I’ve been to the races a few times this year, and this post is about one such a time. This particular trip to the nags was to Sandown Park to see a compote of flat and jump racing, known as the Bet365 Gold Cup. The day started innocently enough, a train into Waterloo and then onto Esher from there, beers in hand. Casting my mind back I think we actually made a mistake when we changed at Clapham and added 30 minutes to the journey, there was definitely some sort of mix up.
There are plenty of touts plying their trade at the station of Esher and during the intermediate walk to the, well, stadium. Just give the mothers a wide birth, I did. Once inside it was a tad annoying, the only bear they had was Carling which, to my mind, is total gnat’s piss. What’s more the little sods charge you upward of 4 quid a pint.
That aside, it is a proper nice place, one of the nicest grandstands in the business I’ll wager. Anyhow, I managed to go the entire meeting without one winner. There’s something afoot here, bloody dastardly. After the races we went to a couple of pubs in Esher, the mainstay being The Wheatsheaf and I think we had a beverage or two in The Bear as well.
I do recall leaving The Wheatsheaf, with company, and popping into the off licence en route to the station and getting some Strongbow. However, this was to be the last of my memory before coming round walking down a road heading (unbeknownst to me) towards Penge. Having never been to Penge before, and subsequently not having the foggiest idea where it is, I was rather alarmed when I walked into the high street and discovered Penge Station. I remember thinking to myself “Penge?”
It was about 4am and I got some cash out in anticipation of attempting to find a taxi to take me home. I had to ask a man who was operating an all night mini mart where the taxis were, he was locked in the shop behind bars… Penge isn’t the nicest of places. He pointed them out to me and I walked over and ordered my taxi to Redhill. I did consider sleeping on a bench at the station and waiting for the trains to start but I just wanted out, I wanted to go to my domicile and sleep.
The taxi was £40, this added to my losses on the nags made for a pretty pricey trip out, this was not, as the frogs say, “Prix Choc”. No-one seems to know how this happened. It is thought that I boarded the correct train with the others and got off at Croydon, for some reason, and just started walking. That’s it, pick a direction and go.