Weblog: What do you mean the Wi-Fi doesn't work? The life of a Racing Post reporter
At least they have something to shout about
Back at Southwell today and there really is no pleasing some people.
Hacks are quick to carp at the lack of atmosphere during a typical midweek meeting here, when races can be run in the deathly silence of a university library.
Yet give them a bit of noise and they're just as jumpy.
A class or two of schoolchildren were here, being shown the ropesby Carrie Ford of the British Horseracing Education & Standards Trust, and cheered wildly each time the runners passed the post, as kids tend to do.
Unfortunately they were situated just in front of the press room, some of whose inhabitants were trying to concentrate and did not enjoy their enthusiasm. At all.
'Shouldn't they be back at school?' and 'Haven't they got homes to go to?' were among the few printable remarks from a couple of curmudgeonly souls, who made the Child Catcher in 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' look like Dr Barnardo.
But quote of the day was from Paddy Brennan and, as ever, it wasn't so much what he said but the way he said it.
After winning on Cheltenham hope Vulcanite, the jockey said: "He is the best horse I have ever ridden" - tiny, tiny pause - "at Southwell."
I'd not been at Southwell since mid-December and there has been no deterioration of the food in my absence. Today's chili was excellent, though not easy to eat as a cock-up on the cutlery front left most of us bereft of forks or spoons. Chili is scarcely finger food and watching one or two go at it armed solely with a knife was quite a sight.
Sad to report that the flag on the adjoining golf club was flying at half mast but apparently that is not an unusual occurrence - and according to the locals, geography is to blame.
It is a very flat course, you can see that from the holes sited in the middle of the racetrack, and the word is that that makes it popular with more mature golfers. Ups and downs take their toll on elderly hips and knees.
And unfortunately the older the membership, the more likely it is that there will be an occasional wielding of the grim reaper's scythe among the usual nine irons and three woods.