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Month: June 2020

Being a shielded person

Hi all,

Do you know, being stuck at home for me has not been the worst thing ever. Luckily, I have a beautiful back garden and I’ve spent lots of time there, occasionally with <<other people>>, at a suitable distance!

I know from my car app that I drove home from work on 18 March and I haven’t been out since then, apart from a drive on 1 June when the rules were relaxed. Also from the app I know that I had a little go on the M53 and then returned via the New Chester Road. I didn’t leave the car and felt that I wouldn’t want to do so for a while – why would I jeopardise all the effort made so far?

Shortly before the lockdown I lost a front tooth and was provided with a temporary denture, pending an implant. Of course, after the lockdown, that has been left into the very long grass. When you have nothing other to think about, it’s a massive annoyance!

I soon got into the new routine. I can’t say how important it was that I brought my laptop and monitor home on 18 March. For the first week or so I had my work laptop alongside my home old but super-reliable Macbook. Then, it just occurred to me than one was distracting me from the other. I moved the work laptop into my dining room (obviously unused) and I’ve never looked back. A defined work area which is the workplace for quite a while.

The next thing that has made a big difference is having a disciplined approach. I’ve kept the alarm on for working days at 06:58. Time for a shower and breakfast before a start at 08:30 on the dot. Lunch is taken between 13:00 and 14:00 with no work during that time and then a finish at 17:00 for the Government’s press conference. The reality is that I return to work emails after then and into the evening but I can then treat them as outside the work bracket.

I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to rely on supplies from a combination of my milkman and my friends Paula and Sophie who have kept me well served. I suspect that my shielding is going to carry on for some time.

So, why am I shielding? I don’t fit any of the obvious categories but I have what is known as uncontrolled diabetes. I do blood tests each morning and they seem to bear little relation to my diet and drink. I might have a bit of a blast one evening and then have a good reading the following morning and then go for days eating all the right things and not drinking and nonetheless get very high readings – very frustrating.

I’m about to take delivery of an exercise bike. I know, but the downtime has made me think that I have to do something about it! I have the idea that I’ll be taking exercise while watching Royal Ascot and other racing. We’ll see!

So what has prompted me to write this post? Well, when I got my letter from the GP surgery advising me that I was in the “extreme” category I got absolutely no support. No priority for supermarkets or anything else. I got another message this evening, advising me to register again. I did so and, within moments, I got an email and text confirming that I have been prioritised for services. I suspect that this means that my isolation is going to go on for a while but at least there will be some proper support. I’ll be interested to see what the next few days bring!

Proper racing at last

I’m really looking forward to some proper racing tomorrow and over the weekend. This (displaced) weekend always reminds me of a visit a few years to the environs of Newmarket and a house called “The Guineas”, a very good name.

Had things been “normal” we would have been looking forward to the “Grand Steep” this weekend at Auteuil. Not to be but there is a decent replacement card with several of the support races relocated to Compiegne, with stars including L’autonomie and Carriacou.

Back in the UK the Coronation Cup is the highlight on Friday. I can’t have Ghaiyyath (current 13/8 favourite) and I fancy Stradivarius (3/1) to take this on the way to a repeat win in the Ascot Gold Cup (must be fit with the top flat trainer). It may seem remarkable that last year’s Derby winner, Anthony Van Dyck, is 13/2 but the remainder of the season was a bit of a disaster, particularly the run at Sha Tin.

On Saturday I like Magic Lily (9/4) in the Dahlia (2.25 Newmarket) and, of course, Pinatubo (4/5) in the 2000 Guineas. That looks like incredibly good value to me and I might just break my rule to have an odds-on bet.

On Sunday Fanny Logan is surely a shoe-in for the 2.05 Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock. Space Blues is also of interest in the 3.15. The current 3/1 looks like very good value for a well-travelled international horse that has been campaigned at the highest level.

Of course, the 1000 Guineas is the highlight on Sunday and I’m much more equivocal about this. On balance I’m going to go with Love (7/2) (the horse, not a philosophical position) for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore, to beat Quadrilateral (a mathematical position).

Lucky 15

Stradivarius

Magic Lily

Space Blues or Fanny Logan

Love

Add Pinatubo if you want to go into big money. Potential return on the four selected – £585

Good luck!

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