A Day at the Races

Waking up yesterday (Friday) in Dunedin at Wingatui was a bit strange. We’d been away for 7 months and driven through the city the previous evening playing “spot the difference”. It was a hard game because there wasn’t much different; a house painted here, a different shop there, a new building beside Supercheap Auto.  It was race day at Wingatui – we’d got back at the wrong time. But they let us stay, out of the way. It was interesting watching all the preparations for the day. We had laundry to do with nowhere to hang it to dry, so I made a trip to a laundromat in North Dunedin. This was the first laundromat we’ve used in 10 months – we’ve made good use of our washing machine and machines in camping grounds as well.

While the washing was washing I paid a quick visit to the fruit and veg shop up North East Valley at the bottom of Blacks Road. What a great little shop. Avocados were 59c which is cheaper than most outlets in Kerikeri where they grow them! Then while the washing was drying I paid a visit to the Gardens New World and ran into the first person who I recognised after 7 months. While away we visited family and friends but I always thought we’d see someone in the street somewhere that we recognised. But no.

Back out at the racecourse the meeting had started. Wyn had gone off on a bike ride that got longer – in the end she covered 30 kms and came back into a headwind; freezing. She warmed up and we had lunch and I checked out the horse racing section of the paper. I liked the sound of Chanson D’Amour in the 3.30 so we decided to go over for a bet and to watch. They were just leading the horses out for mounting up when we got there. It took a while to find where to bet – somehow everyone else must know. We put $1 to win and $2 to place on our No. 13. She was the last and slowest to get around to the start which I thought was good, she wasn’t wasting any energy on that part. She was favoured by some of the tipsters but then most were rated as a chance in the paper. From where we were standing much of the home straight was obscured but we could hear the commentary and Chanson D’Amour was in a good position and improving and then they flashed past the line and it looked like No. 13 was 2nd in a blanket finish. I was wrong – she was called as 1st and we were in the money. We got $7 back on our $3 investment which seemed a good result for our first ever race meeting. Wyn met a friend in the betting window and invited her over for a cup of tea after the last race.

I headed to the Mosgiel New World to get some stuff for pizzas for tea and saw three people I recognised. It’s interesting how novel that can be. Wyn’s friend came over after the last race and then my children came round for tea of pizzas and cake and catch-up.

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