Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Somebody bet on the bay

As I do when I am at home and not working on Melbourne Cup Day, I took to gambling. At a dinner out last night, our dyke friend organised a sweep. R's gets five per cent of the prize pool because his horse came last. For the race meeting I spent $22 by putting a dollar on for the win and a dollar for a place plus an extra dollar each way on the cup. I scored three places for the day. My choice to win the cup became unwell. R did even worse.

We went into town to see some hats, well more fascinators than hats. There were quite a number on the tram as we travelled in. One older couple who boarded the tram after we did intrigued us.  She sat down facing the rear next to an Asian girl. Her husband stood in the aisle and loudly cleared his throat. The Asian girl thought it was directed at her and jumped up to offer him her seat. He said, no no, stay there, but she was up, so he sat.

She was in a nice enough dress, but I think it may have seen one or two cup days before. She carried a black patent leather handbag and matching heels and she also wore a pair of large and quite thick glasses. Her hat was ok, but not remarkable. Oddly she had on no make up, well maybe a very light brush of foundation. So wrong, more is better. Did anyone ever suggest Dolly Parton should wear less makeup? (Rhythm of post interrupted  by the smell of burnt potatoes, boiled dry. Not my department. Oh dear, there goes the smoke alarm. Household Management was distracted by a umpteenth repeat of the talented Stephen Fry's Q&I).

But they were the oddest couple. They were sitting side by side, but he was sitting maybe twenty degrees on an angle away from her. He was telling her about an email he had sent that he thought someone had taken offence to but he did not know why. This was after another loud bout of throat clearing. She sanguinely just looked forward with her face completely still with the half a smile she was wearing when she boarded the tram. She did not reply to him. It was like she was spaced out and he was talking to himself. We stood behind them as we waited to exit the tram and she did say something to him. There is nothing like tram travel to see 'interesting' people.

We had an early lunch at Riverland at Federation Wharf on the banks of the Yarra River. It was fairly quiet, but we were early.

We then went up to National Gallery of Victoria, the Federation Square office. We saw a terrific exhibition called the Outer Circle, of works by the Boyd family and associated people. I highly recommend it, with some great paintings, old photography and and wonderful sculpting and pottery work.

The races were on the big screen at Fed Square. It was a photo finish. In these high tech days, does a magnifying glass really call the shots? 


It was a pleasantly warm day and nice enough to dangle your feet into the river.


Some were a bit more serious about boating on the Yarra.


Very cute. The caption says something like 'do not climb on the penguins or feed them'.


A fun sculpture that draws you inside to see where is the head of the giraffe.


Some might call it Melbourne's horse whipping day, or Melbourne kill horses day, but like during the Australian Tennis Open held in Melbourne, there is a great atmosphere. So much nicer than boring Grand Prix car race event.

10 comments:

  1. As has been the case for some years now I was 'shanghaied' into organising sweeps at the hospital - six of them this year - and despite receiving a fantastic tip for the eventual winner did not get to place bet on it when I ran out of time to get to the TAB.

    A lot of work for me; winnings nothing.

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    1. That's very disappointing for you Victor. The person at my work who organises the sweep was a way for the week so she could attend the race meetings.

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  2. Andrew, I am jealous of your fantastic spring...It is not fair..

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    1. Gosia, as happens in spring, we alternate between quite cool and quite warm. Seldom is there a happy medium.

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  3. Love that girafffe butt. Whimsical public art is always a joy.
    I missed the cup completely. Again. How very unOrstrayan of me.

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    1. Agree with both points EC.

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  4. I don't like girly things or girly, silly behaviour, but I have one exception *blush*. I LOVE hats - cocktail hats a la Melbourne Cup, winter berets, summer boaters, 1920s cloches etc etc. They are soooo sexy,

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    1. I don't really wear one Hels but I would like to. One day. My mother only used to wear hats for weddings and funerals. My grandmother wore one all the time, including around the house.

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  5. "She was in a nice enough dress, but I think it may have seen one or two cup days before."
    Maybe I shouldn't say this...but so what? why is a brand new outfit necessary? Especially if the current outfit is in good condition, still fits and is fully paid for. Do I sound grumpy? Sorry, I am grumpy.

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    1. I am grumpy enough at times River. Grumpy older people are allowed on my blog. Melbourne Cup is all about style and fashion and not much about horse racing. There is no mid point. You either don't dress up and go for the horses, or you go and look fantabulous, or classy at least, but never out of date. This is the theory that I espouse, and given I shall never go, I can talk the talk.

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