Tag Archives: Ascot

Messi Time

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really good couple of weeks. Mine have been busy and fun. As a season ticket holder at Tottenham Hotspur. I managed to get myself along to the Champions League game against Barcelona at Wembley Stadium. It was a match I had been looking forward to since the draw was made.

Unfortunately going in to it we had a few injuries to key players. But I still felt we could give them a good game. Although we were a goal down inside the first two minutes. Thanks to some genius from the legend that is Lionel Messi. And possibly a little bit of poor decision making from the otherwise excellent Hugo Lloris.

Tottenham v Barcelona
Tottenham v Barcelona

It was a very exciting game to be at. The place was full and the atmosphere was great. Well it was at least for the first few minutes. Then it did go a bit quiet when they scored. Spurs put in a battling performance. There were two moments. When we pulled goals back. That I did think might see us grab a draw or even the win.

Even if we had managed that. Although we played well. We would not really of deserved it. Barcelona were by far the better team. It was an honour to get to see Lionel Messi play in person. He is still, I think the best player in the world. And Yes I have seen Ronaldo play to. He struts around like he owns the place. Always finds space. He can pass, dribble and shoot better than anyone.

He scored two great goals and hit the same post twice. It was a great pleasure to see him play. That Barcelona side has a lot of very good players. But he still looks head and shoulders above of all them. It is possibly the first time I have seen my team lose. And not been too disappointed. We gave it our all. And we were just beaten by a better team.

Neil Quigley and Lionel Messi
Neil Quigley and Lionel Messi

A few Friday’s ago some mates and I made our now annual visit to the Ascot Racing Beer Festival. It is just a good excuse to all meet up, have a laugh and watch some racing. Oh and have a few drinks. Well it is a beer festival. So it would be rude not to. We decided to go a bit crazy. And spend an extra five pounds each for the King Edward VII Enclosure.

One of my friend’s took responsibility for buying the tickets. I then sensibly checked out the dress code requirements. And sent them to the Whats App Group. That we had set up for this event. This is how seriously we were taking it. We had to wear a shirt with a collar, tie, and a Jacket. I suggested we should all wear suits. Which to be fair, everyone did.

On the day. We met up outside the race course. As the friend who bought the tickets, still had them. When I arrived I noticed that he was not wearing a tie. Almost straight away I asked him if he had one with him. He said no. Then claimed it was not a requirement of the stand we were going in to. I however said otherwise.

Ascot Beer Festival
Ascot Beer Festival

Anyway as we go to walk into the King Edward. He is stopped and told he cannot go in without a tie. The gentlemen informs him that he can buy one downstairs. He then heads off to find himself some neck wear. With us being the great friends we are. We went straight into the enclosure to all get a beer.

We then get a message from him saying the cheapest tie he can find is sixty five pounds. We offer to forfeit the great views and private bars we have. To spend the day downstairs with him. He feels bad, so he goes out in to the High Street to find a tie. But he still cannot find one.

Then he comes back in to the racecourse and finds another shop in the grounds. Where he buys a tie for fifteen pounds. He must have been gone about twenty minutes. He then comes and joins us in the stands for the rest of the day. The moral of this story is always make sure you read all Whats App messages properly.

King Edward VII Enclosure
King Edward VII Enclosure

We had a great afternoon, chatting, catching up and laughing. They also had my favourite locally brewed pint there. Which is Rebellion IPA. They are based in Marlow. So it had not had that far to travel to Ascot. It was lovely as ever. I also sampled a pint of the very local Windsor & Eaton Brewery’s Champions Day Ale. Which was also very agreeable.

I think everyone had at least one winner during the day. We had a great view of the whole course and the finishing line. From where we were up in the King Edward VII Enclosure. Once the racing was over. We then went to a pub in Ascot for a few more drinks. Luckily they had a barbecue there selling cheeseburgers and hot dogs. We had somehow neglected to get any food during the afternoon. So it was a much needed snack.

It was a brilliant day spent with good friends. We have already made plans to do the same thing next year. Hopefully my mate will make sure he wears his newly purchased tie to. We then got a taxi home. Stopping off in High Wycombe to get some more food.

I was not sure what I fancied. Then I spotted a new Chinese Take-Away. I just grabbed some Chilli Beef and some Dim Sum. The food was great, although I ate it using just my fingers. It was not till I had finished. That I noticed they had put a plastic knife and fork in the bottom of the bag. But on the plus side I will know that next time.

Ascot Beer Festival
Ascot Beer Festival

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending my cousin’s wedding. The ceremony was in a local church in Monks Risborough. In fact, it was the church associated with my Primary School. Therefore for me, being in there waiting for her to arrive. It bought back memories of concerts, Harvest Festivals. And the time I played a Monk in a play there.

I did have plenty of time to do this. As she was about fifteen minutes late arriving at the church. Her husband to be, was cool about it. And took it all in his stride. Plus to be fair, he had already predicted that should would almost certainly not be on time.

It was a really lovely service. My dad gave a reading towards the end. Which he did flawlessly. It really was a job well done. And I was very proud. I did give him a little bit of coaching. When he first started rehearsing it. Therefore I think I should get some of the credit for his performance.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

With the marriage ceremony completed. It was then off to the Reception. Which was being held in Burnham Beeches. They had laid on a mini bus to take us there and back. We each had a little snack goody bag to enjoy on the way there. Keeping our energy levels up until the Wedding Breakfast later on. It was Champagne on arrival. Credit to the waiting staff. They were very proficient at topping up glasses. My planned one glass of fizz turned in to being two.

We had some photos taken. Then it was time to sit down for food. The meal was great. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Once the deserts had been tidied away it was time for the speeches. My cousin sadly lost her dad a few years ago.

Her Mum gave her away in the church. And her Sister in effect gave the Father of Bride speech. Although she very much did make it her own. It was an exceptional speech and performance. Pitched I felt perfectly for the occasion. Plus it was very funny. I rate myself as a bit of a public speaker. But I am not sure I would have wanted to follow that.

The Happy Couple
The Happy Couple

That task fell to the Groom. Who did a splendid job. Before passing the baton on to the Best Man. He did a fantastic job to. Nothing was missing . It was a text book speech with all the key elements in there. After the speeches it was time for a few more group photos. While the room was reset for the evening do and disco.

I must admit that is probably the most I have danced for a while. But rest assured I still have all the moves. I am more than match fit and ready if Strictly Come Dancing come calling.

Wedding Fun
Wedding Fun

They also had one of those photo booths there. You know the ones where they have a bit of dressing up box. And you can go in and take silly photos. I ended going in there five times with different people during the evening. It was good fun. I am looking forward to seeing some of the pictures.

I had a really lovely day. Talking to lots of relatives. I had not seen for a while. Having a bit of a boogie. Taking funny photos. But mainly of course celebrating the special day of a beautiful couple. Who I wish a very healthy and happy life together. Congratulations to the both of them. Thanks for letting me share your big day with you. We left just before midnight, so I did not turn in to a Pumpkin.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

There is quite often something unusual or interesting happening outside my place of work. Which I must confess, I like. As I walked out the door to head home the other evening. There was a full orchestra and large choir performing the classic song from Mary Poppins. That is “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

It sounded brilliant. And I must confess it did put a spring in to my step. And make me smile, as I went past them. I enjoyed it so much I would now like that to happen every time I leave to go home. It was in my head for the next two days. I could not stop singing it!

BBC
BBC

People of Buckinghamshire and surrounding areas. This is your last reminder that the brilliant Evita comes to the Wycome Swan from the 23rd October for a week. My good friend. The super talented Mike Sterling is playing Juan Peron in it. I went and saw it a few months ago in Great Malvern. It is a sensational production of a classic musical.

I am going to the opening night on the Tuesday. I am looking forward to seeing the show once again. Plus catching up with Mike. As I said if you can get yourself a ticket to see this then do. You will not be disappointed.

Evita
Evita

Lee Ryan was voted off of Strictly Come Dancing last week. It was a shame to see him go. He is a nice bloke and good fun.

I did a gig with him in Yeovil once. During his solo career. After he had performed he stayed around for the rest of the night drinking and chatting to the audience.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil

Racing Away

Hi there, how are you doing? I hope you have had a really nice couple of week’s. Mine have been quite busy with some fun things going on. A couple of Saturday’s ago. I went to Ascot for an afternoon of racing with one of my best mate’s.

He turned forty earlier in the year and me going to the races with him was part of my present. Always treat people to something you enjoy doing yourself, as a gift. That is my tip. Now we randomly selected a date that we would both be able to make. And would you believe it just so happened to be their Beer Festival meeting. I mean what are the chances of that?

We got to the course around midday and collected our race cards, our beer tokens and our festival pint glasses. They had over two hundred and eighty different beers to try there. So if we were to get round them all. We certainly had our work cut out.

I do have a couple of favourite local brewery’s. And as luck would have it. They all turned out to be there. These are the Rebellion Brewery in Marlow,  XT Brewery in Long Crendon and The Windsor & Eaton Brewery. Which I am sure you can work out for yourself, where they are based.

Ascot Racing
Ascot Racing

So to be honest we stuck to these brands during the afternoon. Just sampling a few of their different ales. I hasten to add. It was a fun afternoon. Ascot is a great course with a fantastic grand stand from which to enjoy the races. But as it is a venue that is often visited by Royalty. I guess that you would not expect anything less. It was nice just enjoying a few drinks and trying to win some of the beer money back on the races.

Although it is fair to say we were not very successful on that front. We both had horses pipped at the post. That would have got us a win each. And the only success we had was my friend got a second place for a horse that he had backed each way. I do enjoy an afternoon at the races but I have still never met a poor bookmaker.

We grabbed some food while we were there. To keep our energy levels up of course. I did like the combinations of some of the food and drink outlets they have there. For example we enjoyed a lovely real Cumberland sausage hot dog from the Champagne and Grill Bar. Where you could buy a bottle of Bollinger with an accompanying hot dog or burger. And to my surprise many people were.

Another great afternoon out. Most people get dressed up to go to the races. So it has the feel of being at a giant wedding. With the added bonus of some horses to shout for. Always a great day out win or lose. Although let us be honest, it is better if you do have a few winners.

Ascot Racing
Ascot Racing

I am really enjoying this series of Strictly Come Dancing. Once again there are some really good and entertaining couples. And I always like seeing the close relationships that develop between the professional dancers and their celebrity partners.

I would still not like to pick a winner yet at this stage of the proceedings. I think there has to be a few of them in contention. Personally I have not got a favourite yet. So I am actually a little bit sad when I see any of them leave. But that is the deal. And the way the show has to work.

I did feel really sorry for the first one’s to go Melvin Odoom and his partner Janette Manrara. I think he is just the sort of character you want around the place. Upbeat smiley, fun and to be fair to him not the worse dancer there by a long way. Also it is a shame to see a fantastic dancer like Janette go so early. But again that is the nature of the beast.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

It was unfortunate to, in the way it happened with Anastacia being unable to take part in the dance off due to injury. I really like her and with what she has been through she is truly an amazing person. But it just seems almost wrong that by not dancing she went through. I appreciate they are the rules and they have to be in place for matters like this.

And ultimately it was the public who decided who went. So basically anyone who was not happy with the outcome. Unless they voted for Melvin cannot complain. If they thought he should still be in the competition. They should have voted for him.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Although he has done a bit of television presenting. He is best known for being on the Kiss FM Breakfast Show. Which is a big national station and has some very impressive listening figures. But I think the audience that listens to him on the radio would not necessarily be the kind of people, who may watch the show. And even if they did. I imagine they would probably not vote.

Which possibly led to him going so early on. Even though there are less accomplished dancers than him still in the competition. Or to look at it another way. It is just a fun Saturday night entertainment show. They know what they sign up to and being voted out is all part of it.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

The next celebrity to go was Tameka Empson. Who was was sent home by the judges after a dance off with Laura Whitmore. Again to be fair I thought both of them were very unlucky to be in the bottom two. There were worse performances and neither of them really deserved to leave the competition at this point.

But the best dancers are not always the most entertaining. It goes out on a Saturday Night. So why shouldn’t we enjoy some silliness and appreciate the people who are trying their best but just ultimately making us laugh.

Yes it is a dancing competition but part of the reason it has lasted so long. Is that the celebrities involved are not dancers. It was a shame to see Will Young leave the show for personal reasons. I thought he was progressing along very nicely with his partner Karen Clifton.

I wonder who will go this week. Or if indeed anyone does after this shock departure. I have no idea what they will decide to do. But I suspect they will carry on as normal and as ever one couple will be out on Sunday.

On the way to BBC New Broadcasting House
On the way to BBC New Broadcasting House

Last Tuesday evening I managed to get myself a place in the audience for The One Show on BBC One. It is their mid evening magazine style show that is on Monday to Friday at just before seven. It just so happens to be filmed at the same place where I work. But it was the first time that I had been in their studio.

The guests on the show I saw were Jasper Carrott and Alistair McGowan. I have been a massive fan of Jasper Carrott for pretty much as long as I can remember. My dad was a fan and used to watch his shows. So I think he may well have been the first comedian I ever saw.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

We met up in the Media Cafe in New Broadcasting House to check in. Then about fifteen minutes before the show was due to go on air. We were taken in to the studio. Already sitting on the famous green sofas were Matt Baker and Alex Jones. There were just ten of us.

And they were nice and friendly making a point of say hello and welcoming us when we arrived. The floor manager Paul was brilliant as well. Telling us all what we needed to do and having a laugh with us. He also works on Strictly Come Dancing. So is a busy man at the moment.

They then bought the two guests Jasper and Alistair in. The actual show itself goes very quickly and there are screens up so you can watch all the films that they feature. As the studio is small you are actually very close to the action, so get a great view of what is going on.

I for example could see the two presenters auto cue. And I was pretty much looking straight at Jasper Carrott for the whole programme. It was a great experience. And one I may well try to repeat in the future. Then after the show had ended Matt and Alex came over for a quick chat and so the whole audience could have a big group photo with them.

The One Show
The One Show

I am still delighted with the way the Premier League season is going currently. Tottenham Hotspur sitting in second place. Still unbeaten in the league having defeated the leaders Manchester City in the process. Ruining their one hundred percent winning start. As I said previously I cannot remember a better time to be a Spurs fan than now.

And at the moment we are still missing Harry Kane. Imagine what could happen when he is back. I am aware that there is a long way to go. But whatever happens I intend to fully enjoy this season. And hopefully get along to a few games. Specially as this is our last season at White Hart Lane.

Neil Quigley
Neil Quigley

Last weekend I was out and about in London. As I often am nowadays. I was enjoying a nice walk around the South Bank. Stopping off for a relaxing cup of tea on my travels. It was getting to around two o’clock. When I realised I had not had any lunch. So after weighting up the pros and cons of a pub lunch or food on the go. I opted for the latter. And went to the nearby Borough Market.

If you have never been. Imagine a market jam packed with every type of food you can think of and lots of people. It is always so busy down there. All the stalls are amazing. After walking around the whole place first.

I settled for a home made Chicken Burger. Which was exquisite. The quality of the meat was exceptional. And way better than you would find in any fast food restaurant. I really must remember to eat there more often. When I am in that area.

London South Bank
London South Bank

In the last couple of week’s I have been working on some new and interesting BBC radio shows. The other week I had the pleasure of working with the extremely talented news reader Tom Sandars. On a World Service News Bulletin.

He is a regular on many of the BBC’s stations including Radio Two. In fact you may have heard people trying to make his toes tap. When Sara Cox is covering the Breakfast Show for Chris Evans. Not only is he brilliant at his job. But he is a really nice person to.

BBC Studio
BBC Studio

I also walked straight past the radio legend that is Simon Mayo in the office the other day. I was desperate to chat to him about Tottenham’s season so far. But as I do not actually know him. I just settled for a knowing nod and a smile, as he went by.

My final recent BBC celebrity spot was the brilliant Huw Edwards in the staff canteen. Enjoying some food before the big evening news show’s.

BBC Radio
BBC Radio

I am looking forward to seeing Sunny Afternoon at the theatre in London. It is another one of those shows. Where you already know the songs are ace before you go. It is based around all the music of The Kinks.

I believe it is kind of the story of how the band were formed as well. A bit like the English version of The Jersey Boys. I will let you know what I thought about it next time we speak.

Neil Quigley Presenter
Neil Quigley Presenter

Have fun and we will catch up again in a couple of weeks. Cheers Neil.