The Summer Season progresses and today is the first day of Royal Ascot. George has taken the day off to take Caroline to the races. George did a great deal of research, read the website carefully, and decided to go with a black Silk top hat.
The car arrived at 10.00 and by 11.30 and George and Caroline were in a car park greeting friends, also from West London. The champagne was on ice. George had tried his best to hire the Butler who was reported today in a Telegraph report about an unfair dismissal case throwing tantrums and smashing crockery because he did not want to do the washing up – but to no avail.
An early lunch was taken. A catering agency provided the victuals and a butler.
Caroline was talking to a close friend about returning to work. George was in a group of men, all from the City, talking about Barclays and HBOS. George then took one of the group to one side to have a private conversation.
George: Jonny… I think Caroline may be having an affair.
Jonny (Eton and Brasenose College, Oxford): Really? What makes you think so?
George: Long lunch with her ex-boss… she’s thinking of going back to work… told me that she was meeting up with a girlfriend in the evening… but called the girlfriend to speak to Caroline on the pretext that I couldn’t get through on Caroline’s mobile. She wasn’t with Caroline and not quick enough to cover.
Jonny: I see. And… what are your thoughts on this?… laissez-faire?… licence to yourself?… I mean, you’re not exactly a saint. Not a great time for divorce and financial settlements, I wouldn’t have thought.
George: Divorce?… no way. No… I’m quite pleased as it happens…
One of the other men walked over, already mildly over refreshed, and the moment of confidences was gone. Lunch was completed and the group wandered off to watch the races. The Queen arrived in a Landau drawn by grey horses. The BBC commentator muttered something about the fact the horses had been at The Trooping of The Colour on Saturday and that the livery worn by the horsemen was peculiar to Royal Ascot.
The party watched the jockeys being paraded for the crowds’s attention – a Royal Ascot first – and George asked one of the group where Becher’s Brook was, only to be informed that it was in Liverpool. George was not phased by this information and wandered over to talk to Caroline.
George: Enjoying it?
Caroline: It’s great… you?
George: Absolutely… I’m going to wonder about… have a look around.
George grabbed a bottle of champagne, filled his glass and wandered off, taking the bottle with him. He had walked but fifty yards or so when his iphone rang.
Katja: I can see you… you are about fifty yards away. How are you George?
George stopped in his tracks, quickly scanned the crowd and saw Katja standing ina group of men wearing grey top hats. She was the only woman in the group.
George: Katja… got you… who are the guys?
Katja: Bankers… a partner from a City law firm and a partner from an accountancy firm. How goes it?
George: It goes well…. can you get away… place a bet or something, powder your nose?
Katja laughed: I can do all three… shall we both powder our noses?