John Gibson: The ladies do love their big day out

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NO hurry. Perky publicist at Musselburgh Races, Karen Taylor’s got a year to mull it over, Ladies Day down there. Just been and gone but back early next June.

Karen’s official title, the course’s commercial manager. She can hardly wait. Neither can the ladies who love the chance to get all dolled up. Karen’s telling me: “We are a bit of a hot ticket. The year’s social and fashion event. This has been our eighth consecutive sell-out.

“A 9000 attendance and if we do capacity again next year we may spill out on to the centre of the racecourse. As for the dress code, we had no problems, no limitations, from smart casual to, let’s say, comfortable. Mind you, the weather next year can’t be worse.”

Karen sounds Australian but she’s Newington-born and has lived half her life in Oz. Owns two passports. Something else on her mind besides the 2013 Ladies Day (there’ll be another £3000 cash prize for the “Queen of Style”, by the way).

I’m first past the post with her news: “I’m expecting a wee one in October,” Karen reveals.

Canary cans it

You think you’ve got troubles? Don’t tell me. A reader mopes: “My ten-year-old canary has stopped singing. I’ve not heard a squeak out of him for a year. There’s nothing wrong with his appetite but he spends all day with his feathers fluffed up and his wings are droopy. Is this just old age?”

’Fraid so. I’ve had the same trouble myself until the doc prescribed for it. But it’s fast-acting and could well mess up the bottom of his cage.