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Simon's Racing & Devon Diary #8



Well, what can I say, there's be a lot gone on since my last 'Diary' post in 2023. I started the year being told I had angina and the last three months of it recovering from the heart bypass that I had on September 13th, luckily not a Friday,  lucky if I was superstitious of course, which I'm not. I start my 'rehab' this month, but it's amazing how fast the recovery was. I had my operation done on the Wednesday, was out of intensive care on Friday morning and home on the Monday. I was back at Exeter races a month after, though in hindsight that was a bit quick, but now, four months on I'm feeling pretty good. The 'rehab' which is supervised exercise at the gym should elevate the 'pretty good' to great, that's the plan. I will say, to anyone reading this, any chest pains you might suffer, even if you are in peak condition, especially if they are indigestion or heartburn types, get yourself checked out, I was in denial for a couple of months, don't be like Simon, get it checked out straight away.

Anyway, I missed a lot of my beloved racing last summer, I was a non-runner everywhere from the Oaks onwards. I can't wait to get back on the turf, and as much as possible. You only need a couple of days in intensive care feeling as vulnerable and lucky as it's possible to feel in combination to put your life in perspective. My wife and kids of course are number one passion but going racing and music are very important to me for both work and pleasure. Living life to the full is the blueprint for the rest of my life. 

I've been to a couple of point to points this season, not as many as I'd like, there lots on Sundays so I don't want to neglect passion number one too often. I do love point to points though, the latest was at Chipley Park which is my local Tiverton meeting. I made a short, less than five minute video, which stars my mate Harvey. Check it out, and if you've never been to a point to point, you'd be most welcome. 


While Harvey was making the bookmakers suffer at the point to points there has been some controversy here in Witheridge, Devon. For some reason the quarterly hourly chimes from the church clock which have kept the villagers aware of the time for as long as anyone can remember, apart from when they were broken, have been silenced. Another breakdown was suspected, but no, they were intentionally halted after someone complained to Environmental Health protesting that they were being disturbed by the dongs and the dings. That's right, just one person in the whole village has complained and they church clock was stifled. Feathers were ruffled and hackles raised even more when unfounded rumours abound that the hitherto unknown complainant has recently moved into the village, into a building that is the main road directly opposite the church. You couldn't make it up, there's been a poll on facebook, it's unanimously in favour of retaining the chimes, not one person, so not even the person who complained voted to lose them. There were almost 400 'for' votes. The next parish council meeting is next week and it's expected to get lively. Watch this space! 


January can be a miserable month, we all need something to look forward to. How about booking a 'Racing Experience' with Nigel Hawke at Thorne Farm down here in Devon. You can book to stay at the yard in their holiday accommodation, complete with jacuzzi, watch the horses work up the gallops then spend a VIP day at the races, either Exeter, Taunton or Newton Abbot. I'll be helping Nigel and the Thorne Farm team with hosting. There's more information here. Thorne Farm Racing Experiences 

Finally, before Christmas I had a few enquiries about my then out of print book, 'Skint Mob'. I got a bit carried away so ordered some more copies to be printed. I'm now the proud owner of a couple of boxes of them. I evidently overordered so am now offering them for sale at their cover price of £9.99 POST FREE. If you want a copy please either pay via PayPal 'Friends and Family' and don't forget your address, email me, and if you'd rather pay BACS email for details. 

Thanks for reading.



If you don't already have accounts with either of my bookmaking sponsors, they are giving away free bets and the like for your custom. Click on any of the links for more information. I'm on a kickback if you lose, so bet responsibly and try your best to clobber them! 



Thanks to Harvey Instance below and the benevolence of the Devon and Cornwall bookmakers!