They reckon you should write about what you know.
Sound advice. But limiting.
I mean, what do I know? In 47 years and a few weeks I haven’t managed to discover a continent or a solar system. No medical breakthroughs, or near-death experiences. I can’t spill the beans on Hollywood. I don’t even know how to grow beans.
Can I help you around the house? There’s a laugh. Zero ability with hammer, hardwood or heating. Cooking? Enough to get by. But hardly brimming with signature dishes.
So what have I been doing all this time? I’ve been a journo since they used Remington typewriters. No mobile phones. Bosses could only find you if they knew the number of the pub. Yes, I know stuff about the bizarre workings of news gatherers. But do I want to bring my work home even more than I do now? No. And do you care? I think not.
Everyone, it seems, writes about family. That’s nice. I love my family. But we’re not always that exciting. No offence girls. And I see the potential to spend even more time in the doghouse if I start revealing tales about introductory fitness sessions for 40 year old mothers and selecting bras for teenagers, in the hope of a few cheap laughs. So that’s out too.
It comes down to this. There’s only one thing that I’ve done without fail for more than thirty years. On weekends and weekdays. At weddings and funerals. At school, at the local, on the bus, at the beach, on holidays and at home. Sometimes alone. Or with 100,000 like-minded people.
A pursuit that’s given me huge highs and crushing lows. Introduced me to life-long friends, and grubs. To superstars. And athletes and animals able to perform miracles. A habit that continues to excite, shock and amaze.
This subject, my friends, is racing.
The world of horses, jockeys, trainers, racetracks, punters, bookies, odds, strappers, conmen, spivs, glamours, tragics, success, misery and luck. Most of it bad.
For some of you, this will come as no great surprise. I dare say the great majority at this stage will be looking for the Block mechanism on your computers, so that you’re not exposed to such dribble. That’s ok. The beauty of this Blog business is that it doesn’t matter. It might be just me and a mate, giggling about a memory from our first visit to Eagle Farm. Or a tale of woe about my absolute inability to find a winner. Over three decades. You might find a laugh, and I’ll feel better for venting.
There’ll be a bit of footy too. Maybe some other sports. But by and large, it will be happenings of the turf.
Welcome to Hold All Tickets. For non-punters, that’s what the course announcer says ahead of a protest. See, you’re learning already. Have I told you about how unlucky I am in protests? That’s a story for down the track. Or to totally ignore. The choice is yours.
You’ll see it every Friday. Just in time to ignore anything I might tip. And on other days if there’s something worth grumbling about.
If you have racing friends, let them know. They might enjoy it. They might also throw rocks at the screen. That’s fine too. One thing I have found after all this time is that the racing community the world over shares so many traits. Like a giant family. Perhaps with taller stories and shorter cousins.
So no home renovation advice, or relationship guidance, or pasta recipes. Just the ramblings of a bloke who likes a punt, and loves sport and the racing game. It’s sounding better all the time.