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The Good Bits
There were some good things over Christmas. The first was seeing Kauto Star, a horse I have loved from afar since I first saw him, win his fourth King George VI Chase, the second most important race in England, after the Cheltenham Gold Cup (which he has won twice) in consecutive years. The great Desert Orchid won four, but he didn't win them in successive years - and Kauto Star is only 9, traditionally the peak age for 3 mile chasers. It was an incredible performance.

Then there was the Tennant RSC Hamlet on the Beeb. An interesting production, with some surprising readings of the text, and a superb performance by Patrick Stewart as Claudius. I must admit that Tennant wasn't as bad as I'd half expected, but not as good as some of the reviews had made him out to be. His 'antic disposition' had moments of the worst of his nuWho gurning, though he can speak blank verse properly.

Some interesting radio: a good two part production of Black Hearts in Battersea though it did help if you'd read the book, an excellent two part version of Dahl's Matilda and a return to Baum for The Wizard of Oz.

Oh, and Ina gave me this highball glass etched with cartoon dinosaurs (as well as a pair of really warm slippers) and my sister-in-law was inspired with a purple velvet housecoat...

Edit: I have just disabled auto-formatting, because it wasn't...

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Yes, wasn't that fantastic? I've seen him win the Gold Cup, and I bet Mr Nichols is a happy man this New Year.

We went down to Ditcheat a couple of weeks ago to get a signed copy of Nichols' autobiography.

Kauto is a wonderful horse. Just how wonderful, we're only just starting to see.

I saw T's post.

I've never seen Kauto Star jump better than on Boxing Day.

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