It's become something of a tradition in our university friend group to get together for an early-summer party and watch the Grand National horse race, ostensibly because a couple of the group have birthdays normally just before or after that weekend. Somehow – most likely Johnny, the main birthday-haver – that tradition became known as Beer and Neigh-Neighs. There's some light gambling, a barbeque, and a keg or two of ale, plus a whole heap of excellent company.
In the current global situation, however, the neigh-neighs had been cancelled and no one was able to leave their house so... no party 😢 Or at least, that was the plan until ITV announced that it would be digitising the horse race, using a simulation that almost predicted the exact outcome last year. And so we had digital neigh-neighs and a Zoom party; there was still some light gambling, but this time all in aid of the NHS. Zoom worked out pretty well, with one person live streaming ITV Player on the "main" channel and the Brady Bunch-esque Zoom view on a second monitor so you could watch peoples' reactions.
Of course, digital beer was clearly a step too far, so we managed to order in a couple of pints. It turns out that one of the few decent "novelty" pubs I've ever been to, the Oktoberfest in Fulham, is set up to deliver food and bottled Bavarian beers – amazing! So we ended up spending our Saturday afternoon watching fake horses race, with the floating heads of our friends on a screen, and a selection of currywurst, German steak burger, and dark Bavarian lagers to hand. Our horse led the pack for several minutes then fumbled a jump and ended up in the middle, never really gaining ground again... but it was still an excellent way to spend an afternoon 😊🍻🏇