I shouldn't have done it but then again I have little or no self discipline. Instead of working on my new crime novel I sat down with a cup of tea and watched Royal Ascot the other week. For those readers who do not know what Royal Ascot is, I would best describe it as a cross between Downton Abbey and the Kentucky Derby. Men in top hats and waistcoats accompany ladies in the most extraordinary headgear and amazingly high heels. A great many people go to bet on the horses - some of the finest are competing - and a lot more come to be seen and possibly to be interviewed and complimented on what they are wearing (that would be the ladies rather than the men, I think, since men never get compliments on what they wear).
Royal Ascot is a wonderfully British event, I always think. It wouldn't be half so appealing without the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh driving to their Royal box in an open horse-drawn carriage. The appearance of the Sovereign makes you feel that all is right with the world despite all that stuff you see on the news. Yes, it is tough out there but for a few glorious days you can focus on horses and riders and proud owners and even prouder trainers. I must admit I lapped it all up. I love horses, racehorses in particular. Horse racing really is the sport of kings and queens and if I ever win the Euromillions I will buy myself a couple of these wonderful animals and watch them run at Royal Ascot or - dream on - at the Arc de Triomphe. Oh and I'll invest in a few futuristic hats and hope to be interviewed for television.
Meanwhile, I had a great time watching the races and although occasionally a little voice would pipe up in my ear and tell me I should be writing or walking on the beach, I managed to ignore it and not feel any real pang of guilt. For me, it was all time well spent.