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Saxelby News!

I’ve decided it’s about time that I started blogging again, having been “meaning to” for far too long! Since last time I blogged my life has moved on in many ways, although it is probably just as hectic. The kids are older: –  Rosie (16), Clyde (15), Daisy (13), Violet (9) and Troll (7)…all right, she’s really called Marigold – but  she still answers to “Troll” – that’s one thing that hasn’t changed!

They now spend less time watching Peppa Pig from the inside of cardboard boxes while covertly smearing themselves with Sudocrem or coating the carpets in a two-inch-deep layer of Littlest Petshop paraphernalia. In fact, they have actually become quite exceptional in the art of entertaining themselves. Their interests have moved on and they now spend their time trampolining, cheerleading, dancing, running, cycling, fishing, (in Clyde’s case), playing in the river, looking for bird nests, making dens, pony riding, guitar playing (Rosie), singing and playing with makeup (not in Clyde’s case obviously – although the girls do sometimes try to apply some when he is asleep).

Other less welcome activities from a parents’ perspective include arguing over the tv remote; watching Hollyoaks and other horrifically mundane tv shows, including strange cartoons where the characters all seem to be from some weird cat-bird-rabbit-like species and partaking in shooting mean and unexpected video “Boomerangs” of one another using their mobile phones or tablets and then threatening to upload the result to social media.

I have been purposely scaling down my horse breeding business (I’m now down to seven horses, of which two are the kids’ ponies). Seven probably sounds like loads to most people but I once had 25.

I never really ever intended to have as many as 25 but when you are breeding horses they can quickly multiply! Having so many was great for my mucking out muscles and core strength but not for my haylage bill, spare time or husband’s sanity.

My horses are soon to become just a hobby business – once I have backed, schooled and sold the youngsters that I still have. If the children continue to show enthusiasm (and stop answering me back when I am giving them lessons) then we will keep two or three. They make good lawnmowers anyway.

Our new business venture is called “Saxelby News” and my role in it will running the digital side of Jon’s public relations and journalism business. He’ll still be doing the traditional press releases and newspaper stuff – I will be providing content marketing, social media marketing, social media assistance and digital communications packages to businesses. I am initially concentrating on business-types that I already have a large digital following from (I have 17,000 online followers who are a mixture of triathletes, cyclists, swimmers, runners and horse lovers – although I do also seem to collect quite a few crazy Scottish gin-loving ladies too…mentioning no names, obviously 😉 ).

I have already taken on a couple of cycling-based clients and will be working with my totally mad Amercian friend, Kem,  publicising her very funny new life-help and nutritional-themed book and documentary, Eat Meat and Be Happy!

(Can’t wait Kem – playing on Instagram, Facetiming and drinking coffee is far more fun than mucking out 25 horses a day!)

I’ll keep this one shortish as it was mainly a test to see if I could remember the log in details to this account (winner!).  I am still very much obsessed with triathlon and running (I’ve somehow qualified again for the Zofingen long distance duathlon World championships later this year). My future blog posts will be a mixture of family, sport, cycling, triathlon, running, swimming, training, digital marketing and horses…with a bit of hen balancing, dogs in barrows and escapee tortoises thrown in!).

I am running a 36 mile Ultra run called The Longhorn on Sunday, so I predict my next blog entry will be on Monday or Tuesday when I cannot get off the sofa and do not have the lure of running or cycling to distract me!

Please share this on Facebook and your other social media sites with any sporty, triathletely, horsey friends that you have..or with anyone you think might find my future posts entertaining – thank you, Lucy

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Filed under Breeding, children, cyclists, digital marketing, dressage, Equine, Family, fitness, Horses, kids, large families, marketing, news, nutrition, Running, running a business, social media, social media marketing, Sport, ultra running, Uncategorized

Lovely family day out?! aka Very late race report (found unpublished in draft folder!)

Last weekend I took part in an extremely painful duathlon in Cambridgeshire. Actually, as far as duathlons go it wasn’t any more painful than the next… it just helped me reaffirm my conclusion that ALL duathlons are painful, fullstop.

Our morning started at 5am, when I dragged my thirteen year old daughter out of bed and told her to dress in VERY warm clothes. She muttered something that I was clearly supposed to not quite hear under her breath which contained the phrases “middle of the night”….”standing next to a freezing lake”….. “lovely family day out….huh”

I then finished packing the car, forced down a bowl of porridge and bravely woke up Jon, who rather strangely  muttered something along the same lines as Rosie.

Troll was happy to get up at 5am, she likes a good adventure (declaring daily that she is going to be “an explorer and adventurer” when she’s bigger) and was smart enough to recognise that a 1.5 hour car journey in both directions would almost certainly at some point equate to sweets to shut her up.

Racing can be stressful enough without five children to entertain at the same time, so the remaining children, Violet (6), Daisy (10) and Clyde (12) had been split between two sets of grandparents the day before. This pleased Jon, who would be left entertaining the children by a freezing lake whilst I was two miles into a hilly run, wishing that i’d stuck to triathlon racing.

Google maps for once produced a shockingly accurate route for us, which only involved one very minor discrepancy at the end of the journey – when we pulled in to the wrong carpark at Grafham water and had a 20 second we’ve-got- the-wrong-day panic, with no runners or bikes to be seen!

The one good thing I can say about duathlons, is that at least you don’t have to climb into a freezing lake to kickstart your race. No, but you do have to either opt to strip down to your lycra racing clothes and freeze for the first ten minutes or, do what I did (which is ultimately more painful) and decide not to take off the layers you had put on as a keeping-warm measure over your tri-suit, race in them and boil.

This was only one of a handful of duathlons that I had ever done (being more familiar with triathlons) and the first race ever that had an “open” transition. This meant that you could rack your bike/collect your running shoes from anywhere you liked, rather than a specifically numbered place in the rack. I quite liked this idea, as I have a bad reputation for running up and down the racks like a head-less chicken and completely missing my bike. Despite this bonus, I still managed to run past my bike and almost steal another competitor’s cycling shoes (which were the same brand as mine)…

The start to the initial 5k run was fast, painful and made me feel like a baby elephant trying to keep up with herd of antelope. That’s duathletes for you. Mainly thin, mainly fast, mainly men, mainly sewn into tight black 2XU compressing lycra. I raced in my Aldi bike top.

I enjoyed the bike ride and final run because by then most of the mega-fast people had disappeared and the surrounding competitiors were more in my league and somehow (because 25 year old men’s results made no difference to my agegroup’s results) my overall performance managed to secure me a roll-down place for the GB age group team for the European sprint duathlon champs in the Netherlands in April 2014.

This blog has been sitting in my draft folder since 2013, April is now only a few weeks away and my nightly dreams mainly encompass baby elephants wearing lycra GB tri-suits…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under age-group, children, comedy, duathlon, family, fitness, funny, funny things kids say, grumpy husbands, health, humour, ironman, Running, Sport, thirties, Triathlon

Children say the funniest things

Our youngest daughter, Marigold also goes by the name “Troll”. This nick- name was coined by my cousin Sam, after Marigold was exceptionally noisy and naughty at his wedding, when she was about 18 months old.  We obviously don’t call her it all the time but she does know that it is a reference to her and she thinks this is funny.

Since Marigold was given this name, I have been putting “Troll statuses” on to Facebook. My dad took the time today to make a collection of the best ones from the last month or two, I hope you like them.

Troll (3): “Me love you mummy” Me: “I love you too Marigold but you must say I instead of me, like this I am called Marigold, I have purple wellies, I am muddy, I have just been to the farm to pick up granny’s milk, I have a horse called Amber, I love you…do you understand?” Troll: “Yes, me understand, me just taking my coat off”

Troll (3): ” Me want some boobies”

Earlier today Troll (3) kept bothering/trying to sit on Annie Hound, so Daisy (9) put Annie out of harms way in her basket in the shoe-room outside. Troll not pleased with this, approached Clyde (11) and said :”me got a plan. Build den, kill Daisy”

Troll (3 years, making a passing observation of the fish counter in Tesco): “Ooooooooooo Fish! Big fish, real fish, dead fish!”

Daisy (9 years in the bath with Troll, 3 years): “Mummy, I think Marigold has wee’d in the bath!” Me: “Why do you think that Daisy?” Daisy: “Because she said ME NEED A WEE.. and then she said ME NOT NEED A WEE ANY MORE “…

Troll (3 yrs, whilst pushing a large wheelbarrow across the yard): “Me can’t push any more. It too heavy. Me wasted my batteries”

Troll (3 yrs, counting this morning): “one, two, three, six, nine, ten, oneteen, twoteen, nineteen!

When your three year old is able to inform you of her bowel movements using the phrase “me done a massive, gigantic pile of poo in my potty”, then surely it is time that she started going on to the toilet instead?!

Troll (3): “Me want those nuts with shells, moustachio nuts”

I have both a niece and a horse called Tess. Today I went shopping with Troll (3) and told her we were buying a Monster High doll for one of Tess’s Christmas presents. About 2 hours later, on the way home Troll said to me: “That doll.. are we getting one for the other horses too?”

Me: “Have you got your socks on Marigold?” Troll (3): “No, me got tights on, really warm tights. The weather is really, really bad – you must tuck me in to stop me blowing away”

Troll (3 years, caught muttering to herself after being told she has a one hour wait before going to visit her nanny): “Tut, me never going to go to Nanny Di’s house, gonna have to run away”

Troll (3yrs, after helping me clean the fridge for 10 minutes): “Me had enough. Me full-up of this”

Troll (3 yrs, when we were getting ready to go to School Christmas dinner, were running late and daddy wanted to shave but couldn’t find his razor): “Me think we should just go without him”

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Filed under children, comedy, cute, family, funny, funny things kids say, humour, kids, large families, sisters, toddlers

“Are you on drugs?”

I know that I’m lucky that I don’t have to work a nine-to-five job or commute for two hours every day, or bus children around to a childminder’s house before 7am.

As both Jon and I work from home (or, in my case, work from the yard that is at the bottom of my garden) then we can and do spend a good deal of our time drinking coffee, having internet social networking breaks or, in my case “nipping out for a run”.

For the past couple of years before signing up to this blog account, I have been venting my frustrations, selling my foals and sharing general Saxelby chaos using Facebook, Twitter and web forums, with plenty of responses, interaction and feedback from people, many of whom I have never met. Probably the most frequently seen replies to some of my posts are “How do you cope?”, “Are you on drugs?” or “You should be on drugs!”.

For those who aren’t well acquainted with my Facebook page, here are some examples of the kind of status update I’m talking about:

This month’s stats:- During September I have fallen off my bike twice, fallen down the stairs once, been bitten by one horse, broken two plates, raced in one triathlon and one half marathon, hosted one child’s swimming party, drank roughly 180 cups of coffee, collected various children from running, rugby, bowls, netball and sleep-overs, burnt at least three dinners to a crisp, made two batches of biscuits, carried a three year old on my shoulders up “Steep Hill” in Lincoln, locked my husband out of the house once, drank virtually NO alcohol (amazing), sneaked the hound onto my bed once, shopped in Morrisons, Tesco and the Co-op at least three times each, re-wired an ancient wire fuse, delivered one horse to its new home. But the best and most memorable achievement of the month is I HAVE CHANGED NO NAPPIES. This is the first time I have been entirely nappy free for 12 years!

Here’s another one from October: 

This fortnight’s stats:- I have mucked out 84 stables, hosted two children’s birthday parties, ran in a 5k race and a 12k obstacle race, had one flat tyre on my mountain bike, burnt two meals, broken one outdoor tap, dug one massive hole to enable mending of outside tap, bought seven things from eBay, been rude to one extremely persistent and annoying cold-calling loft insulation representative, read three books, one triathlon magazine, one dressage magazine, spent 10 minutes trying to work out what was wrong with the volume on my iPod – when I’d forgotten to put the earphones in, made Halloween bats and witches, swam 170 lengths, cycled 68 miles, drank two glasses of wine, approx. 70 cups of coffee and 14 cups of green tea.

A last one from July:

This fortnight’s stats: – In the last 14 days I have mucked out 48 stables, put up two tents and taken them down again, filled up one giant swimming pool, killed two large patches of grass (!) had two extra children over for sleep-overs in the tent, sent three of my children off on sleepovers for 4 days, had two foals born, chased one escapee yearling, Saxy youngsters have had two x 1st premiums at the BEF Futurity, ran 29 miles, biked seven miles, got hopelessly drunk once and marginally drunk twice, been to one charity fundraising party, eaten one Chinese, two packets of hay fever tablets, one packet of ibuprofen, read 1.5 novels, one running magazine, purchased a new pair of trail-running shoes and tested them around a 16 acre cow field, smashed one wine glass and two mugs, made roughly 20 cups of coffee for builders, changed approximately 14 nappies and emptied 2 potties down the toilet (progress), walked into a loaded-with-dead-flies fly-paper three times…

So you can see that, despite being self-employed and wasting far too much time on the internet, I do manage to fit in some activities that don’t involve children or horses and probably manage just as many disasters along the way!

As a keen runner I have learnt that, when a session starts to get tough and the voice in my head tells me to “slow down”, it helps loads if I start counting and focussing on only the next 10 strides at a time.

I got this idea from a running magazine and have found it really useful. I have since developed my own version, which is singing the alphabet song (inside my head may I add, I don’t need to encourage people to think I am deranged) and have used this technique so often that I’m now getting quite good at matching distances to the letters. For example, if I’m running along and spot something that is certain distance away, I often think “oh, that tree is a P” or “that cow is a J, second-time round”. This works because, while I am singing the alphabet song, my mind cannot also be shouting at me telling me to walk.

I also apply a similar method to other areas of my life by breaking tasks up into mini “playlists” lists in my head and only focusing and thinking about one list at a time. For example, if I had get the kids to school then muck out eight stables and then ride a horse before lunch, go to the supermarket, collect children from the bus-stop followed by a meal for seven to cook and then evening stables – the whole day starts to look and sound a bit daunting.

I get around this by absolutely and resolutely refusing to think about any playlist other than the one I’m currently working on. To start worrying about getting to a doctor’s appointment on time when I am mid-mucking out would stress me out, so I have learnt to not do this.

I also apply this method to triathlon competitions, which involve moving from swimming to cycling and cycling to running with timed transitions in between. When I am racing, I only think of swimming whilst I’m swimming, cycling whilst I’m cycling and running whilst I’m running.

A lot of practice at home is necessary to ensure I know what level of effort it is possible for me to maintain in each discipline without causing a decrease in performance in another discipline but, come race day, I only think about one thing at a time and this helps me put in my best effort and prevents the voice in my head from screaming “Stop – too much!!!!!”.

Anyway, that’s what works for me. I am interested to hear other people’s mental strategies.

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Filed under comedy, Equine, Family, funny, humour, large families, Running, Sport, Uncategorized