It was chukkas away for me recently when I was invited by the Bermuda Tourist Board and Prestige Holidays to watch the British Polo Championships played on the beach at Sandbanks, Poole.

The last time I had anything to do with anything equine and the sea was a donkey ride on Weymouth Beach so I was happy to upgrade to a more sophisticated experience and, I’ll be honest, a tiny part of me thought I might spot a prince or two.

The challenge of what to wear confronted me. Taking advice from Emma at Prestige, I opted for ‘something floaty’ as she’d suggested, as she had said there would be a party on the beach afterwards, weather permitting.

I assiduously avoided the weather forecasts in the days before the event and as a consequence spent much of the event marvelling at the many shades of blue my skin turned to in the biting northerly wind. The setting at Sandbanks, however, was beautiful and a Bermudan Dark and Stormy cocktail proffered by Annabelle from the Bermuda Tourist Board saw to it that warmth was restored.

Various companies were in attendance, with stands displaying their products. I must say thank you to Natalie who was manning the Aphrodite Hills stand for the loan of her wrap. Yes, it was a typical British summer’s day.

With Emma, Louise and John from Prestige, I watched a fashion show where I was stunned to see my neighbour’s daughter sashay down the catwalk before moving on to the horseplay.

I was surprised to find the sport quite engaging and in no time I was cheering every goal. Firm thighs in sparkling white jodhpurs beat firm thighs in football shorts any day, and a man who can swing a mallet at speed is much to be admired!

A meaty issue

Back in the office and Chris Arnold, our South Africa specialist, dropped by. He’s been organising various events to promote the destination and will be staging a barbecue at our shop so that our clients can literally get a taste of South Africa. We’ll be treated to a variety of dishes, he assures us, including bobotie.

This information caused a seasoned visitor to South Africa to raise her eyebrows.

“Authentic bobotie?” she asked. “Where is he getting the impala from?”

“Waitrose?” I ventured.
“They’re good,” she replied, “but they’re not that good!”

I checked with Chris and, to the disappointment of one lady in Gillingham, he said he’d be using alternative meats…