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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Pony girl thinks Olympic

Pete, Nicola, Lola, 9, and Nell, 6, spent three happy months during summer of 2007 traveling around Britain. Now we’re home, but the travel bug is still there. Join us for the occasional sightseeing plus tips on how to shrink your carbon footprint. This post is from Nicola (pic is at fence 12 in front of Houghton Hall).

I played a wicked trick on my family to get them to go to two days of the three-day international event at Houghton Hall in Norfolk. It's the second year this has been held and rain is becoming a firm tradition. All I had to do was pretend I didn't want to go to see the show jumping on the final day in order for the others to launch a campaign persuading me that I did... eventually I let myself be talked into day two.

Luckily the first day (saturday) was gorgeous and we were able to all walk the cross country course watching some great horses and Olympic hopefuls for China 2008, including William Fox Pitt, Jeanette Brakewell, Oliver Townend and Sharon Hunt.

Equestrianism is the only discipline where men and women compete equally - thus a good one to share with your children.

On Saturday we plopped ourselves on a picnic rug by the water fence and enjoyed seeing the riders tackle three complicated fences, patting other spectators' dogs and cooing at the ducklings on the pond. On Sunday we ducked between the beer tent and umbrellas to watch damp horse and rider combos trying to make a clear show jumping round in a very tight time. Bliss for me; not sure if the family will fall for this horsy trick again though...

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