And here was little old me. Arriving stale (as opposed to 'fresh') from a pretty long coach trip across the outback from Adelaide to Cobar, nearly non-stop. No chance of a bath or even to freshen up much, really. Even though I actually had packed appropriately, thanks to that warning. To be fair, the wonderful people of Cobar did offer me the use of a bathroom upon my arrival but to be honest, I was just too darned tired to worry. And really, I was also enjoying myself too much to be concerned about how I looked. Which probably wasn't really that good but I was beyond worrying. And when you have a professional camera hanging around your neck and are walking around with pen and paper in hand, to say nothing of business cards - couldn't help but stand out like the proverbial sore thumb. It was pretty obvious I wasn't a local.
But those fashions - oh my God. And the hats. And shoes. Stilettos - the ladies wore stilettos - didn't seem to matter that half the heels disappeared into the bulldust. They walked with aplomb - no-one fell or tripped - except me - in my good old flatties. This really was the Cobar horse (and foot) races. Have to say they are a far cry from the horse races that I attended as a child - also in the outback.
Those fashions, right down to those superb stilettos, could not be faulted. And the colours were stunning. Such a wonderful array and on all ages - the school students arriving and enjoying themselves looked absolutely wonderful - every bit as formally attired as their elders.
And so proud.
If I am correct and this is the norm these days for country race meetings, they sure as heck give the Melbourne Cup and other well knowns a run for their money.