She said “just one more photo”…
In an attempt to show support for my wife’s passion in photography, I graciously agreed to a three day stint at Badminton Horse Trials. This was payback for all the fishing and shooting that I do and she, in this moment, holds that against me!
Being honest, this is completely fair and understandable. It did make me feel good about myself and makes all the arguments about me being selfish so much better. To me I have taken one for the team.
My wife loves being outdoors and loves a good shoot day. Fishing perhaps not so much however I am not sure that I feel that same way about ponies. Cross Country and show jumping have their excitement, usually involving water jumps or giant poles sitting at 1.3 metres high and twice as wide. Dressage is mind numbing. I know it takes a lot of skill etc etc but it’s too boring.
Years and years of being dragged to Horse Trials by my sisters built up a moderate understanding of, but also hatred, for ponies. The only good thing that came out of these trips was pony club. With two sisters came lots of “girl” friends. This and racing around collecting score cards on a quad bike was really good fun!
Back to Badminton; giving all due respect to the wife, she’d been given a full media pass for winning an amateur photgraphy competition by Horse & Hound. This did make me laugh and reminded of Notting Hill when Hugh Grant got stuck interviewing film stars for Horse & Hound.
Day one came which was Dressage day. Luckily for me this was a work day so I disappeared off with my son to meet clients and see what was going on in the retail stands. As I didn’t even see a horse, that day was a good day with the exception of searing heat which would be okay if you were sitting on a beach however I was carrying my 14 month old son in a backpack, wearing jeans and a thick lumberjack shirt. Not a good choice considering the glorious forecast.
Day two – Cross Country Day. I was actually looking forward to this as it is quite exciting or can be from time to time. With the red high vis jacket on the wife was off to fight for the best spot with photographers from all over the world. The enjoyment for me lasted approx. two seconds until I was ushered away for not having booked a table and being in a members only area. My pass obviously wasn’t premium enough. UIP – Unimportant Person.
Arch and I went for a very hot walk round the lake away from the rapidly growing crowds of 16,000 spectators who were getting all excited to see the first horse of the day tackle the water combination. Boredom was inevitable, however I wasn’t expecting it to be before the first horse!
It was by shear chance that I spotted an old family friend who happened to be fence judging at the water. A swift hello and I was under the tape enjoying prime position and a nice quiet place for Arch to have a sleep and me to stop sweating. I was fairly proud of myself as I only had a trade pass but managed to get a better spot than the photographers and the wife.
Needless to say this is when I started to get a little cranky. I waited and waited and waited. “Just one more photo!” was the title of every text that managed to get through (the mobile signal was poor to non-existent). If it wasn’t so damn hot the situation would have been so different however I don’t cope very well in heat and Arch wasn’t enjoying it much either.
Early afternoon came and it was time to run for cover. Arch and I hid in the shade for the next four hours while our very own paparazzi photographer cracked on and took a few more thousand images. Finally, it was time to head home and drink, a lot!
It was on the way home that we agreed our son should have a day off the heat and stay with Dad at home. Thank god!!! BBQ, tennis, family and wine was the order of the third day which I had ever so cleverly managed to get out of.
I’m not sure that my two days of ponies really gained me any brownie points but I feel like they should have done. The difference for me was that I was trapped. One car equals no way out and no way of me leaving. At least when we go fishing or shooting the wife can leave and do whatever she wants.
My ending thought was that two days of ponies has to equate to a week’s fishing. At least a week!