great race yesterday. Yes, it was "Melbourne Cup Day" or "the race that stops a nation" yesterday.
Oddly, it does not stop us. The Senior Cat and I have no interest in horse racing - apart from the fact that we would like to see it stopped.
People claim that horses like to race. Do they? How could we know? They always seem rather nervous, excitable animals to me. They are big too. I do know that.
I was not a childhood or teenage hippomaniac. Only my youngest sister had a mild form of the disease. She liked, still likes, horses but never demanded to own one. She can ride - the only one of us who can - but she does not ride well.
The Senior Cat stays well away from horses. He was trodden on one as a child. He came to no harm but he keeps a respectful distance from them even now.
I think my mother may have been interested but there would have been no money in her family to indulge in such a passion. She would not even have asked. There was barely enough money to feed the family. My maternal grandfather was not a good provider.
My mother did not however like horse racing.
I would have no idea how to "place a bet" and my knowledge of horse racing is confined to the (presumably accurate) information imparted by Dick Francis in his books. I am happy for it to remain so - and to remain a safe distance from those strange but often elegant creatures.
Yesterday was the first Tuesday in November though, the day on which the race is always run, and the nation went overboard with Melbourne Cup lunches, fashion for both women and men, champagne, bets people could not afford and a few other things best not mentioned.
One horse had to be put down. No doubt others have injuries. I feel sorry for the horses.
And yesterday was also the fifth of November this year. We don't have Guy Fawkes "celebrations" any more. They are considered "too dangerous" - and yes, there were house fires and other fires and injuries from fireworks. I miss the bonfire and the sparklers and the half-cooked potatoes covered in ash and eaten with a lot of butter and salt but I don't miss the bangs or the idea that money is being sent up in flames.
Of the two though I wonder if Guy Fawkes night did less harm and cost less. I'll never find out but given the choice I would reinstate Guy Fawkes night - with greater safeguards - and let the horses have the run of the pasture instead.
Did someone say something about the economy?