Aussies: what do you do for Melbourne Cup?

Me? Well I have a work function on. I am going to wear a pretty dress and a fascinator. It’s not something I would go to if I wasn’t forced, but since I am… yay… an excuse to dress up.

What are you (and anyone else who celebrates The Melbourne Cup) doing?

Like every year I am staying home, betting on the races in comfort and watching the race without benefit of lots of screaming workmates.

Weather depending, I’m going on a ride (Northcote to St Kilda and back, plus a couple of laps of Kew Boulevard), and after that we’ll do a BBQ with the neighbours - via the TAB for a completely random and hopelessly misjudged bet on a horse with pretty colours.

I’ll be at work. If I’m near a tele, I’ll watch, but I won’t go to any real effort to take an interest. Probably play ‘spot the cup reveller who’s had too good a time’ later in the afternoon. You’d be mad to punt on the thing, most of the field is favourites. Many people only bet once a year, on the cup. It’s probably the worst race of the year to bet on.

Basically, I’ll be glad when it’s over for another year. :o

I’ll be cleaning the apartment since my husband and I are leaving for our honeymoon this week.

Normally I don’t even watch the race and just chill out at home.

Avoiding it all, I hope.

By the way, a word of advice. Unless you’re going to Flemington, never travel on public transport in Melbourne on Cup Day. It ain’t pretty.

Watching at work as per tradition. Utterly failing to bet on the thing, as per Chicken Wire?'s reasoning.

I’ll try and sneak back to my old work where there’s always an enormous party and we get to drink champagne and gallop around on those balloon horses. There’s usually some-one there I can persuade to put my bet on down the TAB. Then I’ll sneak back to my current very serious and grown-up job and sit quietly in my morgue-like office.

I will be attending a money management class - right after the whole class will watch the cup (there is talk of a sweep - much to my immense amusement).

Mostly studying, as I have an exam on Wednesday.

Eat and do a sweep with my colleagues at work.

Not much. I buy a ticket in the office sweep and have a glass of wine while the race is being run. But I’ll have to be abstemious today, because I’m recording some stuff for the soundtrack of a film tonight (an Australian epic, soon to be released).

When I lived in Australia, I generally ignored the Melbourne Cup completely: did not take part in office sweeps, did not watch the race on TV, and didn’t bother to find out the results afterwards. But I always felt that made me extremely odd, rather like someone living in Columbus, Ohio, who does not follow OSU football. (You might gather that I don’t pay much attention to the Buckeyes either).

Dang it. I hadn’t thought about this, and I’ve planned to do just that. Caulfield Cup day was bad enough (nothing worse than a train carriage full of drunk women and their obnoxious boyfriends).

TLD, is it true that Melbourne Cup day’s an ‘unofficial’ public holiday in Sydney, sort of like yesterday was one down here?

Sort of. In most places that I’ve worked, things proceed as normal during the morning. Those who aren’t particularly interested in the Cup work as normal in the afternoon too, but there’s general licence for revelry from about 2.00 until about 3.30 if you’re so inclined.

Woohoo! Baz Luhrmann’s Australia! I’m looking forward to that one.

I’ve just splurged and spent a whole $2 on a ticket in the office sweep.

I got caught on a flight to Perth which ended up taking close to 7 hours. I didn’t have a bet.

Not so much these days. Maybe some private sector white collar workers still get the long lunch, but for the rest us, it’s a normal work day with the exception that you can down tools for a few minutes to watch the race. If you are somewhere like a pub or restaurant, don’t expect to get any service while the race is on. Similarly, it’s probably a waste of time calling any business number at that time.

My donkey came 14th.