Ugly ducklings don’t always grow into swans

I’m not going to re-read this, so for any typos, forgive me, I’ll only change it

When I was growing up, I swum. A lot. So for ease, I had my hair cut short. I was clumsy, big footed, fell over things, fell over my words and towered over my peers at school. I was helpfully told I looked just like a boy, sometimes daily. I really struggled with how I looked, I was not the dainty little girl who had long hair. My hair, when it was long was poker straight, and I couldn’t, (still can’t) be bothered to do anything with it other than to either have it down, or scraped back into a pony tail.

I was 5’10” at twelve years old. I had a stand up argument with a teacher on my first day at senior school, I had been asked where a classroom was. Except I didn’t know where it was either, but the teacher who overheard didn’t believe me as I was so tall, I evidently was older and should know, so yelled at me for not being helpful. My parents struggled to get shoes to fit me every time, I still struggle now to get shoes, (another thing I like doing on my own as I know I get frustrated and cross when I go shoe shopping), I’m revving up for another training shoe shop. And I know I will be in a pair of mens trainers – again. I hate, hate, hate it.

But yet, my body has done well. Despite it’s funny tummy, IBS and coeliac. Despite my funny baby garden, dysmenorrhoea, fibroids and the occasional smear coming back with abnormal cells. Despite the shortsightedness, the clumsiness, the words spilling out of me too fast sometimes. Despite it all, my body works and carries me around. For that I’m grateful. For all my whinging when I get a cold or illness, what I deal with when I’m ill is nothing compared to some who deal with far worse, day in, day out. Even when I’m struggling to find five things to be grateful for each night, the first one I can find every day is my breath. Because so many people struggle to breathe every day.

My body issues, oh boy – they run far and deep. I don’t think I will ever be comfortable in my own skin. For too long I was told I wasn’t something, so when I get told I look nice, or pretty, or beautiful, I say thank you, but inside I squirm. I truly don’t believe it. There were years where I did my make-up in a compact mirror, so I didn’t have to look at the whole of my face. I thought I was the only person who did that until I read about it in a book and shouted silently ‘Comrade!’

I once taught a lady I worked with, Patsy, to swim. She wanted to not be the one who sat by the side of the pool looking after the handbags. But what do you teach someone who doesn’t feel comfortable with the body they’re in? Telling them they’re beautiful when they blatantly feel they’re not doesn’t help. Telling them that they’re funny, or they’ve a good personality, really doesn’t help. Over time, I’ve got better. Felt better. Having Peanut helped. I felt beautiful when I was pregnant, I’m sorry to my lovely girls who are TTC, I hope this isn’t a trigger for you. But I felt beautiful because I was amazed that this body I detested, loathed did precisely what it was supposed to do.

This week, an article in the Guardian website had me sitting open-mouthed at the breakfast table. Dustin Hoffman is talking about Tootsie. Why it was never a comedy for him. I’m not going to paraphrase it. I’d like you to watch it. The video is only 3 minutes 11 seconds.

I never thought I’d write this sentence: I didn’t expect a man to understand, so completely, the struggle I’ve had all my life. To understand that for the woman who’s standing in the corner of a room, at a party, looking at a painting or the books on the shelves, it’s because she’s trying not to blush and get her breathing under control. She’s not trying to prove she’s an intellectual, she knows that people aren’t going to look at her, because she’s not blonde, she’s not skinny, she’s not what people have been told is beautiful, but she promised a friend she’d be there. So she’s there. But she’s there under sufferance and is struggling.

Hubs and I actively tried for a boy. I didn’t want to bring a girl into this world, this world that looks even more now than ever before at the female form, and holds her entire worth against what she looks like – not what she is. I’ve enough pain and scars across my heart from not being the right height, weight, size, shape, or having the right clothes, shoes, hair cut, make-up *delete as applicable. I am going to teach Peanut that everyone is valuable. Just as they are. I want him to see inside people, to see their goodness, their sweetness, how interesting they are. I’m going to teach him to walk over to the girl in the corner, then to ask her how her day went.

A breach of trust

A couple of you have been in touch since I posted that they’re had been a breach of trust on Facebook. Without going into too many specifics, I think I owe you an explanation, so here goes.

I met a group of lovely women in a BellyBelly forum, grouped together by two-week dates, you joined the group your due date fell into. Luckily, us 13 women dotted about Australia, from Perth to the Gold Coast, from Torquay to Tasmania bonded quickly. I was the only woman expecting her first child, so I used their experience to answer the multitude of silly questions you have. Three years in, this group forms most of my closest friends.

We had created a secret group on Facebook and discussed everything from breastfeeding to meal planning. It was just us, and totally secure, so soon became a place to share our private thoughts and feelings. Thoughts on family members with cancer, questions about having more children, money worries, mental health, lumps in breasts, you get the picture.

One of the ladies hopped on today to say that she was going to have to deactivate her account, she was having problems at home. Then her husband popped up. In our group. With her log on. And blithely told us that he’d read through the entire group and that we’d encouraged her in the problems they were having.

I feel violated in a way I don’t know how to explain. My utmost fears have been read by someone I’ve met once, have no other connection with, yet saw fit to read EVERYTHING in a group that his wife was involved with, because they’re having problems. I’ve left the group, blocked her and her prick of a husband, and am shaken about what to do. Do I stay on Facebook, or not? I honestly don’t know. I was on there primarily because of them and my Mother’s Group, I’d only opened up my account to my other friends recently. I’m hidden, only friends of friends can find me, no-one can see my pictures unless they’re friends or I tag someone in them, I’ve done everything I can to make my cyber-life on Facebook as confidential as possible. Not just for me, but for Peanut too.

So I’m going to have some time out to assess the situation. Until I’ve made my mind up what to do, please feel free to message me, or text, or email, or call. Those of you in real life have all my details.

On Lance Armstrong

I’ve been trying to find the words for this blog for a while. And I simply can’t find them. So I’m just going to type and see where it takes me.

I rummaged around to find one of the posts I wrote on my old blog, (see previous post) about our trip to Adelaide to watch the Tour Down Under in 2010:

Anyhoo, today was the city stage, I will write about the shambles of yesterday when we get back to Melbourne, but today I was within INCHES of Lance Armstrong, and I mean that when I say it. I have one cracking photo of him for you, but you will have to trust me when I say I could have just extended my hand and touched him, I didn’t even have to stretch.


Excuse me, but it isn’t every day you get to realise a life time’s ambition:

Judi Dench in RSC play – check
Lance Armstrong in pro-cycling race – check

I’m not sure why his fall from grace, and from such a great height, has upset me so much. Maybe it’s because he’s been so vehement about not doping, maybe it’s because he lied, and lied, and lied, and lied some more to cover it up.

It annoys me intensely that cycling as a sport can’t seem to get their sport together, full stop. Riders in the past have been given a two year ban, which is worthless because they are then welcomed back with open arms. Contador went on to win again, but with the whiff of ‘is he or isn’t?’ that will permanently hang around him. It saddens me that a whole sport seems riddled with cheats, that riders are repeatedly approached to cheat, in numerous different ways, then appear to be sidelined and slowly inched out if they don’t comply. How is that acceptable, condoned and what on earth are the sport’s top brass doing about it? They cannot not know about it if it is that rife. It’s like CEOs that claim to know nothing about what is going on in their company, when it is your name on the bottom line, you make sure you know about what is going on.

I grew up swimming competitively. I was pretty good at it. I got to the point when I reached college age, that for me to get any better, faster, I had to up my training and concentrate on it properly. But by that point in my life, I was getting frustrated with the permanent smell of chlorine on my skin, and wanted a life that didn’t revolve around swimming pools. I didn’t want it hard enough. So I stopped. And have never really started again, nearly 20 years later. My body still remembers the movements, although with age, my joints ain’t what they used to be, and I know should I get back in the pool on a regular basis, I would get fitter and stronger quickly. Once you’ve trained hard, your body knows what is expected of it, and just gets on with it. Maybe that’s too simplistic a way of describing it, but I know that when I am a gym bunny, I certainly get results a lot quicker than other people that go to the gym alongside me. Spending years pushing my body in the pool and in land training, getting out of a pool and barely being able to walk, collapsing into bed with exhaustion, to get up early the next morning and do it all over again, was normal for both my brother and I through our teenage years.The irony of not wanting a life to revolve around swimming pools bit? I spent the next 5-6 years teaching swimming and lifeguarding all over the South of England, so still stunk of chlorine.

At 17-18 years old, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life (most of the time now, I still don’t). But I did know I didn’t want to swim any more. Was it rebelling against my parents, maybe. This isn’t about me. This blog is about someone who wanted to win so badly, he lied and cheated his way to doing it, but had an army of people around him protecting him and his reputation.

In some ways I’m glad his reputation is now in tatters. People are trying to balance it up against the foundation he created, but if you lie to that extent in one area of your life, what other shady things have you done in other areas of your life? Last week I threw out my Nik3 top with the yellow band on it. I can’t bring myself to wear it any longer.

The sport I love is in tatters, the man I held on a pedestal has fallen from grace, but far from what I’ve seen so far seems to be completely unrepentant about it. I got so fed up with F1 and the Poison Dwarf extorting and rorting the sport for as much money as he can, while most of the drivers flock to tax havens, I switched my energies to cycling. Now where do I go? Netball? Hardly.

TV coverage in sport has created problems all over the world, the sponsorship in some is so bad, you barely get to see any sport between the adverts. In car cameras are lovingly placed in the cab so you can see the sponsored gear-stick and dashboards. Football players demand more money, causing clubs hundreds of years old to collapse and fold when they’re not in the top flight and can’t meet wage bills. Games are rearranged around TV schedules, instead of the game rising above everything. Enough is enough. Please, let’s try to get back to basics of Faster, Higher, Stronger. Not greed, coverage, time delay.

Writers block, or out the habit?

Either way is, I know I’m not blogging as much as I want to, used to do or even as much as I feel I ought to. I’m not sure the reasons why are of interest, but because there are reasons plural, you can have a read of them:

  1. My daily routine doesn’t change that much, the weekly one not much also. I could tell you about how I make the bed each morning, and shine my sink like the Fly Lady suggests, but *yawn* it’s not very exciting is it?
  2. I could also gush about how great the baby is, but you’d get bored, and besides I have another blog for that. Not that I’m updating Yet Another Baby Blog either…
  3. I’m not reading much, so I am not writing much. I didn’t realise how much of a correlation they are for me. Reading prompts ideas and sentences appearing in my head, that words and blog posts then naturally flow from. I listen to the radio most days as I potter round the house, trying to read with an inquisitive six month old who is grabbing at everything is mostly focussed on Winnie-The-Pooh, Paddington et al. I try to read in bed before I go to sleep, but only ever manage a chapter at a time and my eyes are closing. Gone are the days where I could read all day *sob*
  4. I am conscious that I need to get into a routine with Peanut before I go back to work, and blogging is lower down the list under self-care (not that I go to the gym or swim), being a wife to Hubs, housework, catching up on sleep and 1001 other things that keep me away from the computer.

All in all, I am failing badly at being a correspondent for you on what is happening in my life. I keep promising I’ll try harder, but you know what, I am fed up of promising things that I can’t physically achieve. I am fed up of hoping things will fit in, the only way I fit in things at work is actually writing down what I need to do and crossing them off my list.

So here is my to-do list for tomorrow:

  • Meet with my boss for lunch
  • Go to IKEA to buy drawers for the unit in Peanut’s room so his stuff is away, not just on shelves. It will look neater and stop me twitching whenever I go in to clean his room
  • Work out what to do for dinner

For the rest of the week:

  • Meet with the Yummy Mummies to watch a DVD on Friday lunchtime
  • Work out what to do for dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Go swimming with Hubs and Peanut
  • Head down to Brother and Sister In Law’s to help round their house and garden
  • Apply for the child care rebate through the Centrelink website
  • Read more than 4 chapters by Sunday night
  • Catch up on 10 emails
  • Blog twice more

If you read this regularly, you’ll know if I’ve achieved the last one, you’ll get an email telling you!

On Santa Claus

After an in-depth discussion yesterday at the Yummy Mummies group, we’ve decided Santa Claus and the belief thereof is peer pressure. Pure and simple.

We all agreed that we didn’t want to lie to our children and make-believe in a character that doesn’t exist, but then did we want our children ostracised in the playground for being the only non-believers and having parents raging against us at the school gates? So what choice do we have? Hubs and I are going to tell Archie that Santa Claus brings his presents over from the UK, end of. We’re not going to do stockings for him, we’re also not going to buy 100s of presents for him either.

What I’d also like to do when he gets older, and what his cousins could seriously do with doing now, is to carefully go through his toys that he’s outgrown, doesn’t use or play with and pack them up to take to either a children’s hospice or hospital. I say this with all seriousness, particularly after watching his male cousin rip open presents, complain ‘I’ve already got that!’ and throw it over his shoulder to rip open another one. By the time we’d got to open our presents, it was gone six o’clock, we’d been at three different houses, Archie hadn’t slept much all day and had had a late night the night before, so admittedly I was tired out, but I still found it horrifying.

What was, if possible, harder to watch was the enormous pirate ship he’d been given, (opened first because it was the biggest present), being assembled by his dad as he’d demanded that he play with that first, for him to drop all the toys they’d given to him altogether and play on his new Nintendo 3DS. He’s five years old. This was after he had to be told three times not to open the presents Hubs and I had brought round to open with them.

And people wonder why I don’t like Christmas? It is no longer an amalgam of feast days and festivities across Pagan and Christian traditions, it is all about buying stuff. Stuff for people who don’t need more stuff. Stuff that unless you get rid of other stuff, will carry on cluttering up your home. Stuffing yourself on food, because we all have to have mince pies, and pudding, and chocolates, and nuts. We all have to push trolleys heaving with food around the supermarket because they’re going to close, and we’ve got this siege mentality. Shops are now shut for ONE DAY, and hell, if you really have run out of milk, practically every petrol station we drove past was open on Christmas Day anyway. Shops used to shut for days, so you had to stock up. Nuts and sweet things, mostly dried fruit, were brought as a treat because they were expensive, so people looked forward to having them all year, it truly signified a special time.

Now that we can get fruits, nuts and even strawberries all year round (not that they taste of strawberries); a wheel of dried figs, a tray of dates and a bowl of nuts to crack open doesn’t seem that special any more. Christmas Carols being sung outside started because Churches forbade Carols to be sung indoors. Lanterns were a necessity, in the northern hemisphere it can get dark at 4 o’clock, but covering your house with animated reindeers isn’t. The whole meaning behind giving thanks and being grateful for your blessings for the past year, bringing in a Yule Log that would burn for nights on end, lighting candles and sharing tasty treats has been lost entirely. Which saddens me, and is why Hubs said that Archie when he’d been given a present Archie would thank who’d given it to him, and we’d also give him a chance to actually play with each toy at a time. If that means saving up presents so he only opens one or two a day, we will do it.

Now before I get completely Grinch-like on you; this is my second vent about Christmas, I’ve got thank you cards to write, for a family giving us hospitality, particularly during a trying time, and also for the presents we’ve received.

I’m not one to brag…

But, I’m thinner than I have been in ages, and I mean, years. Breastfeeding or no, I’m eating healthily because what I get, Archie gets. We are walking every day, even if it’s just round the block, but usually it is over to Chadstone shopping centre or to Oakleigh. We go to the library every Monday as they run a baby/ child sing along which is good fun, also all the Yummy Mummies in our parent group live within walking distance of us too, so we toddle off every week to meet up with them.

The past five months have been a blur, as you can tell by the lack of blog posts (and emails…) But recently driving to a two year old’s birthday party, I realised I was itching to get back to writing and living again. I’m not just Archie’s Mama, I’ve spent a long time working out who I am and what I like. I don’t like sitting on the couch watching TV incessantly, but when you’re in a cluster feed/ sleep cycle, you end up parked there. I want to use my noggin again, think about things, learn things and actively, productively use my day.

In September I completed my Diploma of Management. Many people would have deferred it for a year, but I had wanted to get it done before Peanut arrived, so asked my coach for the absolute deadline and with the help of Hubs and the Manny got most of it done at home; then going into work on D-Day, Frin helped me with the last bits, I dictated while feeding Archie, she typed! Somehow, it was all printed and signed off 2 minutes before my coach got in the building. Obviously, I don’t want deadlines like that all the time, but every so often you do need to be pushed to the wire, it makes you appreciate forward planning and preparation!

Forward planning. People laugh at me for things I do round the house, and that every night my phone beeps at me with a list of jobs to do for the evening, and then beeps again with some more for in morning. Yes, I know that there are days when we don’t do anything, but most nights housework gets done and for the most part, the house looks and functions well. As soon as we come home, the nappy bag, (affectionately known as FRANK for F-ing Ridiculous Archie Nappy Kit) is replenished, so we can grab it and go the next day. We can leave the house within an hour of him waking up, including giving him a feed, changing him and me having a wash and getting dressed. It ain’t always pretty, but it’s quick.

Having also recently had two weekends away on the trot, we’re also pretty confident on what we now need to take for him. Although the first weekend wasn’t too great for me, as I didn’t take any clean undies, so had to wash them out in the bathroom and dry them with my hairdryer!

We are off to Queensland in the New Year for a week, and we’ve already started our list. We will have to take his car seat with us, amongst other things, but we are also curtailed on 23kg each so can’t over pack. Thank goodness for breastfeeding! Which is about where we came in.

Ten on Tuesday – Insomia edition

Updated; as I forgot to link this to Carole Knits.

I never used to have a problem sleeping. Then I separated from my first husband, and since then I struggle, and I mean struggle to sleep.

When we first separated, I was scared to go to sleep, as sleep was the only respite from the searing pain, but when I woke up, the pain refreshed and blindsided me every time. I’d read, nod off, drop the book. Wake up. Read, start to doze, turn the light out. Wake up. I’d lie there for hours trying to work out why, when I had been the one to want to leave and was making plans to go, when he left me, did it hurt so bad? I’ve come to the conclusion, it was because he ripped the power of my decision out from underneath me. At one point he couldn’t make his mind up between me and my friend who he wanted to be with. What a lovely man.

One of the reasons I found it so traumatic was due to him playing me like a puppet on a string. I didn’t know what was happening. I’d start to get some healing underway, he’d call me and f*** it all up again. It was a very trying, long 2-3 months. I also am hazy on what actually happened in what order, because my stress levels were so high, my memories are scrambled. I can remember some things with clear, distinct details, but not others. All I know is, now, I cannot and do not find sleep easy.

Which I why I love siestas, going to sleep in daylight for a couple of hours, I fall asleep quickly, sleep like a log, I don’t move and wake up feeling refreshed. I grab a siesta most weekends, sometimes I won’t set an alarm and will be comatose for anything up to 4 hours, sometimes I will set an alarm for 1hr 15mins, which is the optimum time (for me) to get some zzzs and not lose half a day.

Now when I go to sleep in the evenings, the room has to be near enough pitch black. To give you an example, I can’t get to sleep if there is a chink of light anywhere, I will lie there and stare at the curtains, willing them to close. I don’t want to move to close the chink, in case I wake my husband and he thinks I’m weird. If I roll over, I know it is still there. I used to sleep with thin cotton fabric, which let the morning sun through with a glorious pink glow. I can’t imagine it now.

I now also have an audio book playing from when the light goes out, to when the alarm goes off. Not loudly, loud enough so that if I wake up, I can listen to the words, write them in my mind and so I can drop off again. Because if I think about anything else, I’ll be up for hours.

As I approach the end of this pregnancy, I’m also struggling with getting to and staying asleep. Rolling over in bed requires me transferring the folded towel supporting my bump from one side to the other, not something you can do half asleep. If I lie on my back, I now can’t breathe deeply enough to let my breathing help me drift off. What I would give to sleep on my front. I fantasize about it. Lying on my tummy is fulfilled at the chiropractor, as she has a cushion with a hole in it to support pregnant ladies. Yesterday’s appointment, she put me on my front, gently made sure my pelvis was in position, and covered me with a blanket, leaving the room she told me to rest. I nearly started crying when she came back in again and I had to get back up.

The only thing I find helpful, and even then not all the time, are the Andrew Johnson podcasts. His Scottish burr is soothing, and while they worked earlier in my pregnancy, I unfortunately mostly now lie listening to them all the way through, although that’s because of my bump, not him. On average I get one decent night sleep a week. The rest of the time, forget it.

I’m sorry I don’t have any other tips for you on what to do, or how to get off to sleep. I’ve exhausted (boom boom) every option I know, and have accepted that the person I once was, who would and could sleep for England, who had to be woken up to be fed as a baby, is long gone. Lying next to my husband, who sleeps as soon as his head hits the pillow, while I take an age to drift off, is maddening. I miss lying in bed, wiggling into a sleep inducing position, and just sleeping – so much.

Friday 13th

I am not superstitious, to be honest, so many things have gone tits-up in my life, but on the other side of the coin, so many things turned out so wonderfully from the fall-out from those events. I can’t be bothered to look up why people have issues with this date, nor why people cross themselves in the UK when Magpies fly past them. However, Friday wasn’t a great day.

I’d booked a chiro appointment first thing, but before 8am the phone rang to say that she’d been up all night with her sick baby, so all her patients were being moved around. I was offered 3:15 and took it as I couldn’t see her the next day, Saturday. I headed into work, it was raining, cold and windy, in which weather Melbourne drivers seem to leave their brains behind, causing a hair-raising drive into the office.

Opening the door, I got lots of expectant faces turned towards me and was complained at by 4 people that it was cold. The heating wasn’t working. It was cold. They were freezing. ‘Hello’ seemed to have disappeared from their vocabulary. Looking at the temperature it was 15c in the office, so I called the Property Manager’s office. Closed till 9am, please call the emergency number. Called the emergency number and reported the fault. I sent an email out telling the staff that I’d called someone out, so they didn’t need to keep telling me it was cold in the office, as one lady kept going on, and on, and on about it. About half an hour later, I called the Property Manager to let them know I’d had to call the emergency number, after answering my call, the bint in the office said ‘Can I put you on hold?’ without waiting for a response, she cut me off. I called back, same again. Thought ‘Poke it’. Continue reading “Friday 13th”

Where to from here?

I’ve had a rather reflective week, what with one thing and another. We had a session on Work/Life/Health balance at work and planning out our lives for the next year. HR are going to take a distant overview of the plans to see if there are any activities they can help with, or even organise on our behalf; regular information sessions or walks or themed weeks and so on.

We’re all aiming to build up to a complete plan where the finite resource of our 8,760 hours we only have in a year are utilised to our best advantage. To help us extract the marrow of life, and ensure that some areas that are non-negotiable are planned for, as an example in the “Life” plan these are sacrosanct:

  1. Self
  2. Family
  3. Friendships
  4. Social
  5. Community

All too often people get caught up in the day-to-day minutae of their lives and miss what is going on under their noses. I know people think that Hubs and I are strange to go to bed so early, between 9:00 – 9:30, the alarm goes at 5:30 (for one thing). But we also lie in bed talking about our days, and even if I didn’t want to watch what he did on TV or vice versa, it means we have a clear hour where we can just talk.

While we sit at the table for dinner every night, making a conscious effort not to eat from our laps, but sometimes because Hubs may have only got in from work a few minutes before, he’s not fully unwound from his day and doesn’t feel like talking just yet.

Our coach was great fun, he dismisses Time Management as you can’t manage a finite resource, so he wants us to think long and hard about 3-5 things in each of the three areas that we want to achieve as an objective. We then need to think about what is blocking us from achieving them? Then, what issues will enable the objective to be achieved and so will knock the block out, then and only then, we can think about the actions we would take to meet our objective. Continue reading “Where to from here?”

An inconvenient truth?

I’ve had a great day today, I’ve got my hair cut, had lunch with friends and a snooze. In the back of my mind though all day has been the news coming out of Japan.

In the CBD today I passed people carrying placards that said ‘Price on pollution, our children are worth it’. I am sick and tired of people shoving climate change under the carpet, whining ‘These levels have happened before’ and maintaining that us humans are not having an effect on the earth. Hello? There are nearly 7bn people here now. We’re living in places we’re not supposed to live in, there are huge weather systems reaking havoc all over the world, if we caused them or not, it is immaterial – building on flood plains is not a good idea. In the past few months we’ve seen two huge earthquakes, we’re taking, and taking, resources out, this place is fragile, and I think it’s fighting back.

While I’ve had a hard week, nothing compares to what is happening in Japan. It is a harsh, sobering, reminder that there are more important things happening than having a cold and getting a bit behind at work.


In other news: Brendan Fevola, Australian’s answer to Charlie Sheen’s public meltdown, has gone on holiday with his brother today. He’s ignoring advice from anyone who has tried to influence him to get help and seek support for his gambling and alcoholic addictions. I must admit, I don’t have a huge amount of sympathy for him, however, surrounding him and shoving microphones under his nose is not going to help him.

Black Caviar is an unbelievable horse, who has raced 10 times, and won 10 times, a world record. In the Newmarket races today at Flemington, where they hold the Melbourne Cup, she ran again today. In this video of the whole race you can see that she is something else. She’s in peach with black dots, staying with the pack, with no whipping, at 300m out from the finishing line, the jockey Luke Nolen shifts her up a gear, with no whipping, and she just flies home. This country is a nation of gamblers, betting shops are everywhere, you can put bets on in pubs, hotels, online, from your phone. But watching a horse in action who is already being tipped by serious racing pundits as the best sprinter, ever, is a joy. Even just standing in her stable, she is a beautiful horse. The most amazing thing about this race? She was carrying 8kg over everyone else in the field.