14 April 2012
The day of the Grand National. England’s most famous race over hurdles. It’s the one day of the year when millions of people, who would not normally have bet on a horse, will consider having a flutter. (‘My lovely’ too, it transpired after the race!) Apparently, through the medium of television, the race is watched by over 600 million people worldwide) Knowing nothing about horseracing, or the form of the horses, the majority of people will choose a horse whose name they like or a name that has some sort of connection with them. For example there are several horses from one stable which incorporate the name Cato. In fact, I think had I backed these from the first time out, I will be handsomely in pocket.
Today’s race was run in bright sunlight, on a beautiful spring day with the going a little soft. It is the toughest steeplechase race in the world and each year it is run there are usually a number of casualties. For example 40 started the race and only 15 finished. It was won literally by a whisker, a 33 to 1 outsider and was probably the closest finish ever, although there have been one or two dead heats in the past. Sadly, two horses had to be destroyed having broken their leg. The vet explained that there was absolutely nothing they could do about the horse with a broken leg so the kindest thing they could do is to dispatch it quickly before the horse started feeling pain. Beyond the mere matter of a beautiful animal being destroyed, one of them, Synchronised had also won the Cheltenham Gold cup, a few weeks ago – generally considered to be the jewel in the Crown of the jumping season -, so was rather special as he was one of the great horses and this made the matters so much worse. (Even worse for the punter who bet £50,000 on this horse to win!) Being a horse lover, like so many people’ my lovely’ cannot bear to watch the actual race in case of accidents such as that of today and she feels that the fences should be lowered to eliminate, so far as possible, the likelihood of accident. This proposal would not attract a great deal of support amongst the racing community. The adrenaline flows as these magnificent beasts struggle against each other using every nerve in the body, to overcome the obstacles, and win the race.
The government are currently in the throes of redefining marriage to include members of the same sex. A great number of people feel very strongly that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and the definition should not be changed. Accordingly, there is a petition which those people who feel strongly about this can sign.
The petition reads “I support the legal definition of marriage which is a voluntary union for the life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, I oppose any attempt to redefine it”
I should make it clear that this is in no way meant to be a criticism of two people of the same sex living together but what the petitioners object to is this being called marriage.
Ctrl +Click on the link below to see more about this petition and a form that you can sign.
http://www.c4m.org. if you feel strongly about it.
Paul,’ the computer’, came round this afternoon and we spent a couple of hours working out to macro commands, using Dragon, for my music centre. I am now able to switch from the speakers, to the headphones without the need to plug or un-plug anything. This was more complicated than it sounds but is just the sort of thing I must do in preparation for the day when I will not even be able to use the one splinted finger that I have, at present, with which I can press a key.
Talking of complicated commands, click here and imagine what really complicated commands he would have to give if you were flying this space shuttle, Discovery.