I'm not going to be blogging much this month, having commited myself to doing NaNoWriMo for November. Basically the idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month, even if it's crap.
Every year, I make noises about doing it, and every year, I feel guilty because I don't.
Not this year.
Having said that, it's day two and I've yet to write a word.
Anyway, even though I was determined NOT to blog today, there's been so much action on twitter, I couldn't help but join in.
That's because it's Melbourne Cup Day.
To those foreign folk, it's supposed to be the 'race that stops a nation'. Basically, jockeys ride horses and people bet on who is going to win.
There is also much dressing up, flirting, and drinking, usually ending with people going home shoeless, with torn clothes, and perhaps personal parts of their bodies falling out. (And yes, I'm talking about the adults).
I haven't done Melbourne Cup in ... Oh I can't even remember.
It used to be one of the most fun days of the social year.
One of my earliest memories is of being taken out of school and into the TV room to watch the race, as teachers excitedly urged on their horses, and then were either super nice for the rest of the afternoon or super grumpy.
When I was a young journalist, The Cairns Post management would always put on a catered lunch, including cold chicken and champagne. We'd always dress to the nines on those days (at least the women did), drink us much free bubbly as we could, then stumble back to our computers to bash out a few more stories or headlines.
Later, as a freelancer, I'd meet up with a few fellow writers, and we'd do Melbourne Cup lunch. It was never a knees-up affair, but it was an excuse to dress up and enjoy one of the benefits of freelancing - being able to enjoy a long lunch if you wanted to.
When I lived in London, Melbourne Cup Day was one of the few times I'd go to an Aussie pub, where we would watch the race on a big screen.
And when I came home to Australia after several years overseas, it was early on Melbourne Cup Day. Having spent the past few months in Thailand and Taiwan I hadn't even realised. We arrived home in the morning, slept off the jetlag and walked to the nearest shopping centre to watch the race.
Since having kids, I don't think I've ever been to a Melbourne Cup event, so it took me a while to find a photo in racing dress-up mode.
This one was taken in Cairns, and I thought I looked pretty damn special at the time. I didn't back a winner, but I didn't end up throwing up in the gutter and shoeless at the end of the day, so I'm calling it about even.