Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 130

Preakness Festival!

Um, what is Preakness? This is Preakness:

The Preakness Stakes is an American flat Thoroughbred horse race held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a Grade I race run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs on dirt and is the second leg of the US Triple Crown, with the Kentucky Derby preceding it and the Belmont Stakes following it. The horse must win all three races to win the Triple Crown.


The 138th running of the Preakness Stakes will take place on May 18th, 2013.

Did I attend a horsey thingy then?

Nope! I attended a balloon thingy instead to mark Preakness! How we love a mini-festival!

The hot air balloon festival event, now known as a ‘balloon glow’, was invented in Albuquerque in 1979, when local pilots inflated balloons on Christmas Eve night as a thank you to local residents.

The sight of balloons lit from within at night like giant holiday ornaments is breathtaking, it has been said, and glow events are now held all over the world.

The Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival that I went to continues the hot air balloon glow tradition by presenting two balloon glows. Up to twenty hot air balloons participated in this balloon glow event at Turf Valley. (Actually we got no glow going on, but who cares!!)

And very awesome it was too!

Giant funny balloons

Giant funny balloons



Turf Valley

Turf Valley

A beautiful summer's evening

A beautiful summer’s evening

Inside a balloon

Inside a balloon



At Preakness you can drink out of brown paper bags... :)

At Preakness you can drink out of brown paper bags… πŸ™‚

Oh yes. And we saw this……

No words....

No words….

Lovely Martin

So what’s my lovely Martin O’Malley, his hotness of Maryland been up to recently? I think we need an update….

Today he signed a gun-control bill at a bill-signing ceremony. The measure includes a provision requiring handgun purchasers to submit fingerprints to get a license.

The bill bans 45 types of assault weapons, but apparently people who own them now will be able to keep them.

The measure also bans gun ownership by people who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility.

Maryland State Police will be able to suspend the licenses of gun dealers who fail to comply with recordkeeping obligations.

The bill is scheduled to take effect from 1 October this year.

And so that is what Martin is doing, as well as being hot, and doing funky rock God stuff, and looking like this:

I love your politics, Martin, but I think I'd love your rock 'n' roll even more....

I love your politics, Martin, but I think I’d love your rock ‘n’ roll even more….

Harry’s got an American thing going on

‘Mummy, even though I am an Englishman, I am a little bit of an American-man too.’

‘I suppose you are….’

‘And I keep picking up invisible things….’

‘Do you?’

‘Yes, I do. I have picked up an American accent, haven’t I, and that’s invisible.’

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12 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 130

  1. Your love of O’Malley is fascinating…do you think he’s an Irish bad boy?

  2. Also, awesome, and at the same time as Preakness is It starts tomorrow!

  3. Pat and Pam says:

    Re your picture of the woman with her dogs in her doggy buggy — I know of examples over here in UK! The two sides of the pond are more alike than you remember!
    Loved your son’s invisible things comment. Children are full of wonderful surprises (says someone who only has dogs and cats).

    Love your blog!

  4. Julie Yungmann says:

    Preakness is a wonderful time in Maryland. The 5k the weekend before, the balloons, the Black Eyed Susan race and the finale, the Preakness. We need to do the in-field of Preakness just once for you to get a real sense of it!! A sloppy, sloshy drunk fest!

  5. jacqueline moore says:

    Your son’s “I keep picking up invisible things” comment is adorable. That picture of Martin is adorable! You’re right about the Tony Blair-with-a-guitar…I remember cringing: Martin does look like a natural. (That wasn’t a US vs UK thing, we have a rogue’s gallery of embarrassing pols over here!) Speaking of two sides of the pond, I just read that the UK is trialling traffic court; the article said those cases were normally held in magistrates court (really?) Guess it won’t be a drive-thru.

  6. Jason says:

    Martin O’Malley has raised taxes and fees on the good residents of this state approximately 38 times since he’s been in office. He has even taxed rain and wind. During his tenure Maryland has been rated one of the least business-friendly states in the country and the Center for Public Integrity has rated Maryland number 40 out 0f 50 for government integrity.

    He is incredibly soft on crime and his policies have served to enable criminals at the expense of law abiding citizens, all this despite an unbelievable scandal in the Maryland corrections system that has occurred under his watch and the major crime problems in the parts of the state that make up his largest base of constituents. Major parts of his gun legislation are blatantly unconstitutional and will be overturned by the courts.

    Being the opportunistic politician the he is, it seems that he has been pushing policies not with the intent of serving the state but rather in furthering his national appeal in order to meet his ambitions for higher office. Not everybody in Maryland is particularly enamored with MOM, but given that only PG, Montgomery and Baltimore City decide the election map for the entire state, I guess in the end it doesn’t really matter.

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