The Oaks

By |September 21st, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Visiting the Oaks in September is very different to the hustle and bustle of the Derby.  The actual race night itself was full enough, but it seemed by comparison quiet and deserted; and I had a new sense of space and leisure in which I could take in all the details of the race night.  I imagine that the contrast between the two scenes must always be pretty striking, but this year it was even more noticeable because of the drastic change in weather conditions.  Another difference that forced itself on my attention was the greater prevalence of gypsies.  Caravans lined the road that runs from Tattenham Corner to the paddock and the grandstand.  I attributed this increased activity partly to the simple mathematical fact that, as there were fewer people present to be pestered, there must be more gypsies per head to pester them.  Also, unlike the race night in June, this time I had a lady accompanying me.  It was about her welfare that the gypsies were chiefly concerned.  'Buy the lady a favour, sir,' pleaded one merchant whose stock-in-trade consisted of hundreds of disgusting little race night souvenirs.  I'd hardly even finished explaining to him that the lady would not thank me if I did - a sentiment heartily endorsed by the lady herself - when another (thinking, I suppose, that she looked hungry) suggested that I should regale her with a depressing form of fish which had the appearance of stewed brown-paper bags.  This temptation, likewise, [...]