Good morning from a Worcestershire scene that has exploded to life, like souls awakening. The sky is blue and dominated by a terrifying brightness, lush greens fed by a week of precipitation and a busyness about the place as Goldfinch, Blue and Grey Tits and the rarer Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Long Tailed Tit are at their business while the Major takes his morning constitutional. While out, I can sense the air is turning and the weather omens look poor.
Two of the previous four working days saw me on the early Pershore to Paddington train as my commission in insurance (every boys dream) took me to our great capital again. I always enjoy these visits as, for free, I enjoy what tourists pay a treasure to witness, how the greatest of civilisations built the finest city. A miracle on earth and entirely built of mans hand.
Now, I find travel the greatest bore but I feel in-dispensed to tell you somewhat of my day yesterday if you are to understand the tardy timing of the Saturday Sermon. On the outbound leg, a delay at Honeybourne was a common occurrence that my fellow travellers seemed entirely accustomed to. That was until the punchy voice of the Train Manager explained that a medical emergency was in full swing in Carriage E and would any Doctor or Nurse on board, please make themselves known at the scene. All ended well, within twenty minutes, we pulled out gently leaving a heaving gentleman on the platform attended by the finest Gloucestershire medics and probably regretting a life of debauched eating, drinking and playing… or on reflection, perhaps not regretting it at all.
Then an incident which to this moment I am at a loss to rationalise. The Major maintains a joint account for the good lady to pilfer, a credit account for expenses of a business nature and then separate funds for skullduggery which are entirely private. There I was, sat at a table of four, the Train Manager over me and I clean forgot my PIN number. Now, I use this card daily and have been using it without incident for two years, yet clean gone. The teller at my bank in London sought to reassure me that it happens infrequently, I remain perturbed.
I shall not linger on the day’s business, save to say it was a veritable success in the company of some find folk. In fact, agreements were made with such proficient efficacy that I was stood back in the cavernous arching structure of Paddington in short time. With a short wait for my train, I took to a good spot and allowed the world to wash over me, absorbing the myriad of people flowing past.
In a queue, a smart lady caught my eye. Dark neat hair dropped to the shoulder, a fine-cut of cloth to her business suit and dark silkened legs with an appetising curve of calf contained within. I do delight in a well turned out lady. In front of her in the queue was an odd cove. A giant of a man, a curved back and curved nose too, but boy was he lithe for a big man, he moved powerfully like a cat and with a confident air. To my surprise, as I believed them entirely independent entities from how they had assumed their queuing positions, his back to hers, my lady stepped inside his guard, reached up to brush her lips against his and nestled her head half way up his chest…. Money and Power.
I tell you this because I was to be acquainted once more with this man rather surprisingly within a few hours. If I had known the course of events for the return leg, I would have turned foot and found myself a hostelry to keep me a few hours.
I was not keen to see that the return train was a short stocky type with the carriages more tightly packed and no first class refuge either. We all crammed in, the Major secured a cramped seat in an uncomfortably warm carriage with sour faces feeling the same thing. The last passengers packed in, the whistle blew and it was heave ho and off. Stops on the route to Oxford did little to ease the crowding and a slight delay at Oxford did nothing to ease the mood either.
Explaining the delay, due to no train manager, even the driver sounded flustered, with good reason it appears. For no sooner than had he informed us of this than our ears detecting the faint words of the station announcer on the drift of the air… The train to Worcester was … cancelled.
Queue a stampede, a bustling mass of seething folk, the situation stretching their British humour and manner. I was slow to alight, thinking that we all will reach the same resolution so speed is no current virtue. There on the platform was the enormous frame of my man, bellowing at the driver, for all the good it would do him. I slipped by, crossed the bridge, dug for my ticket to exit the barriers and joined a crush of people on the main concourse, straining to hear the words of a single unaided member of staff organising alternate transport. Then my man appeared at the barriers and the time to walk the bridge had done little to sober his ugly mood. He demanded the barriers be opened as the travellers were angered enough, though I shall not weary you with his tiresome language.
The young man who refused his request received his full glare and as he spilled through the turnstile, his great gangly frame tumbling, his grace gone with his anger, he exploded into a new fit of activity. He demanded of his fellow passengers some volunteers to share an onward taxi fare. Now this may have been quite convenient for the Major but to share a confined space with this bristling brute was off-putting to say the least and at this point, there was no sign of his raven haired beauty. The thought that struck me most was what an enormous waste of energy.
On the concourse, arrangements were being made with precious little communication but it transpired that coaches were to arrive to move the passengers on. I turned and met the eye of a member of staff, a pleasant lady with a bob of blonde hair tied tightly back. I asked politely and received appropriate assurances that the same fate would not befall the next train due in an hour and a half.
The sun shone, a pleasant stroll and the Major had a pot of beer and a lovely spot over the Oxfordshire canal with the sun on my face. I held a pleasant conversation with a Liverpudlian (a blue one) over the comparison of Coleman with Gary Stevens and all was well in the world.
Why go to such great lengths to divulge the trivia of my day to you readers? Well not the strongest reason I suppose but I wish you to recognise a value in allowing the falseness of ill fortune to wash by you. We float past on the tide just the once my friends, waste it not in anger dealing with the mundane but embrace the experiences that present themselves. As Mr John Lennon pronounced, ‘life is what happens while you are making other plans‘.
To the sports…
The Scoop 6 – £7.5 million plus
This is it my good friends, I have a tremendous opportunity for riches for you. I am going to place a single Scoop 6 ticket on my tips for the card. I am not making this the sole focus of my sporting advice to you but offer you a share of the riches. To claim yours, simply retweet my blog (@tdl123) or post a comment if you are not on twitter, explaining you are in.
There you are! I estimate we will have just 12 good folk on the share. Assuming I have the sole winning ticket (almost a certainty I assure you), and assuming we win the bonus pot, we shall collect a half million. OK, it may not be a generous offer but it would be nice to know you are with me.
Leg 1 – L’unique
Leg 2 – Moonrise Landing
Leg 3 – Area Fifty One
Leg 4 – Taurus Twins
Leg 5 – Dubawi Island
Leg 6 – Purcell
Saturday Sporting Tips
Here is the Major’s blueprint for Saturday fortunes….
4pm Lingfield – I am really taken by the chances of the Ed McMahon and Ryan Moore ridden, Winning Express. The Major having a tardy start means that the 3/1 has long gone but a trace of 5/2 is about. She just missed the places in last years Guineas and if she can take the measure of the French raider, I think we have a winner on her hands.
The Haydock listed 7f race at 4.05 has only attracted four runners but it is a wide open field. The Major has opted for 7/2 shot, Breton Rock who is going to benefit from any precipitation, let it rain, let it rain. His penultimate race at Thirsk is strong form and I can ignore a slightly below par effort at Leicester latest, Lockwood concerns me more than Highland Colori but at 7/2, back my runner and sacrifice your fist born to the rain gods.
In the last at Ascot, 5pm, I recommend a stake on 10/1 shot Marmalady. This horse was a revelation last term and kicked things off well enough over an inadequate distance at Windsor. A continuation of the upward trend, coupled with a return to a more suitable distance and the Major is interested.
Although it is a chasing debut, I would be backing Master Murphy at 7/2 in the 1.55 at Hexham. He has a good course record and is fairly treated at his first attempt over the bigger obstacles. You may well ask why I am raiding Hexham for winners, you may well ask, I have no good answer.
I do not know if Avonmore Star will take up his assignment at Warwick at 6.55 after exertions just 24 hours prior but if he does, 10/1 with BetVictor is a gift. The chances of my pick come down to his ability to jump from the stalls, something he has let down his supporters with on the last twice. Yesterday, he made good progress after his sluggish beginnings. While at Warwick, Sea Defence at a no fun 8/11 can form a part of any multiple you like.
In the football…. Last weekend we scored with our two selections both at odds against prices, including a juicy 7/1 Sunderland tip. A further two for you to assess. Peterborough 13/10 and Palace at 15/8 – The latter looks a treat of a price given the moods in the Fulham and Palace camps must be a world apart and I would expect that to be played out in the game as it unfolds.
The Martin Hill bet should be… Sea Defence, Winning Express, Breton Rock and Palace in a straight Yankee.
I trust your dinner will be in good company, why not try kebabs, fine cuts of lamb and chicken cooked on an open barbecue with onions and tomatoes. Find yourself a good Lebanese chef and a finer piece of company to enjoy it with you.
Courage friends, roll the dice.