A change of luck

The end of term and the summer holidays are with us – since I spend most of my time at home it’s a big change to my routine. Last week we had all the various end of term events including prize giving and sports days.

Ollie (my youngest) was a monitor at the prize giving and he had a little red badge to wear – for some reason he pinned it to his sock. Jane unpinned it and attached it to his shirt. This didn’t go down well – “You’ve ruined my life” he screamed and stormed off in floods of tears. We’re hard liners around these parts.

We got Eddie down for some coaching after the embarrassing spectacle of last year. There is a class prize for each class and Eddie had been hoping to win it – it wasn’t to be however. As little Maria went up onto the stage to receive her prize, Eddie slumped dramatically to the floor and started moaning. His moans got louder as the ceremony went on – eventually he had to be escorted from the premises. This year we had to be ready – I sat him down; “…and the class 1C winner is – Robert !”. His bottom lip started to quiver – he was clearly still not ready.

We got to the prize giving ten minutes before the start and sat down at the back of the hall – if you want the good seats you have to get there at least half an hour early. Ollie’s class came up early, and to our surprise he won the cup for his form. He’d fallen asleep on the floor and had to be woken up to collect his prize – he looked a bit bewildered on stage. I should have been happy but I wasn’t – the stakes had just doubled. The 1C cup came up and once again it wasn’t to be. I slumped back in my chair – it was going to be a very long day.

… and then it happened. As I sat empathising with Eddie’s sadness, the headmistress continued “… and the junior music cup goes to Eddie Black !”. I couldn’t believe it – Eddie appeared on stage, open mouthed with a tear stained face to receive his award. The worm had turned!

At the sports day later Eddie was his usual comedy act. In the sprint he ran in his strange exagerrated way, staring sideways into the crowd with a huge grin on his face. In the obstacle race the children had to walk along on large plastic feet. Eddie couldn’t get the hang of it and decided to jump along on one foot – by the time he crossed the line the winner had been announced and the other children had returned to their seats – his never say die olympic spirit put a smile on my face and a few other parents as well.

It’s been a rare good week with the horses. Peintre D’Argent won at Ascot yesterday, and looked good doing it. She’s won three now and I think there could be more to come – she met trouble in running and showed acceleration at the end to take it. Malpas Missile was disappointing last night, but we won the big one at Chester today with Blue Jack. He had the worst draw in the race, and there were discussions about pulling him out. He missed the break and took a berth on the rail at the back of the field – the gaps came and he was able to sneak up the inner and steal the race in the dying strides. Brilliant stuff and a real boost for the Manor House team.