuppa, the Duckherder and I leapt into action and set up an office sweep. Unfortunately our office lacked the key ingredient in sweeps, which is to say, people with money, or more to the point, people. So we improvised – we allocated two horses to each person (which covered twelve), and in desperation relaxed our conditions of entry a tad. Then the three of us in the building at the time watched the race over a cuppa tea and a toasted ham, cheese and tomato relish sandwich. The top three places were won by Rama the dog, the office worm farm (we also had an office vegie patch and herb garden*), and Anni the Norwegian Princess. Sadly for Rama, there was no actual prize for winning, because none of us had put in any money. Rama’s owner informed us the next day that Rama got some steak for dinner as his prize. The worm farm didn’t really care. And the Norwegian Princess had moved to a different building, so it took us a few days to get the news to her, by which time some of the gloss had worn off.**

This year I watched the Cup high up in an office block, in the middle of a cluster of fifty or so people, with a chicken wing in one hand and a mini pav in the other. There were five different sweeps going; sadly for my bus fare I lost my $2 by drawing On A Jeune. I was tempted to put $2 on for my worm farm at home, but in the end it didn’t get a guernsey. It just wasn’t the same.

There was also the danger of fifty people thinking I was an absolute nutter.

Life trundles on. It’s a good thing that it does. But still. Not without the occasional regret.

* They were not represented in the sweep.

** And even then, it was a ridiculous conversation:
“You came third in our sweep!”
“What did I win?”
“Um, nothing…”
“Oh. Who won?”
“Er, Rama the dog came first and the worm farm came second.”
“What did Rama win?”
“Um, nothing. He got steak for dinner though.”




2 responses

8 11 2006

This was the first year I fully embraced the holiday atmosphere. I started the day with a relaxing team breakfast – toddled in to work for an hour – half of which was spent planning the rest of the day. And then lept into action organising our office function. There were deli platters to collect, sweeps to organise and champagne to sell. This finished at 4:30 when it was clearly time to go home.It certainly beat last years effort when I don’t think I actually noticed there was a race.

9 11 2006

I totally had On A Jeune in my $2 sweep too!THis was my frist Cup Day in Melbourne and it wasn’t anywhere near as nice as the day you guys had. I was performing a science show at the time the race was on. Suspiciously I had a full audience, so they weren’t too excited either.

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