There were two things I wanted to do today and I have done neither.
The first was to go to the Point-to-Point. I resigned myself yesterday to the fact I would miss it because I am skint. Ratcheugh is the coldest place in the world: it has its own weather system transposed from Siberia. Even on a beautiful spring day, you can be assured that the crowds will be shivering. However, today has been veritably hot so I imagine Ratcheugh reached a tolerable temperature.
It is a place of giant skies and stunning views, even for those who are not of a horsy inclination; you can see the sea and at this season’s first meeting in January, we saw Robson Green. He was smaller than I imagined and impossibly tanned for the time of year.
I should also now be at a birthday party. But my sister has decided she is too tired and as I am a wussy girlie, I am not going on my own. It’s probably a wise decision: there is bound to be a fight. There are always fights. When I was younger, it was the local lads versus those who had the audacity to come here from elsewhere for a drink. Then, there was a nightclub of sorts and police presence on a Saturday night to deter the drunken brawlers.
Now, locals fight among themselves. I have seen the trouble erupt from nowhere: no argument, no raised voices, just suddenly spilled drinks and tables turned over as some unfortunate is bashed about. Sometimes it is the local lads against the Polish lads. The shouting alone is frightening; then the Polish lads fetch a knife and the tension is ratcheted another notch. The police, however, are no longer on hand; they have to be called in from elsewhere and the damage has been done before they arrive.
Brawling upsets me. I don’t understand why they do it. I wonder if they do? Perhaps it’s a sign I’m getting old.