Stay safe?

‘Stay at home’. Yup, no problem. No Asda for weeks on end, excellent, (that is one place I definitely do not miss). No running around like a headless chicken, telling the kids that eating their tea in the car on the way to football training is all part of the ‘craic’. No staring at a car bumper for anything up to 90 minutes, to travel the 15 miles to work, to turn round and do the same thing eight hours later. No trying to squeeze in looking after animals between it all, including an irrepresibly high maintenance ex-racer, who doesn’t understand why I don’t spend all day fawning over him. So, yes people, staying at home is something we can do, result.

‘Stay healthy’. Ok, so this is getting into a bit of a grey area. We are eating a lot more homemade food, but when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. And not just nice stews, curries and soups, but the ‘homemade’ banner covers all sorts of rice crispie buns, chocolate fudge cake, scones and the ultimate, creme brulee. But no snorting, sniffling or coughing, so all good. And red wine is healthy too, right?!

‘Stay safe’. Well now you’ve gone and done it. When you work with children and animals on a daily basis, the chances of there being some sort of an incident are quite high. But when you are told, that under no uncertain terms has there to be any sort of injuries, illness, toothache, lameness, boy does that put the pressure on.

It’s like being in work, when you are trying to be the consumate professional, but your work buddy gives you a ‘look’ and all you want to do is snort with laughter and bang your fist on the desk in ridiculous, eye-watering convulsions. Or you have a pre-wedding meeting arranged with the Church Minister on a Sunday morning, but the Saturday night before turns into one of the biggest nights out EVER. Dancing and singing all the way home, with a traffic cone on your head – obviously that’s what I imagine a night Out-Out, would be like, that never ‘Actually’ happened ;-).

When you are told to behave, it can instantly become the most difficult thing to do. Or is that just me? I see it in my son too, who when put under pressure will turn completely puce in an attempt to stop giggling. Particularly when I am on the phone to work in the car and the squeaking of his cheeks (either ones) only heightens, when I try to reach into the back seat and give him a tap on the leg. And Tag functions the same, particularly in the show ring, when if you so much as sneeze at the wrong time, it puts a black mark against you.

In those situations, the pressure is on and you find that you are actually holding your breath, for fear of something going wrong, which of course is when it does. When you are scrutinising your every move autopilot doesn’t kick in and every action becomes unnatural, making both children and horses uncomfortable and unsure of how to react.

Watch you don’t trip. Careful sliding down that hill. Slow down!!

Since lock-down began, Megan has managed to jam the front brake on her bike and go head over heels onto the concrete, this has never happened before. Thankfully she jumped up and was fine, but what’s the chances? My little finger got caught in the lunge rope the other week and it is now in a bit of a funny (not so funny) shape. Granted most of my fingers have taken a hammering over the years, but I lunge regularly and have never had that issue. Go figure.img_2938So it does put you on edge, when you are trying so hard to keep everything right, that’s when you overthink things and silly mistakes creep in. I was glad to wake up at the start of this week and feel a bit more comfortable with our situation and consequently more relaxed. I’m not saying that we are out of the woods yet, but it’s nice to feel a bit more ‘normal’. Tag is very good at picking up on my ‘not-quite-normal’ status and definitely doesn’t react the same, so it’s nice to be able to lead him out to field again like someone that has done it before, rather than acting as if I had never had.

So roll on feeling a bit more relaxed, control what you can and let the rest go. Where possible. Probably as an indirect result of all of this, I can see how more screen time is becoming an integral part of everyone’s day. My opinions on the dangers of on-line forums have not changed, but if you have no bubble wrap left, locking the kids in a room with an X-Box, might just be the safest place for them at times.

With a marked change to the pace of life, there is certainly more time for reflection and here are the things I realise I have learned since my last blog;

  • Not only does a ten year old boy have the concentration span of a peanut, but without the added guidance of grandparents, teachers, football coaches, he will start to devolve, regressing to a more feral state that slowly starts to resemble an outtake from ‘Lord of the Flies.’
  • I can make a very tasty vegetable lasagne and creme brulee’s.
  • I tan pretty quickly and with an unprecedented amount of good weather, I fear my work colleagues might think my ‘lock-down’ has been in Lanzarote.
  • After a bit of a tack clearout, I found a lot of items I had forgotten I even had, including a lunge cavesson that is over 25 years old and it fits Tag perfectly!
  • Video calls with work are a great way to keep some visual contact with your colleagues, but make sure that both children and horses are properly secured before going on-line. “MUMMEEEEE!…..MUMMEEEEEEEEE!!!! TAG IS OUT!!” I leave my work video-call to run up our lane after Tag, who obviously felt that he couldn’t even comply with the ‘Stay at home’ ruling. Thankfully my tan managed to cover the redness of my face when I returned to attempt to be ‘professional’ again.
  • Getting to go to my local merchant for horse feed and shavings is now the new ‘Out-Out’ and I think before there is any chance of a real ‘Out-Out’ with my friends, I might need lunged and given a calmer to ensure I don’t wreck myself.

So we have settled a bit more into our ‘new normal’ and realise that this might go on for a while, so we have to find our groove and keep ourselves right, remembering that there are people in much worse situations and we should always make the most of what we have.

#stayathomehealthyandsafe #sorrydarwintheboyiswild #feralchildrenarefun #fromadistance #likeattheneighbourshouse #wehavethespacetogowild #wearelucky #ourgateisalwaysopen #especiallyforTag

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