So the last few days has been business as usual riding horses and fine tuning Miley (Absolut Opposition) in preparation for our big week at Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. As much as I’d like to say Miley has been wrapped in cotton wool, after being out in the field in a hail storm a couple of days ago, he might disagree!

I picked my mother and her dog up from the train station — they live in Scotland and made the 12-hour journey south making the most of Ma’s OAP pass on public transport. After stints on the bus, ferry and train, they then crossed London on the underground before catching a further train… all while carrying bags for the week and importantly tins of homemade shortbread and flapjacks!

We’ve also been doing a mammoth packathon — buggy, travel cot, tractors, Peppa Pig DVDs, nappies, wet wipes, Calpol, books, cars, Winnie the Pooh, fluffy bunny, pyjamas, sleeping bag, sunscreen, warm clothes, wet weather clothes, spare clothes and more spare clothes, fridge full of food (although confess to being thankful for all things ‘Ella’s Kitchen’ at times like this!)

The list goes on and that’s before we even think about packing Miley’s pyjamas and overnight bags, not to mention all of our kit and clobber for our glamping holiday in the Cotswolds!

Badminton-bound Toby

Badminton-bound Toby

With everything packed (hopefully!) we loaded up our extra special cargo, Mr Miley and left at midday for destination Badminton. First stop along our journey was to pick up my son Toby from nursery where I performed an 100-point turn in their car park.

Next stop was a pub car park where we picked up our second hitchhiker in the form of Miley’s fellow owner Katie. As always when Miley is travelling, we experienced a fair amount of turbulence as he bucked and kicked most of the way to Gloucestershire, but it did a grand job of rocking Toby to sleep!

Stunning surroundings

We are stabled in the spectacular main stable yard and have been for a happy hack in the suitably stunning surroundings, albeit it in very blustery conditions.

Other big news is that I’ve got a gorgeous new niece! Congratulations to my sister Fuzzy who welcomed in to the world beautiful baby girl, Elizabeth (Lizzie) who arrived a week early and shares her birthday with HRH Princess Charlotte of Cambridge!

I’d also like to take this chance to say how genuinely touched I’ve been by all the kind words, support and good luck cards I’ve received from so many people. I realise quite how special an opportunity this is so absolutely plan to make the most of it and enjoy every minute!