To say ‘Melbourne Cup is a horse race’ is probably a bit like saying ‘Shakespeare was a writer.’ I don’t mean to enrage any Australian readers (*waves*) I just happen to think horses are for riding and not watching… However, that doesn’t stop me from booking a place at the Anzwg (Australian and New Zealand Women’s Group) organised Melbourne Cup each November.
I used to go to point-to-points when I lived in Kent. It’s a form of amateur horse racing over fences for hunters but I’m only a teensy bit ashamed to say that for me it was a social event: beer tents and flirting with boys (it was a long time ago.) I rarely saw a horse.
I’m sorry; I know I’m a disgrace. As I say I like horses enormously, I just prefer riding them to watching them run.
Melbourne Cup is a bit like Ascot – that’s how seriously it’s taken – except I don’t think bizarre costumes are ever worn at Ascot (unless you count some of those outfits!) For Melbourne Cup, everyone dresses up either in formal race attire or in fantastic costumes. I think this year is my fourth time. I’ve always gone with the BWG and most years a costume theme is organised but I don’t take part in costumes. I make them; I don’t wear them. (Shhh: This is because I don’t like anyone looking at me!)
However, last week I found myself sitting next to costume queen, CD, and we cooked up an idea for a team costume. And now it’s happening and because I’m helping to organize it…I’m going to have to wear it. I hadn't even had a drink when I agreed to it!
Take a deep breath: yesterday I went to Sampeng Lane in Chinatown to source materials…