Enjoying A Day At The Races

Horse-Racing

It is nice every once in a while to treat yourself, without the little ones, and spend some quality time with your friends.  So how about a day at the races?  This is the one time you can have the whole day to yourself, getting fully dressed up and sipping champagne, whilst soaking in the atmosphere and having a little flutter. Or how about having a family day out at the races?  These days the races are perfect entertainment for the whole family, and there are still plenty of meetings left in 2021. If you are interested in why you might enjoy a day at the races, then step this way.

Enjoying a Flutter

Horse racing is one of those sports that combine the excitement of the event, the frill of dressing up, and the chance of winning some money. Horse race betting doesn’t have to mean high stakes, or even be based on some superior knowledge, it can just be fun. If you want to take it seriously, you can study the form of the runners, and their last few performances before placing a bet, either online, or on the day. You may be acting on a tip from a friend or from the Racing Post, who use expert analysis to predict possible winners. You may just be like me, and choose a horse based on the name you like most (I’ve had a few Grand National winners from doing just this.)

Things to look out for when placing your bet are aspects like if the horse has had any previous wins, the horse’s age and weight, it’s top speed ratings, and its latest betting odds.  Handy tips to picking your horse are found easily on various websites, and information is also available at the racecourse itself.

If you are tempted to have a flutter, you just need to set your budget and boundaries, and it will make your day all the more interesting and exciting, and you could end up taking home a few extra pounds.

Upcoming Events

Of course, the biggest racing events of the year like the Grand National, Royal Ascot and The Derby have all taken place this year, but most courses still have regular meetings in 2021. Next week (30th September) sees the Great Autumn Meeting taking place at Warwick Racecourse, whilst if you want to plan a little further ahead, Uttoxeter Racecourse has a jump racing afternoon on Friday 29th October, which, if you want to take the family, is actually during half term.

If you enjoy your racing under floodlights, Kempton Park has an evening of floodlight racing next month, whilst there are also meets at Newmarket, Haydock Park and Epsom Downs, all before the end of September.

Ladies day

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Fashion at the races is all important.  You want to create that right look but need some inspiration.  Dress codes at race tracks usually advise that you dress as you would if you were going to a wedding.  You can get ideas on the formal dress you are looking for, to express your desired look.  Many ladies enjoy wearing hats, which range from the simple design to the flamboyant, which you can pick up at local department stores, or have specially made by a milliner.  Shoes come in a range of shapes and colours, and can be easily found online to compliment your outfit.  Handbags and the right jewellery are the accessories which can finish off your race outfit perfectly.

A family day

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Family days at the races include extra activities to keep your cherubs entertained throughout the day, from an appearance of their favourite children’s characters, bouncy castles, to interactive racing zones.  Whether you live close to a racecourse or are travelling, racecourse websites advise you as where to drive in and park onsite, or local bus and rail information, with many places offering shuttle buses taking you directly to the course, from the nearest stations and town centres.

If you are travelling you also might consider making a night of it, and staying in local accommodation.  Whatever your requirements you might want to splash out on a lavish hotel, to an affordable boutique bed and breakfast, or stay in local flats and rooms.  However you wish to spend it, a day out at the races is a way of having fun with your friends or entertaining your family.

 

Ensure Your Child’s Safety When Driving This Winter.

When driving, it’s a big responsibility transporting any passengers, and extra care and preparation is needed when younger children are in the car.

Are you really driving as safely as you can?

Keeping Your Car in Tip Top Condition

You need to make sure your care is road worthy, that tyres are in good condition, oil and water and screen wash is kept topped up, and that you have a battery charger for those cold winter days when it just won’t start. For the best equipment for your car, you can look at Best Buy Auto Equipment  who can also be a stockist for car parts if you find your car suffering from problems with the engine, clutch etc. Here you can find out the answers to questions such as how much does it cost for a car lift? and can get the best price for equipment.

Distractions

Even taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can be extremely hazardous. In a few seconds you’ll have travelled several yards, and in that time the situation in front of you can change rapidly.

Are you prone to, say, looking at the radio or heating controls instead of the road? Do you tend to look back to address people in the back seat? Try to curb these tendencies. You owe it to your passengers to maintain focus.

Preparation

Ensure you know the laws regarding child seats. Make sure young children are properly seated and secure. If you’re using child seats, are they still up to the job? Can you fix them securely?

Have you remembered to switch off the airbag if your child is seated in the front? Indeed, can you switch off the airbag in your model of car? If not, be careful of what size child sits in the front as an airbag going off could injure rather than protect them.

Why not re-acquaint yourself with the rules of the road? Your knowledge may be outdated, so check the Highway Code and try some of the questions asked in example driving theory tests.

Check that you have the correct car seat.

Check that you have the correct car seat.

Tiredness and being alert

Do you drive when tired or fatigued? If so, be aware that reduced reactions can have dire consequences. It’s important to take breaks or not even drive in the first place if you think you’re not 100% alert.

Using phones and other equipment

While against the law, do you still use your mobile hand-held while driving? As in ‘distractions’ above anything that takes some or all of your attention off the road is highly dangerous to you and your young passengers.

Use a hands-free Bluetooth device if your car doesn’t have it built in. Even then, protracted and in depth phone conversations on the move are not advisable.

The same applies to adjusting music devices such as iPods or stereos.

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Margins for error

While modern cars have many safety features designed to reduce the likelihood of accidents, don’t become complacent. For example, in wet conditions slow down rather than rely on your car’s anti-skid features such as stability control and anti lock brakes to get you out of trouble.

Safety equipment is there to help as a ‘back up’ but it can’t compensate for irresponsible driving.

Using sat nav

While sat navs make a big difference to finding the way in unfamiliar territory, be aware of your actions while following directions. When you’re told to turn or change lanes, don’t forget to take the usual precautions such as checking the mirror and indicating properly.

Set Sat Nav before you start driving, or stop to reset it.

Set Sat Nav before you start driving, or stop to reset it.

Safety first

Driving yourself and young family members about is a major responsibility, and there’s much you can do to be safe. A lot is common sense, but preparation and keeping your focus on the driving plays a major part. While you must focus on seats etc, remember that the vast majority of the things you can do to ensure your child’s safety involves your own performance as a safe, responsible driver.

 

Bonfire Night Fun

 

Remember, Remember the fifth of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot. Bonfire night is one of my favourite nights of the year, I love the chance to get wrapped up in your new Winter woollies, watching the sky light up with the most beautiful fireworks, keeping warm around a bonfire, whilst filling my face with hotdogs and hot chocolate. In general, I am not a fan of the great outdoors once Summer is ended, but for Bonfire Night I will make an exception.

During my childhood it was the norm to have a bonfire and fireworks in your garden, with Catherine Wheels tied to fence posts, bangers that made a lot of noise but did very little else, and everyone, including the nans and grandads and the smallest of children, holding a sparkler. If you are going to enjoy fireworks in your own garden, you need to look for a reputable supplier of safe fireworks from a company like Let’s Party Fireworks, who offer high quality fireworks like fountain fireworks, which are less noisy than regular fireworks, but with all the colour and sparkle, making them great if you have small children.

Health and safety implications, and the importing of so many unsafe fireworks has led to a rise in the popularity of organised firework events. There are so many lovely, organised displays that often tie in the fun of the fair, food stalls and fireworks that are really exceptional in their size and style, that it is now a whole family event to go to a real bonfire display.

I usually attend the bonfire at my son’s school, we’ve been for the last five years and it is always a great, professional display which also raises a lot of money for the school. If you are still looking for an organised display that is local to you, a good online search should help point the way to many displays in your area.

If you are going to a bonfire and fireworks display this year, there are a few handy tips that you can use in order to make your night go with a bang. The first is that you wrap up accordingly. The weather might be pretty mild for November, but once the sun goes down, it can be pretty chilly. Hat and gloves are a must, with leather gloves being a great idea if you are the sort of person who gets ketchup everywhere. Another way to keep warm and snug is to get there early to grab a spot near the bonfire – just head any safety signs and don’t get too close. Bonfires and firework displays are fun for all the family, but they can be very loud, which can be quite frightening for younger children (my boy is almost 9 and is still quite wary of the big bangs). For very young children ear protectors can be a sensible way to enjoy the lights and avoid the bangs.

Whatever you decide to do this November 5th, have lots of fun and, most importantly, stay safe.