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Lucy’s Observations of the Day

I am a born optimist and always like to make the best out of a bad situation. With so many children, horses and sporting interests, something invariably goes wrong in my week. Rather than dwell on it, I try to just get on with things and report it to Facebook in the form of a status update beginning with the words “Lucy’s Observation of the day…”. Today’s blog entry includes some of the most popular/idiotic Saxely Observations that have occurred in the last 18 months, I hope you like them (and that reading them may help you avoid similar errors!).

If you really want to irritate your husband,  I have found that picking up a dead mole to show to the kids and then forgetting about it and leaving it on your mother-in-law’s kitchen window-sill for ten days works wonders….”Lucy, why is there a rotten dead mole on mum’s window ledge? This is just the sort of thing that annoys me about you”

1) If you under-cook sugar mice, they don’t set and form an alien gloop that is impossible to remove from anything. (2) If you over-cook sugar mice they taste worse than poo. (3) If you cook sugar mice to perfection, you get immediately hassled by at least six people to test one. (4) Basset hounds like burnt sugar mice. (5) Feeding burnt sugar mice to basset hounds equals a nasty crumbly residue on the carpet and a dog with a sticky nose.

Mucking out a 10-day-old foal, who has yet to go out into the field due to the wet weather, is comparable to being in a charity shop changing room with a stunt rider on a Kawasaki with a nitrous kit.

Howling basset hounds following you around the school when you are cantering do nothing to improve the concentration levels of a young horse.

It is wise, when letting the dog finish off food directly from a dinner plate, to remember to pick up the plate prior to your husband coming in and seeing it.

Two year old girls and bright red Clinique lipsticks can never exist harmoniously together in the same house.

Loft insulation is one of the worst things on earth.

Elderly people’s incontinence pads do not stay securely in place when used as stand-in nappies for toddlers, even with half a roll of your husband’s electrical tape.

You know that your three-year-old child is a genetic upgrade on her father when she learns to turn on the child-lock on the washing machine after you have loaded it so that “Daddy won’t walk past and turn it off before it is clean”.  (Jon has form for seeing the light on, thinking it has finished, wanting to save electricity and turning it off mid-cycle. I have form for complaining about him doing this).

Law school does not improve common sense. One of my friends (with a law degree) came round today in a panic over her laptop which was “broken”.  After a 12- second assessment I was able to diagnose that it had the NUMBER LOCK on…

If you steal a pair of your husband’s light-coloured smart socks and then wear them with leaky wellies whilst emptying barrows on to a muckheap in the middle of a muddy field, it is probably wise to take the socks off and hide them before he comes in.

You know when your children are approaching teenagerdom, when you overhear them “Blasting” each other with the Harry Potter-style spells: “Fat-i-fy” and “Gay-i-fy”.

Although the “pushing and running as hard as you can” method is a highly effective way of getting a loaded wheelbarrow through deep mud, it vastly increases the probability of a welly coming off in a speed-mud-vacuum.

If you are loading a reluctant horse and are out of horse food, Morrison’s own-brand crunchy nut corn flakes make a suitable substitute.

Next time I remove a two-year-old filly’s ripped rug in the morning and think to myself “I’ll put another one on later” and if “later” actually translates into “when it is pitch black, cold, muddy and I am dressed in lycra with jelly legs after a 50-mile bike ride because I was too damn lazy to do it earlier” then I should remember next time that this is a false economy and it takes six times  longer in the dark and is at least ten times as unpleasant.

Troll (3) is not shy. I have just watched her fetch her red singing potty, park it in the middle of the living room, drop her tights and sit on it. This was in front of her friends and mine at her birthday party and let’s just says she made full use of the potty…

Rugging up a herd of breeding mares and youngstock has definite parallels to competing in a triathlon. This morning I have spent ages sorting out equipment of various shapes and sizes, carried heaped piles of equipment to various locations, got soaked to the skin,  had to take on and off several pieces of equipment as quickly as possible and run four times around a large field whilst gasping for breath. I think I prefer triathlon…

Maximum heart rate tests hurt… a lot.

Wind-up torches in “dens” sound like a good method of toddler amusement but require at least 20 minutes of mummy’s best den-building and torch-finding time. In reality they keep toddlers entertained for approximately 45 seconds.

The opposite of burning tea is called “turning on the oven then forgetting to put the food in”.  This is probably more annoying than burning it.

Taking hound-child pictures of the day to upload to Facebook is all good fun but makes your morning harder, delays mucking out and generally adds to the child-hound-horse chaos in your home, especially when, as a consequence, your eight-year-old misses her school bus and you end up having to drive her to school in your mucking out clothes.

Small children can ski black runs without panicking if they are told that they are “dark blue”.

Things that two year olds who are just getting the hang of sentences should refrain from saying to their mothers when they require carrying:- “Up, up, up – stupid”.

The next time I give my husband the simple task of “turning on the vegetables on the hob whilst I’m outside haying the horses”, I will be sure to leave printed instructions explaining how to “turn the oven on at the wall”.

When getting your husband and big sister to spend ten minutes trying their hardest to fasten you into your Woof-wear metal “cage” body protector, it is probably advisable to make sufficient prior checks to ensure that it is not on backwards. If you do not do this and they suceed in their task you will be 1) very uncomfortable 2) subjected to serious derision.

Littlest Petshop figures bloody hurt when you stand on them in bare feet.

Trifle the cat does not like granny’s turkey gravy even when the dog has stolen her food for the last 24 hours and she is starving.

Slugs are very difficult to remove from tissue paper and slug-slime is very difficult to remove from fingers that have been attempting to remove slugs from tissue paper.

There is a positive correlation between the number of cups of coffee and kisses given to husband and the amount of loaded barrows of horse-poo husband empties onto the (distant) muckheap.

Once dried, Stella Artois makes a very substitute for hair gel.

Nasty Asti gets progressively less nasty after each glass and, providing the first glass is consumed after several none-Asti alcoholic drinks, is almost drinkable.

Using the fail-barrow because you are too lazy to go and find the good barrow is a false economy when mucking out nine stables. Failure to act on this obvious truth is likely to result in a minimum of six accidental mid-yard poo-tips.

It takes an average of seven large bounces to propel one prone toddler from one side of the trampoline to the other whilst you are on all fours in your pyjamas with a four-year-old riding on your back. Doing this at 2pm scores about eight out of ten on the embarrassment scale when  you look up to see the postman watching you with a signature-required parcel in his hand.

There is a positive correlation between the amount of hoof trimmings consumed by a basset hound and the amount of methane expelled into the living room that evening.

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Filed under Basset hounds, Breeding, children, comedy, disorder, dogs, Equine, Family, family, fitness, Foals, funny, grumpy husbands, health, Horses, humour, kids, large families, married life, mother in laws, Running, self-help, Sport, Tips, toddlers, Triathlon

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tips of the Day

For the last 18 months, I have been regularly posting “Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tips of the Day” on Facebook. These are usually based around some day- to-day drama involving children, horses, Basset hounds or exercise, or a combination of these things.  For those of you who would like to get a flavour of the chaos and disorder that is the Saxelby household, I have made a collection of the most “liked” tips for you all to read…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: When your 11-year-old son asks: “Mummy, how long will it take to warm up my cup of tea in the microwave?” and you reply “turn it to 40” – make sure you specify that you mean SECONDS. Failure to do this could lead to 40 MINUTE CUP OF TEA ARMAGEDDON.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day:- If, after a night out you have mysteriously acquired a plastic hen-night penis-shaped drinking straw, do not leave on the living room table when you crash out. If you do, then you risk coming in from mucking out to find your five-year-old daughter using it to drink Ribena under the watchful eye of your 84-year-old mother-in-law.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you want to test your reflexes, go into a small stable and throw a large rug over the back of a mare but misjudge your throw so that it lands on top of the foal behind her. This technique will also test your fast twitch mucle fibres and your swearing reflex.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: When you are bringing in pure-bred Trakehner two-year-old boys from playing in the sand school, do not under any circumstances think to yourself “it’ll be quicker if I just sling a rope round one of their necks and the other one will follow” (even if this is what you have done without problems for the last three days) because, when the loose horse decides not to follow his friend, buggers off and does 35 laps of your mother-in-law’s front garden, his friend will pull away from you and follow …and you will wish you had just put a head collar on to the little b*******s in the first place.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Christmas Tip of the Day: Next time your husband tries to persuade you to “nip out” for a “quick” eight- mile bike ride before Christmas dinner, say “NO DARLING” because: (a) when you are blasting back home as fast as you can to get back in time to put the turkey in the oven – with 8 people waiting at home and (b) your front tyre explodes with a loud bang TWO MILES from home and (c) you have to run home pushing your bike in bike shoes with SPD cleats on the bottom… you will be wishing that that had been your reply..

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you decide to enter a “Santa Run” and you, your friend and two of your children are dressed in head to toe Santa costumes with beards, it is advisable to take a house key with you, especially when your husband AND mother-in law are out for the day @AnotherEpicSaxelbylFail

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day:- If you are in Tesco car park on a cold day, parked next to a hot-boy and the windows will not clear on your car, do not (a) Use a pair of your mother-in-law’s scrunched up granny pants (that for some reason were in your car!) to clean the window (b) Go outside to open the boot and in doing so relax your grip on the scrunched up pants – thus revealing them to said hot-boy @yeah, I looked cool

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day:- When your four-year-old is starting big school and you decide to be extra-organised and get to the school playground 20 minutes early (because you are always late) it is advisable to check first that you HAVE THE RIGHT DAY. @AnotherSaxelbyEpicFail

Lucy’s Handy Housewife tip of the day: When entering a gruelling 11k adventure race and completely relying on your friend,Vicky Clarke to give you a leg up over the EIGHT- FOOT WALL at the end of the race, it is much recommended that you and your friend put down the same start time!

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you put your car and horsebox keys down on a hay bale in your hay barn, it is helpful if you don’t (a) forget to pick them up again and (b) have a hay and straw delivery later in the day…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day:- When faced with the question “Mummy i am bored, what can i do?” from your eight-year-old daughter, I strongly recommend suggesting writing something in fake tan on the child’s forearm. Daisy Saxelby’s fake-tan-arm is still several hours away from “developing” and I haven’t heard a peep out of her since doing it!

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: When one of your friends drinks too much Blue Curacao-rum concoction and passes out on your sofa, filling her bum-crack in with play dough is not only highly entertaining but is also a fabulous opportunity to unleash your artistic and creative flair.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If your husband is well-known in all circles for forgetting and losing things then do not (a) Allow him to be responsible for locking the house when you go out in separate vehicles when you drop off the horse box for its MOT or (b) let him keep the keys rather than give them to you. Failure to comply with ((a) and b) could lead to scenario (c), which is husband leaving house keys in the horse lorry at the MOT centre in LINCOLN…which is NOT where we live.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: Feeding your hound left-over sushi directly on to the kitchen floor because you can’t be bothered to fetch her dog bowl or walk an additional 5.5 feet to the kitchen bin is a false economy as, when said hound chews it up, coats it in basset-slober and then spits it out everywhere, you will wish you hadn’t been so lazy.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day:- If you have been prematurely disturbed from your sleep by six noisy children at an unholy hour on a Saturday morning, I can suggest that watching the said children carefully assemble a Scooby-Doo-Haunted-House-Mouse-trap-esque-game on the living room carpet and then calling the dog over for a cuddle, knowing that hounds prefer an “as the crow flies” route, is a satisfying revenge tactic…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day:- If you are not in the mood for a vigorous cross-country cardio-vascular workout involving a large drainage dyke, a 30-year-old precarious-looking bridge, 50 metres of tangled electric fencing, a horny pony and some brambles, it is wise not to (a) choose your two-year-old Garuda K colt to be on lawn-mower duty and (b) think to yourself: “It’ll be ok, he has an acre of over-grown lawn to entertain himself with, he will never bother to squeeze down the tight passage at the side of the sand school” because, when your hypothesis is found to be wholly incorrect and he (1) squeezes down said passageway to get to some fillies (2) legs it along the edge of the drainage dyke to escape from you (3) attempts to jump over the dyke into another field but fails and lands in the dyke (4) scrambles out into an ungrazed field and does 45 laps of honour before (5) crashes through electric fencing to have a quick dance on the ancient bridge (6) side-steps alongside the dyke until he has no other option but to turn round or become trapped in brambles…you will wish that you had either chosen your lawn-mower more wisely or sweet-talked your lovely husband into mowing it instead…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you want to a) Save time b) Polish your saddle c) Recreate the feeling of first learning to do sitting trot d) Get the sensation of sliding around on ice whilst sitting on a baking tray and e) Look like a complete moron, then f) Go out for a run wearing a pair of skin tight, nylon, shiny, more-mile running pants and then g) Change your running shoes for Hunters but be too damn lazy to go through two extra rooms to find a pair of jodphurs. Trust me this is not only a bad “look” (that would certainly put wind in the “that woman is mad” clan’s sails) it is also a highly un-workable combo and I cannot truthfully say that the young horse I was riding benefitted one iota from the so-called “schooling” it received.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If your husband is constantly finding new reasons to moan about your hound, it is advisable not to put horse after-birth on the muckheap in a field that is accessible to the hound or, when the after-birth is found spread out all over your mother-in-law’s lawn, your husband’s whinging may increase…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you have zillions of grubby kids with zillions of grubby patterned socks that are all odd or so dirty that they are impossible to get clean, then follow my example. Empty all of the contents of your children’s sock drawers into the bin. Do not look at what you are emptying (as you will start to feel sympathy for some of the socks and try to save them and give them a second chance). Be brutal. Bin ALL the socks and go to Tesco and spend £20 on new dark coloured ones, all in roughly the same colour. @completely fed up with trying to pair up patterned socks when their twin has clearly been eaten years ago by the washing machine.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you are experiencing difficulty operating the “tip” lever of your dumper truck because it is particularly heavy when full of stone, you can get round this problem by standing on the lever instead of using your hand. Do not, however, get complacent after successfully doing this nine or ten times and start to think that you are the DUMPER TRUCK MASTER because you are NOT. Approximately 10% of all foot-tips result in the shock-waves of the tip knocking your foot off the tip-lever onto the gear-stick and turning your dumper truck into a BULLDOZER

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: When your pre-school child comes out with something less than polite like: “Mummy, I can “f**t out of my bits!”, then it is recommended that the grown-up does not show even the slightest flicker of amusement. Showing amusement will result in the disgusting phrase becoming the default greeting for your child to everybody they meet for several days…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you are training for triathlon, then follow my example and go lane swimming in Ollerton on a Monday night at 7pm. Admittedly, you will find that you have got the wrong time for lane swimming but, if you whinge enough, they’ll put a rope out and let you swim anyway. The best part of this carefully planned training technique, though, is that the rest of the pool is filled with ladies the size of small submarines doing aqua-aerobics to a Beach Boys soundtrack. Every time they plunge to the left, your usually calm indoor pool turns into a turbulent open water/tsunami simulator…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: When “Operation remove pregnant mares from the stallion’s field” goes extremely smoothly, do not start to feel over-confident and let yourself relax because “Operation introduce a new-companion to the stallion” might not go as smoothly and “Operation husband needs to build a new fence” could be required!

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you do not want to have a humiliating conversation with your credit card’s fraud protection team, do not make risqué purchases from multiple European websites for your (previously) unsuspecting husband’s birthday present, then follow this up by attempting to buy £3000-worth of horse semen from France, using the same credit card on the same day. This not only has a low success rate but is also embarrassing to explain. If you are indeed stupid enough to do this, then trying to authorize the initially refused semen payment at breakfast time is a very bad idea. Explaining the above to fraud protection is one thing but explaining to eavesdropping children over their Cheerios, is completely another…

If you have made it to the bottom of this page and have a smile on your face, please take the time to sign up for email notifications to this blog – by clicking the “follow” button at the top of the page – thanks, Lucy 🙂

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January 23, 2013 · 1:39 pm

Couch Potato Versus Runner Bean…

When I am not mucking out, social networking or wiping up child spillages, I can usually be found running round the local villages, cycling round rural Nottinghamshire or at the swimming pool.

I know some people think it’s mad but this is what I choose to do for my “me time” rather than, for instance, watching TV (unless either the Grand National or triathlon highlights are on, in which case you’ll find me under a duvet in front of the fire snacking on Quality Street).

I often read people saying on Facebook or Twitter that they would like to get fit, lose weight or get back into a hobby and, in so far as any of my blogs have a purpose beyond the fact that I just feel like writing them, the point of this one is to say: “if I can do it, anyone can”.

(All right, it is also because it is extremely cold outside and I need a good excuse to avoid having to clean the bathroom in which the sink, in particular, would not look out of place in a Glastonbury portable toilet cubicle).

The thing is that, while you might often hear me banging on about how much I love running, cycling, swimming, skiing and, of course, horse riding, I am far from a “natural athlete”.

Except for netball (which I seemed to be quite good at), I was more often than not picked in the last handful of people in school PE lessons. Admittedly, this might have been down to my bad haircut, very untrendy Puffa horse riding school coat and resolute refusal to wear makeup but it must also have said something about my sporting talent…

Apart from riding, I am relatively new to most of my sports and not necessarily very good at them yet.

Take skiing. I have spent a couple of my happiest weeks on the slopes but I am no expert. In fact, I have been told by various experienced skiers that my gung-ho, jumpy style would be far more suited to being on a snowboard. My husband, however, would never let me on a snowboard as snowboards are apparently not for respectable 36-year-old mothers of five. Besides, he says, I look grungy enough in my mucking out gear all year round without having to dress that way on our family ski holiday.

Despite my lack of grace on a pair of skis, I can already kick my husband’s ass down a long bumpy black run because I’m fitter and his thigh muscles get tired. (strangely, Jon strongly disagrees with what he describes as this “outrageous” statement and claims that I don’t realize how much he “slows down” for my benefit. I feel a down-hill slalom race coming on …)

My favourite hobby – or, as Jon would say, obsession – at the moment is probably running but I am not a natural runner.

Just as with skiing, I have a rather unique and unnecessarily “twisty” running action – which cannot be very efficient and must certainly waste vital energy that I could be using to make me go faster.

I have been doing various exercises to try to improve my running technique and I think might have succeeded in toning down some of the oddities. Even so, I still look like I’m struggling through mile 25 of an off-road marathon even when I’m just jogging a mile down the road and feeling as fresh as a daisy.

While I have always enjoyed running, I have to admit that it is far more enjoyable once:

a)      You are fit;

b)      You are doing the correct type of training;

c)      You start to do quite well in races

d)      You can see an improvement in your results in line with all the effort.

If you have bothered to get this far down the page and have had even the teeniest “I wish I did some form of sport” thought, then read on and let me persuade you to log onto eBay and order yourself a pair of new trainers…

1)  Firstly, when I am at the end of a run or have finished one, although I am physically tired – I feel full of energy and I know it’s a cliché but I feel “alive”.

2)  Exercise has made me fitter, faster and stronger and I have been able to take part in some fabulous fun things, which I’d have never been able to do if I were a couch potato. Examples being “Survival of the fittest” obstacle race, Dambuster Olympic distance triathlon and the most recent addition to my weekend schedule – running for the Readyfield hunt and being chased over the countryside by a pack of bloodhounds…

3)  I have lost weight, whilst still eating pretty much what I want.

4)  I have toned up all over and only have a minimal patch of lumpy fat at the top of my thighs now, as opposed to loads of it before I started my fitness regime!

5)  Running and triathlon races not only give me a “goal” to work towards but I usually sign up to them with a friend and we have loads of fun both on the day and in training for them.

6)  I have completely replaced my horse-buying tendencies with a much cheaper lycra running outfit addiction.

7) I have a valid excuse for falling asleep on the sofa every night and leaving Jon to deal with the 5-child chaos, bedtime excuses and washing up.

8)Schadenfreude – As in when I bump into certain old classmates who were “too cool” to speak to me at school and discover that their thighs are bigger than my waist. I know it’s wrong but no one is perfect.

 

 

 

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Filed under comedy, fitness, funny, getting older, health, humour, Running, self-help, Sport, Swimming, thirties, Triathlon, weight-loss

Why I wouldn’t swap my husband for Brad Pitt

Women often joke that they would swap their husbands/partners for their favourite movie star given half the chance. I’ve got to admit that at times, if I could click my fingers and instantaneously replace Jon for a less complaining model, I’d be tempted, particularly if a) Jon was, at that exact moment, moaning about the piles of paperwork in the kitchen b)I could be certain that the man I’d get in return was Brad Pitt.

I think that after the initial novelty (of Brad vacuuming topless) wore off, I’d be trawling the internet trying to find Jon again. This may coincide with me not being able to start my dumper truck or needing to deliver a foal to Newcastle but these things would merely be a catalyst to something that I know I would do anyway, eventually.

After all, I live in the UK where it is only warm enough for semi naked vacuuming three weeks of the year.  I like Jon’s rough ‘n’ ready mad professor in D.I.Y. clothes look – and am treated to it at least 300 days a year  – so it just comes down to simple maths – three weeks are not enough to justify a swap in my opinion.

I’ve come up with a few other reasons too, which I’ve listed below to stop me texting Brad, the next time Jon annoys me.

Brad looks hot in Levis but would he actually be any good with a Paslode first fix nail gun, a bucket of cement or a tile-cutting machine? Does he have any stable building experience?

Brad Pitt wouldn’t want to go swimming in Newark on a Monday evening and if he did, it would cause mass subscription in the weight-watchers water spinning class which occurs on the same night and it would be more difficult to park.

Brad is used to Angelina’s dress sense, It is unlikely that either my old horse-poo -coated clothing or lycra triathlon gear would do it for him.

Brad almost certainly is accustomed to five star hotels and Michelin three-star restaurants; he wouldn’t appreciate my hobbit-hole cottage or understand my smoke-alarm dinner gong.

Jon cannot operate a washing machine or oven, he’d probably die without me and a)I’d never want that to happen and b)I wouldn’t want Brad to have that on his conscience.

Jon has been extensively trained in the art of back tickling (and other similar activities). It’d take at least 7 years to train Brad up to a similar standard and he may never be as good as Jon even with all that training.

Brad may well have a similar amount of kids to us but he has never encountered a Troll. She’d send him running back to the Hollywood Hills in no time.

It is highly unlikely that Brad would want to go on £99 ski holidays and even if I were married to a multi-zillionaire, there would be no way I’d ever pay over-the-odds for something if I could find  it cheaper with a bit of internet searching at the last minute.

Jon is getting a bit deaf in his old age (although I suspect he only needs his ears syringing) – this is useful when all five children are singing Gangnam style during supper. Brad, with good hearing, would never cope.

At least I know what the triggers are for Jon’s whinging (piles of papers in random places, dog poo on lawn, dirty washing thrown in a pile on kitchen floor, baling twine-trip hazards on horse yard). Only Angelina knows Brad’s triggers and what if he turned out to have more than Jon does?

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Filed under celebrities, comedy, Family, family, funny, grumpy husbands, Hollywood, humour, large families, married life