Saturday, July 14, 2018
at the races in Lexington two years ago, I knew I'd enjoy the races at Ascot, and not just because they are featured in "My Fair Lady." We got tickets for one of the fancy enclosures away from the riff-raff (and proceeded to agonize for a month about the dress code), got on the train, and arrived at an incredibly nice racecourse about an hour from London. I'm no big gambler, but there's no point in going to the races if you don't put skin in the game, so we bet on every race which for me amounted to a grand total of £12.00; I was betting to win and only one of my horses came in first which won me £4.20, so I still have enough money to get home.
Friday, July 13, 2018
Thursday, July 12, 2018
|See that small tube on the left side, corkscrewing down? Yeah, that's the slide.|
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
I took the tour of the grounds in 2010, but on this trip, I was determined to see a match, and since tickets on StubHub were out of my league, that meant joining the infamous 'queue.' Joe came in from Liverpool yesterday and met me here in London and we made a plan to head to the tennis grounds at 6am. We joined the queue just before 7 and stood with a couple thousand others for over three hours - but it paid off when we got tickets to the matches on Court #2, and those seats were ours for the whole day. They also entitled us to watch any of the other matches on the lower courts -- everything but the big matches on Centre Court and Court #1, and those big matches were shown on the giant screen so we camped out on Henman Hill for much of the day, soaking up the sun while watching the men's quarter-finals, after watching the ladies doubles quarter-finals on Court #2 where the American Abigail Spears and her Polish partner, Alicja Roslska, beat two French women. It was a spectacular day.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
I left Portugal yesterday and made my way via plane, train, tube to the Putney neighborhood in London. Putney will be home for the next week while my friend Joe, who will come in from Seattle via Liverpool later today, and I pursue a variety of sports-themed activities, but first I took the train to Broxbourne to visit an old friend. I hadn't seen Brent in almost ten years; we worked together in the mid-aughts, then he moved to Portland, and a couple of years ago, I heard from a mutual friend that he had 'met someone,' that someone being British, and was dividing time between the States and England. Brent and Mel, the British 'someone' had recently married, and it was absolutely wonderful to see my old friend again and meet his husband. They live in a lovely, leafy village about an hour by train from Central London, and after picking me up from their village train station, they took me to a fabulous lunch in a quintessential British pub. I had fish and chips and mushy peas, all delicious.
|St. John the Baptist Church; across the road from the pub; built in the 12th century.|
Sunday, July 8, 2018
My last day in Albufeira was spent roaming the countryside in a jeep with a handful of Brits and a couple Germans, down what were clearly Portugal's most rutted dirt roads. It was fun if a bit bone-jarring, and I probably wouldn't have done it if I could have come up with a single other thing to do.
|We bumped along through orange groves...|
|... and tasted the sweetest, juiciest oranges I've ever had.|
|Medronho, another local specialty|