I think it’s fair to say that — for me — the last eight weeks have been tinged with frustration and a little bit of boredom.
It’s unlike me too; I don’t get bored easily.
If I ever feel my attention waning — and inertia setting in — I tend to just change direction and do something else. But when you can’t drive or easily take yourself off for a walk, it’s difficult not to feel the pangs of boredom.
So when my lovely friends at Joules asked me out on a date I literally jumped at the chance (or should I say ‘figuratively’ as clearly I’m not able to jump at the moment!).
Best of all, my boys were invited along too — both the twins and my big (man-shaped) boy — so I had my favourite chaperones accompanying me.
Our date with Joules
Joules at Badminton is no new thing — they have had a presence there for 27 years. They’ve even got a jump on the cross country course named after them these days.
Not wholly surprising as the company actually began life at this kind of event.
Tom Joule began selling his clothes at country fairs and equestrian shows and, even though in May 2016 they had 97 stores throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the brand remains faithful to it’s humble beginnings.
Friday dawned bright and breezy.
I was so excited to be escaping the confines of the house and even more that we were being treated to such a lovely day out.
We arrived at Badminton and headed off to meet everyone at the Joules stand, then ambled down for lunch in the most amazing setting.
Caravans, Picket Fences and Good Company
Across the fields, flanking the cross country course, with views over Badminton House, there was the most gorgeous alfresco dining area I’d ever seen.
The Joules caravan, surrounded by sweet little white picket fences and a floral arch, with wooden tables decorated with Sweetpeas and Delphiniums.
And the most delicious picnic food to boot.
The Perfect Picnic
It was such a gorgeous setting, with a really relaxed vibe; no agenda and lots of time to chat to everyone. So nice to be out in the fresh air, listening to hum of voices and laughter.
Some of my favourite blogging friends — Bonnie, Heledd and Lucy — were there. I don’t see them as often as I’d like, so I spent lots of time catching up with them. Plus the lovely Joules team, who I speak to regularly on email, but rarely get to see in ‘real life’.
There were some lovely new faces too. Bunty — and her husband Eddie — plus Antonia who I often catch up with over on Twitter.
We were serenaded by the most brilliant guitarist — no idea who he was but the soundtrack to our picnic lunch was amazing.
Caravan of Love
For me, one of the best things about the setting was the amazing Joules caravan.
(And we all know how much I like a caravan!!)
Granted, she wasn’t *quite* as much of a stunner as Dolly 2 (tongue firmly in cheek here) but definitely came a close second! The interior was all decked out in beautiful Joules homeware — bedding and gorgeous cushions — and the exterior had been given a gorgeous makeover too.
Scooters and Dancing Horses
After lunch we made our way back to the main arena.
Me — very slowly at this point as my poor legs were starting to give up. It was the first time I’d been out for any length of time in seven weeks and the rough ground was proving tricky with the leg brace and a crutch. I was determined to make the most of it; although I wish I’d hired a mobility scooter!!
Little did I know — until it was too late — that they were available to loan at the event. If ever you’re in that situation, it would definitely be worth checking with Event Mobility to see if they’re going to be there.
We visited the Joules stand, then went to see ‘the dancing horses’ AKA Dressage. The boys loved it and did pretty well to sit still during the tests.
We’d never taken them to anything like that before. You’re asked to take your seats and be quiet, as the riders and horses are completing their tests; not an easy feat for two little four year olds with crazy energy levels and high pitched voices.
But they managed admirably.
And just like that, our date with Joules at Badminton Horse Trials was over.
Time is a funny thing isn’t it? A weird commodity; endlessly difficult to quantify.
There are always the same amount of minutes in an hour; hours in the day etc. But time drags it’s heels when you’re bored; and flies quicker than the wind when you’re having fun.
And we did, indeed, have fun last Friday. Over like a flash — but so unforgettable the memories will last forever.
Thank you so much to our lovely friends at Joules for treating us to the best day! I think it’s safe to say that my boys and I brilliant time xx