Life this summer has been bonkers, some would say ridiculously so. No two weekends have been the same and many haven’t gone to plan (this last one being a case in point. We were looking forward to being at home and doing nothing but then at two hours notice we were on our way to Manchester so I could spend eight minutes on the BBC Breakfast sofa). At times it has been stressful, has made me cry, or tear my hair out. But at other times it has made me smile and mutter under my breath “just another crazy day at Barrow Towers”.
A few months ago Ellie’s boyfriend Ewan was writing his final dissertation for his uni degree. It was a stressful time, he had a job to hold down, performances to perfect, an essay to finish, and research to collate for the dissertation. A lot of that done whilst Ellie was in hospital for a week and then recovering at home, unable to drive or really move too much for six weeks. In the midst of all that one afternoon I wandered into the two of them in the lounge and said “can I either of you draw a horse?” I had been approached by Petplan Equine Horse Insurance to get involved with their latest campaign encouraging children to draw their dream horse. Knowing my drawing skills would make it look like a two year old had done it I thought I would enlist the help of my children, albeit only one of them was home and she was in her twenties. I thought it might lighten the mood for a few minutes and relieve the stress of what was happening that day by being a slight distraction.
Not really questioning why I had come in with such a random question Ewan got to work on drawing a horse on his laptop as a ten minute break from uni work and then slowly turned his laptop around to show me this masterpiece:
I thought it was superb, insisted he sign it, add his name and age and think no more of it. Ellie did ask me what was going on and I muttered “oh it’s just a blog thing”, you know, just another random day at Barrow Towers. Makes me laugh how that is now deemed a perfectly reasonable explanation these days.
Three weeks later, long after the dissertation had been submitted and the drawn masterpiece had been forgotten this gem turned up in the post:
To say we laughed for a week would be an understatement. It has toes! Did you ever see a horse with toes? It is exactly as Ewan drew it, it couldn’t be more perfect.
It arrived as a timely reminder that life can be stressful, in fact on a day when I was hoping we might exchange contracts on a property we are selling, the fifth such day when we had our hopes set, only to be dashed by the solicitor at 4pm when something else had come to light further down the chain. Life can throw us curveballs but we need to remember three things. One, minimise every day stresses by trying to stay organised (maybe even taking on board some of the tips in my “Getting Organised” blog post) and on top of paperwork and admin. Shoving bits of paper in a diary so you know where they are and can find them when needed, and can then pay stuff on time and not have important stuff like MOTs expire, or insurance policy lapse.
Two, don’t sweat the stuff that hasn’t happened yet. I have spent my summer worrying about things that haven’t happened. We did eventually exchange on the property and it completes next week but getting worked up every day for seven months really wasn’t helping!
Three, grab opportunities to have a laugh when you can. It would have been really easy for Ewan to say “I can’t, I am too busy” that afternoon and that would have been a real shame because it would have denied us the joy that is our very own stuffed hand drawn horse.
This post has been possible thanks to Petplan Equine Horse Insurance, but all thoughts are my own