Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Going to the races?

Today is Melbourne Cup day. The race that stops a nation!

When I lived in other places in Australia, Melbourne Cup day usually meant going for a long lunch, participating in a sweep and then watching the horses run to see if you won. It was always a fun day.

Living in Melbourne means a whole day off work! Sometimes I have things organised, like going to a friend's house to watch, but this year, it is going to be very low key. Having said that, the boy was off on a sleepover last night, so I was going to be home alone, but I ended up getting a better offer! One of the good things about having changed my job is that there are people that I work with who live near me! There aren't many other people who were willing to do a 100km round trip each day like I was doing before. When I was at work yesterday I said about being child free last night, and next thing I knew a girl who lives very near me had invited me to a Melbourne Cup Eve dinner! We had to get dressed up as though we were going to the races, which give the short notice was a bit of a rush around to get the hat. It was very dressed up to go to the local pub where you will normally just where jeans but we had a fun night, with a sweep and a phantom race call. All good!

The thing that is different for me about this Spring Racing Carnival is that I actually went to one of the events, and so suddenly many of the horse names are familiar to me! Normally when they talk about the races on the news I really don't recognise anything but the most famous names, and when it comes to betting I really have no idea!

I hadn't previously been to a horse race, so for me going to Guineas Day a few weeks ago was a pretty big deal. Going to the races is actually more about the fashions for a lot of people. Now anyone who knows me knows that I am not a clothes person, definitely not a fashionista, so the idea of going shopping for an outfit is not my idea of fun. That means that with the event on the Saturday, I went to the shops on Thursday night to try to find something. I had bought high heels for the first time in years the previous day so I knew what shoes I was wearing but the rest of the outfit...no idea!

I walked into the shop and found something, and ended up buying it, but then my sister rang me and said that she was on the way to the shops so she would give me the second opinion I required. When I first walked in and said I was looking for an outfit for the races, the shop assistant asked about wearing a dress, to which my response was there is absolutely no way that I am wearing a dress!

My sister arrived and I showed her what I had bought, and she was like it's nice, but you should try a dress. Several dresses later, and I was wearing a dress to the races. Then there was the hat question. "There is no way I am wearing a hat" says I. Below is a picture of what I ended up wearing to the races (I'm the one in black):

Yep, a hat and a dress! And in the end, I was really glad that I did wear a dress because there weren't too many people who weren't wearing a dress in the marquee area where we were. We ended up having a great day. The weather was perfect, and I ended up putting on a few bets and actually left the course with more money than I started with.

And just for Eva, here is the first outfit that I bought, which I wore to bring in my washing last night, and wore to the Melbourne Cup Eve dinner! (Possibly should have got the photo at the beginning of the night, not after several glasses of wine, but never mind!).

Just ignore the white box in my hand. It is my mousepad/calculator that I won as part of the raffle. Could have been worse. A lot of people won sanitising hand wash! Woo-hoo!

And now, I am off to the bookies to put a small bet on. For once I know who some of the horses are so I might actually make an effort to watch the race! You never know, my horse may just come in!

Tania Shipman had a great idea for today. If you go to put a bet on today, please consider giving a donation to charity as well.


  1. aah, NOW I know what all those dress-buying updates on Facebook were all about! :)

    You look WONDERFUL! Good thing you went with the dress and the hat - it seems to be the perfect thing for that day. I do like the white top in the other outfit though.

    I'm totally envious of this whole day off at the races thing ... it reminds me of the movie MY FAIR LADY. I've always wanted to do something like that!

  2. I love the dress and the hat - looks great! Sounds like you had a fun time!

  3. You look great! What a fun adventure. Glad you won some money, and had an obviously great time with friends. Very cool and thanks for sharing.

  4. That's fabulous, Marg! You all look so pretty and are clearly having tons of fun :-)

    I went to the Kentucky Derby this past May. It was quite the flashback to more elegant days!

  5. Well don't you all look lovely in your dresses and fancy hats! This reminds me of the Kentucky Derby here in the States. I've always wanted to go (my dad is from Kentucky and I want to wear a fabulous hat!)

  6. You looked great! And, you even won a prize :)

  7. Love the pictures!!! :D I'm going to steal that hat you wore the races from you. ;)



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