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Diary - Winning day at the races

The joys of August

The joys of August

August. The Emergency Committee. The Curriculum Countdown. The Disappearing Workmen. The Trades FortnightMonthMillennium. The Volcanic Ash. The Gushing Oil Well. The Midges. Sex and the City 47. The Pre-Season Friendlies. Is there any intelligent life out there?

The usual drivel in the mail today. At least the impending local authority Armageddon has restricted the number of conferences, seminars and "development opportunities" on offer from the parcel of rogues known as consultants and advisers.

It was a glorious spell of weather and I decided to take a flexi-day and go off to visit my wee sister in beautiful downtown Ayr. I opened my last piece of correspondence and sank into my chair. It was from the Spurious Inquisition. They were coming to rubbish, sorry - review, the effectiveness of the management arrangements for learning and leisure in the council. Soon. All they needed was for me to fill in 5,000 forms and forward certain documents in a four-tonne truck to Inquisitions `R Us in Edinburgh.

That's it. Ayr it is. They had ruined my day, my week, my month and, as far as I knew, my career. I was livid. How dare they. What do they know about operating on a shoe-string budget, cutting everything that moved and being the directorate equivalent of a one-man band? I had produced miracles with the Touring Shroud and the Malawi Inheritance. Not even a wee OBE as a token of gratitude.

I poured out my troubles to sis over a gin and tonic or four, and we decided to have a girls' day out at the races. It was a glorious sunny day and Ayr looked a good imitation of Ascot on ladies' day. We decided that the betting limit was pound;5 a race and we would either pick names that meant something to us, go with numbers or stick with colours we liked - quite logical, really. There are times when I wonder about religion, not many I admit, but just occasionally I think things were meant to be.

I had a brilliant day with my sister. We came away well-refreshed and the richer for our experience. Sis had backed horse number three in every race and had won pound;70. She was full of gin and happiness, in a ratio of four to one, but her joy was minuscule compared with mine.

I had looked for names which meant something to me, and I had pocketed a cool pound;450. I had gone through the card and had seven winners out of seven. My choices? Brown Envelope, Nasty Surprise, Little Weasel, The Interrogator, Slimy Slug, Sadist and The Creep. Not bad, eh?

My portfolio may be found wanting. But, I'll tell you this: I won't go without a fight and I'll make sure they know the truth about learning and leisure - economy class. Want to bet?

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