In a weird way, the fantastic success of the Tour de France through England is good news for horse racing. It underlines the vast public thirst for being personally present at breath-taking sporting events. Think how the Olympics captured the popular imagination and brought millions teeming to the Olympic Park or at least to see the flame pass through their neighbourhoods. Same with the relatively tame progress of the Commonwealth baton through countries and high streets. The crowds were unfailingly there. A day at the races is indisputably one of the most completely captivating ways to spend time I have ever found – and I’ve tried a lot. So if racing fails to lure more new faces through the turnstiles it will have only itself to blame.
One of the chief duties of a coroner is not only to find out how someone died but also to alert the rest of us to dangers. A verdict may incorporate an explicit or implicit warning. This is what has happened in the most admirable way through the work of the Suffolk Coroner, Dr Peter Dean. Examining the sad death of a former Newmarket sportsman, he found that the way doctors at home and in hospital had treated a truly horrible flesh infection was a valuable insight into the condition. So now he is telling the nation’s Chief Medical Officer and so spreads the word. So often in public administration some calamity ends with an inquiry showing the left hand did not know what the right hand was doing. Dr Dean helps solve that stupidity.
I was slightly surprised to see our travel column recommend Egypt for holidays because it’s so quiet since terrorists drove away the hordes. I feel the same about Syria. This could be the perfect moment. But better pack a flak jacket with your sunsuit.
I am always astonished when planners, councillors and those who set themselves up as arbiters of good taste deplore minor eyesores while happily permitting huge horrors. Thus, Newmarket’s old Doric cinema has had to be repainted because officialdom and others, probably quite rightly, thought the colour scheme deplorable. Meanwhile, in the middle of the East Anglian countryside surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, planners permit petrol stations that would look out of place in a big city with their horrendous, tacky plastic canopies and signage in lurid company colours. But I guess it’s easier to gun for a small-town outfit than an international oil company
Three cheers for Burrough Green for refusing to be beaten by the brutes who burned down their mini-public library in the old telephone kiosk. The first attempt was torched by twits. The only way to respond to that sort of idiocy is to pick yourself up and start all over again.
I see there has been an outbreak of lawn mower thefts. I wish someone would steal mine.