When a batsman hits the ball clean over the boundary, he scores six runs. No one’s required to run for the ball, but it usually comes back eventually. And it’s not just cricket pitches that have boundaries, most modern parenting groups advise that toddlers should have them too. When a toddler crosses a boundary, he or she is likely to end up on the naughty step.
Borders are usually considered to be the same as boundaries, defining regions into countries, counties or parishes. But borders differ in one important respect: they are designed to be crossed. Notwithstanding the current negotiations over Brexit, it is generally expected that governments and businesses will join together in order to promote trade across borders. And of course we welcome visitors too – tourists, investors and migrants offering valued skills and knowledge.
So despite my move to Kelso, where the racing season commences on Wednesday 20th September, I am looking forward to regularly traversing the border between Scotland and England in order to see my friends at Cartmel. I hope too, that jump racing fans in the north of England will come to enjoy racing north of the border and that I may see some of you soon.
I was given a great send-off following the final race-meeting of the season at Cartmel on Bank Holiday Monday. Despite protestations that I’d be seeing everyone again, I couldn’t avoid being dunked in the giant water tank in the horse wash-down enclosure. That hasn’t put a dampener on my enthusiasm for supporting northern trainers – including Donald McCain, who was there at the time. McCain trains this week’s selection, Dear Sire, who is preparing to make the long journey to Newton Abbot for a valuable prize at 3.25 on Saturday.
Happiness is infectious and spreads readily through a crowd, just as unhappiness stalks remorselessly through the stalled chain of a house sale. Therefore, if you’ve enjoyed one or more race-days at Cartmel, I can honestly take very little of the credit – so much of the happiness radiates from the people that I’ve been privileged to work with during the past seven years, not to mention the racegoers who generate so much joy. It’s been great fun.
If my blog selections haven’t made you any richer, I hope that I’ve been able to share some of the joy that prevails at Cartmel. I’ll continue to write on a weekly basis (you’ll be able to find my ramblings at www.theborderpost.co.uk ) and will ensure that I keep my finger on the pulse of life in Cartnel, as well as the wider northern racing scene.
I hope to see you soon. Scotland may be over the border, but it isn’t out of bounds.