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Posts by Jonathan

The Weekly Blog

The Evolution of Hamsters

“Daddy, what do you think will be the next step in evolution?” This question asked as we pelt at 60 mph, on the school run, up the A68 about three months ago.

Fortunately the answer was directly in front of me, written across the windscreen in ten-thousand tiny, yellowy-red smudges. “The next step in the evolutionary path of insects,” I said confidently, “is that they will develop a sense of perspective which helps them to calculate the speed of oncoming vehicles, thereby enabling mutant insects to swerve and avoid the car. Most of the standard insects will be wiped out on the A68, the A7 and the A1, leaving those with the mutant gene to take over the World.”

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The Weekly Blog

Well, Well… A Quirky Imperfection

Well, well, well… What have we here?

In the process of stripping away tarmac surfaces, in order to make space for the new parade ring at Kelso Racecourse, we’ve discovered an old water well. At least five metres deep and half full of water, the well is constructed from small boulders and situated behind the listed Grandstand, built in 1822.

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The Weekly Blog

Dates, Apricots and a Peachy Racecourse

According to the Met office, it’s the driest start to Summer since records began; Britain received average rainfall of 47mm from the beginning of June until the middle of July.

That’s twelve times more rain in six-and-a-half weeks than Al Kufrah, in Libya, receives in an entire year. There they grow delicious peaches, dates and apricots, swelled by water from underground springs which is used with judicious ingenuity by the local residents. They probably even use it for irrigating their local racecourse.

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The Weekly Blog

The End of the World is Nigh…

So Boris Johnson is out of the cabinet, England are out of the World Cup and Ascot Racecourse will be leaving Racing UK, all of which could have been easily predicted with reference to the stars.

The week’s turmoil comes as a result of the forthcoming lunar eclipse on 27th July, which will be the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century. As the Sun, Earth and moon become perfectly aligned, the Earth’s shadow will pass across the surface of the moon for approximately 102 minutes. But because light bends ever so slightly across the vast distances of space, the moon will take on a red hue – which was assumed by our ancestors to be a portent of doom…

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The Weekly Blog

Out of this World

There is a huge crater at Kelso Racecourse, not unlike the one that the Clangers live under, on their planet far away from Earth. We know all about the Clangers because they were filmed by Peter Firmin, who died this week, during his astrological studies of the night sky.

I never believed the rumour that these space documentary programmes were actually scripted for children’s TV by Oliver Postgate, Firmin’s friend, who is also no longer with us, having died ten years ago.

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The Weekly Blog

Life is a Rollercoaster

Life is a rollercoaster, you’ve just gotta ride it – that’s not only the message from Boyzone, who’ll be playing live in the Course Enclosure after racing at Cartmel this evening, it’s also the key finding from a piece of research published this week from the University College of London.

Middle aged people who go racing, ride the funfair at Cartmel and dance when post-racing bands are on the stage, are half as likely to become frail by the time they reach their 70s. Or something like that…

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The Weekly Blog

Bookie Club

As we come to the end of Independent Bookies Week, it’s time to get behind a new campaign to encourage councils to exempt local bookmakers from paying business rates. The rationale for the campaign is that bookies are similar to pubs in that many act as a social hub; they’re a valuable part of many a community’s infrastructure.

No wait, hold on a second. That’s Independent Bookshop Week, not bookmakers. But, come to think of it, the same reasoning applies…

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The Weekly Blog

Galloping Ahead

I had a pony once, who would career forwards instead of standing still. He was a thrill to ride – great fun, although he didn’t win many rosettes in the Family Pony classes at the local shows. Only a pony called ‘Crackles’ would consistently finish in a worse position and that was because Crackles spent a lot of time standing on his hind-legs while his rider rolled around on the floor.

So when the racecourse-backed pool betting enterprise, known as britbet, agreed to a ‘stand-still arrangement’ with the existing Tote, I was reminded of my old pony and we decided to gallop ahead regardless!

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