After getting back from Saumur international late last Monday night, I managed to get a rare lie-in. Then, in between catching up with riding my horses, I did some teaching at Burnt Ash Farm, which is near to me in Glos, and the following day I travelled to Wales and taught from 1:45 to 8:30, so I came out of there with a nice wad of cash.

On Thursday I was in Carl Hester’s demo at Badminton. He and mum [Pammy] have been doing the commentary for years, and this time Charlotte Dujardin was there to show off Valegro’s stunning paces, and I rode Merlin Nemorensis (Nemo) through out prix st georges music test. Nemo was so tired after going to France and all the competing he’s done lately that he was really well behaved, even though there was a huge amount of people there and a lot of atmosphere. It really surprised me how fast grass rides compared to a surface — I’ve never had to ride so collected and contained. From my halt onwards I was ahead of my music.

A good friend of mine, Laura Ferrier, was leaving Talland last weekend, so we all went out for dinner and then out in Cirencester. I had a little bit too much to drink a little bit too quickly and woke up with a little bit of a hangover on Saturday. Once I’d recovered, I ferried people to Badminton to watch the cross-country. Then I sat under the screen with my shades on, recuperating and hoping I wouldn’t be noticed.

I went home for supper as we had guests and then headed back to Badminton for the party — apparently it was very good, but I was only in time for last orders. So then it was all of us back in the cars to the after party at The Tunnel.

Other than that, I’ve seen two films this week — X-men — very good, 7 out of 10 — and Ghost of Girlfriends past — which might seem a bit gay, two guys going to see a chick-flick, but it was actually very funny, a good 8 out of 10.

So it was a week off from competitions, but I have to say I’m more tired than I was before it started. Tomorrow I’m off to Addington Premier League — more on that next week.

Charlie