Oman to Aldershot via Huddersfield ( & Cheltenham) – Part One

Allrad-Auto bei Dünenfahrt

Readers ( thanks to all few of you) , I’ve had a busy couple of weeks . We had a 6 day holiday lying by the pool in Oman which was lovely , mid 30’s every day . The highlight – or sort of- of the trip was a 6 hour round journey excursion to the desert to see – well actually the desert – but what we did there was ‘dune bashing’ in a 4 wheel drive and swim in an oasis Wadi with a load of those little fishes that bite your toes and theyve now banned in UK shops , I think theyre called pirahanas. I’d read about it and didnt expect to be scared , especially in comparison to the Play off final against Leeds, but I’ll tell you what climbing up a vertical sand dune at top speed in a 10 year old Toyota Land cruiser and not knowing how tall it is the other side is a bit like watching the Titanic sink in 3d , except the Irish aren’t locked up in 3rd class.

Anyway, having conquered my fear of sand dunes , we got back on Friday and suitably tanned , I made my way to the frozen north of Huddersfield . I didn’t blog a report because others do it better and frankly both teams were pretty useless , but we deserved to win by a margin . Post game , I confidently predicted that Udders wouldn’t win another game all season ( reader will note yesterday the prescience of my preduction, Leeds 1 Hudders 2). The journey back via the foggy and sleety moors was reminiscent of American Werewolf in London.

A few days later , I’m off to Cheltenham for my annual pilgrimage to the racing festival. I only do a couple of days with my old mates from University because thats all my liver can stand . The pattern of the day is that we arrive at 10.30am ,the gates open , settle down in our seats , open the first lager at 10.45 , study the form for 2 hours, back 7 losers, return to our hotel , go for a curry , open more lagers , wake up , feel dreadful , cooked breakfast , back to Cheltenham for 10.30 , open a lager , feel better ….. youve got the pattern.
Anyway, I learnt something new this year which despite my advancing age came as something of a revelation. A couple of years ago , our mate who lives in the US brought along his mate from Texas who is an avid Dick Francis reader and has therefore spent his life in thrall to plots about cheating racehorse trainers , betting scams , and the long run up the hill from the last fence . It was his dream to come to the festival , so last year he came along and he liked it so much , he joined us this year too .
Now I’m not saying he likes the ladies but you couldn’t leave him in a room with Jilly Cooper for long . It was ladies day on Weds and Jim likes taking photos , so while we plied our way through lager no 27 , Jim went wandering round Cheltenham taking photos of the ladies , hen parties, groups , ones & twos , all sorts and types.
Do you know what ? In EVERY single photo , there must have been 50 or so , the girls , women . ladies ( & hen parties) all strike a pose and smile obligingly for a camera shot for a 60 year old American bloke they don’t know from Adam .
I always wondered how David Bailey got off with Marie Helvin.
I’ll tell you what , if you are down on your love life luck and you always end up with the nutter on that internet dating lark – go buy yourself a camera and wander round Sainsbury’s taking photos of women . You’ll either get punched by someone’s boyfriend , locked up or you’ll get off with someone … what have you go to lose ?

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