We received an unexpected invitation to the opening Point-to-Point of the season which produced huge excitement from our household as my eldest and middle chap have developed a passion for country pursuits and it seems that there is always something going on either following a hunt, beagling, shooting or beating all involving some form of killing or attempting to kill, all rather savage but these are the ways of the country and there are plenty of people around to protest and stand up for the rights of vermin which are the blight of most farmers.
Handsome husband and the small herd have all been kitted out with suitable country clothing for these various events and they work the country look convincingly, handsome husband looking particularly rugged. I however, have struggled as sludge green, the shade of all country attire, does nothing for my complexion and the box shapes of most jackets are not remotely flattering. My verdict is that English country clothing favours the male of the species whilst leaving even the most striking woman looking rather dowdy, perhaps that is why many of the younger women choose to dye their hair with peroxide, in the hope they may stand out.
In pursuit of perfection, I have solved the problem with ease and have the ideal combination of town and country and all thanks to some quality tailoring from Holland & Holland where I found a jacket of the softest and warmest cashmere I have ever touched in a deep cornflower blue, to which I added a silk twill Hermes scarf for my neck and all cleverly found in the same London Street.
So with clothing dealt with I only needed to concentrate on our picnic as this, along with betting on the horses is the highlight of any point to point and as ever ensuring my herd are properly fed and watered to the highest levels is a priority. I find Delia is the best help for picnics with a little input from Nigella and you not only have delicious pies, pastries, tarts and puddings to eat they also look beautiful spilling out of my Louis Vuitton hamper which I had purchased at a local auction (a tale for another time). There you have it the quintessential English picnic all set out and eaten from the boot of your car whilst sitting on your tartan rug.
We were not disappointed and we arrived just as the first race began and were instantly captivated as we watched these magnificent creatures jump hedges far taller than ourselves with ease and grace. We met a variety of people, some attending for the social aspect whilst others there very much to make a bob or two on the betting.
I left Handsome husband in charge of our gambling as he had done a little studying of the form, and eldest and middle chap were given £20 and told to double it. They weren't actually allowed to place bets themselves due to their ages, so they shrewdly roped in the Master of the Hunt who was glad to assist not only placing but also advising on where best to place their money.
Watching racing is fun, but watching when you have your money on a horse is completely thrilling as you can feel the adrenalin pumping as you shout, encourage and cheer for you horse as it takes the last jump and charges for the finishing line, and when you win the surge of elation is exhilarating.
We had turned our afternoon into a profitable one, our two chaps had won on 4 out of 6 races and handsome husband being victorious in 5 out of 6. When I questioned him on his expertise he simply gazed at me adoringly and replied that he had always known a winning filly when he sees one.