Archive for September, 2015

Stylistic infelicities

Tension mounts as we have reached the stage where I and the printer of the Uttoxeter book are swapping emails with corrections and updated pdfs of the book in draft. The printer had done very well interpreting my instructions about where to place pictures within the text, and understanding how I wanted some edited in a particular way. Unfortunately what I hoped would be a quick skim through the pdf turned into a long trawl, as I found numerous examples of ambiguities or stylistic infelicities. An example of the former is realising that the word “it” may have more than one meaning in the context of the sentence in which it appeared. A typical style issue was the realisation that the same word pops up too often in a short space of time. These weren’t apparent when I proof-read the book the best part of a year before, yet they now seem so obvious! I remain hopeful that we can launch it on 30 October.

Meanwhile initial contact has been made with another individual related to previous Windsor racecourse managers/owners who I hope can help me. Another recent highlight was a meeting in a historic London club with another chap who used to work at the course. He had some great stories to tell, not just about Windsor, and he was very entertaining and hospitable.

My trip to Yarmouth was enjoyable, despite not betting on my nap – which duly won. However, I was lucky that I went on Tuesday, when the weather was fairly good. The heavens opened on Wednesday and the second day’s racing was abandoned halfway through the afternoon. The third day was called off too.

The latest ad hoc enquiry arising from one of my old books has come from somebody working on a project investigating early horse racing and training in the South Downs.  Once again the Alfred Day family is the focus of a question.  As ever in these situations, I do what I can and hope I get to hear the outcome.

Windsor research continues steadily, and I expect I will soon squeeze in a visit there and to Brighton to attend one of their last meetings of the flat race season.

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A week away followed by five days of racing, enjoying what may be the last summery days of the year, has meant very little done on the Windsor front in the last fortnight. However, a meeting with the boss at Windsor is being set up to discuss progress with the book. Their marketing lady, who I’ve been working with, has moved on to another job, which is sad for me but with luck her replacement will be up to the task of dealing with me.

I’ve spoken to the printer of the Uttoxeter book and early indications are that he’s happy with my guidance notes about what pictures to put where and which ones need a bit of doctoring. We now await his quote, hoping it’s not very different from the indicative one his firm provided over a year ago when we didn’t know how many words and pictures would comprise the final submission.

A couple of research questions have arisen at Brighton, one to do with the production of a timeline for their 2016 What’s On leaflet. The other is from someone trying to find memorabilia about the horses his parents used to own. I’d be surprised if there’s anything in existence connecting them particularly with Brighton but I’ll look through a few easy-to-access sources.

I aim to go to Yarmouth next week for (I think) my third ever visit there. A few days later the car goes in for a service and MoT, and I wonder how many of the 75,000 miles it’s done have been to and from race meetings. Off the cuff I’d say half, maybe more. Further plans are being hatched for autumn racing, but the priority in the next few weeks will be Windsor. Subject, of course, to any Uttoxeter business arising from what the printers say.  It could all get very busy at a moment’s notice.

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