Oh bundle me in cotton wool and let me soak my feet

November 7, 2008

I must be feeling vulnerable because one of those friendship chain emails just sent to me brought tears to my eyes. I wouldn’t say that I’m shattered after The Oaks yesterday, but I am ‘worse for wear’. 

I wore a new pair of shoes. The leather was fairly stiff and I chose bare skin rather than ‘stay-ups’ (my choice of stocking). This was a mistake. After ignoring hot spots on my feet all day, at the end of the day we had a long walk out of Flemington to endure, along with tens of thousands of other patrons due to a failure in the train system. There were literally no trains to or from Flemington from 4.30! With the last race at around 5pm, you can imagine the chaos this caused. The result for me was red raw skin on every toe – the worst case of blisters I have ever experienced EVER (and this includes other endurance activities like bushwalking, XC skiing and rogaining). 

I should have either stuck with the remarkably comfortable heels I bought in Florence or packed a pair of thongs (flip-flops for those of you not from Australia). In my Florence heels last year I went the distance at the races and danced the night away. Not this year. I had two invitations from two different groups of girlfriends to party on. One group left in a bus, and another group left the racecourse by boat. Each were heading into the city for dinner and to kick on afterwards but my feet cried out for mercy. I declined both invitations. Trudging out of Flemington on foot was not what I had in mind though. Luckily, a local lass drove her car in and was able to pick our walking party up a kilometer or two out from the course. Unlike other punters who were left stranded or walking all the way from Flemington into the city, we were rescued.

Here is a solution we didn’t think of:

And last night I didn’t sleep a wink. I’ve been off caffeine for months, but drank two caffe lattes at the Oaks (in between the sparkling wine). Consequently I lay awake like a porcelain doll without eyelids. Laying in bed awake I experienced the unusual feeling that I still had my hat on my head. All day I had become accustomed to it being like a sensory extension. With the hat extending high above and around my head I became attuned to wind currents. If you have ever had sea legs after being on a boat all day, then you might be able to imagine how my neck and head retained the memory of resisting the motion of the hat.

The hat was a hit. I received lots of lovely and some funny comments. The comments about it as a satellite dish wore thin. The most original comment I received for the day was from a guy who asked if I had brought along a spatula and was intending to cook up a stir-fry, and if so could he have some.

My luck on the ponies really only started at the second-last race. I decided to ignore all common sense. I read the field and waited for psychic premonitions. In this way I picked the last two winners. Someone heeded my premonition and placed a $50 bet to win. Sadly this wasn’t me. I tend to bet more conservatively ($10 is my limit per race). 

You’d think reading this that my day at Flemington was so so. Not so! I’m just in a tired funk atm. Yesterday was glorious weather wise. The atmosphere was like a relaxed party party. I shared a table with five girlfriends (and one of their hubbies, who is also a friend). It was one of those enjoyable days that takes you outside of normal life. You feel different, lighter. You almost forget you are a mum. lol.

ps. I charged my camera ready to take. So I thought! My girls had been playing with it the night before and it was all out of battery. I’ll have to rely on photos sent to me from my friends before I can post them here. Please bear with a short delay. Oaks Day photos coming soon xx


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