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Summer life

Most people just want to make a life, and I'm sorry that a selfish and myopic government besotted with the European Union appears to be making that more difficult, but the British people are planning to have a good time this summer -

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Open Air Theatre Regent's Park 2 June - September

Globe Theatre, June - October

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Dining outdoors and enjoying opera as the moon rises. Happily confidence in the English summer is not often misplaced.

Garsington Opera, 4 June - 6 July

Grange Park Opera Festival, 4 June - 20 July

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Country shows and horse trials. I love the animals. Obviously, not the place to go if you don't, though some of these shows feature motorcycle daredevils, too. Country shows are tough and sublime in subtle shire ways that put politics in the shade.

South of England Show, 5 - 7 June

Royal Cornwall Show, 5 - 7 June

Bramham International Horse Trials, 5 - 8 June

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"Forget some of those newer, glitzier, richer prizes to be won in horse races across the world. The one that matters is still run across Epsom Downs. The `Derby-winning' prefix is what every owner, trainer and jockey still strives for above all else. . .The horse which triumphs over the toughest course in the country will have to demonstrate speed, stamina, balance and resolve to cope with the undulations and the camber, the hottest of competition and the buffeting of the noise from the big day crowd". So wrote Robin Oakley in 2002, and I think it is still true. When he wrote, Oakley had just celebrated five winners at Kempton. "It was a day to treasure. Sadly, the central heating and hot-water system went on Sunday and at bank holiday emergency plumbing rates that was the end of that windfall. It was nice, though, while it lasted".

Derby, Epsom Downs Racecourse, 6 - 7 June

It is all very nice while it lasts. As someone I like very much used to tell me, "Get your skates on".

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