Abby Lacey

Ramblings of a happy camper!

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Me and My Mental Health

To mark the end of #mentalhealthweek2019 I thought I’d share a little about me!

I’ve always suffered from anxiety – as a child, it was separation anxiety from my mum, which continued into my teens, when I was bullied at school. This led to a whole other world of anxiety which I’ve tried to overcome over the years and try not to dwell on.

As as an adult, my anxiety has manifested itself more as social anxiety (I am naturally outgoing but then worry after the event if I’ve said too much; have I upset anyone? Is everyone offended?) and this worsened after having my son Dylan, ten years ago.

I was made redundant during my maternity leave and ended up staying at home longer than I wanted. During which time, I saw the signs of more serious anxiety settle in, alongside what I now think to be postnatal depression. I used to go walking as light relief but felt that a dark cloud followed me everywhere. I remember listening to Florence and the Machine’s ‘Dog Days are over’ and wishing that they were – not because I wanted to end if all, but because I just wanted to be happy and stop worrying.

I started working again, which really helped but couldn’t still couldn’t shift the anxiety. After explaining to my husband one evening that I had visions of me harming our son – please note I would never, ever harm him, I was simply afraid I would go mad and do something – he urged me to seek help. I was so ashamed, reluctant and scared but felt that enough was enough. I went to see my GP who was fantastic. She listened to my (edited!) version of feelings and prescribed me 20mg Citalopram as well as a course of Talking Therapies.

Within a couple of weeks, I felt the difference of Citalopram – I felt ‘airy’; I could see a bit of blue sky beyond the clouds and my focus and zest for life slowly came back. I attended the Talking Therapies course but, because the drugs were working so well, I don’t think I really got the full benefit of it, however the course was excellent and I would recommend it – god bless our NHS!

That was 6 years ago. I have tried to reduce my dose of Citalopram but it didn’t work for me – I got what I call an ‘itchy brain’ where I can hear a pin drop (people walking on carpet sounds like sandpaper on wood), I got very irritable at everything including myself and the cloud started to creep back in. I’m fine with it though – times have changes so much that we’re now talking about our mental health and I’m no longer ashamed. I wouldn’t be ashamed if I was diabetic or asthmatic and you can’t see those illnesses, so why should I be ashamed that my brain’s a bit mis-wired – I’m quite kooky or ‘avant garde’ as my mum describes me!

So that’s why I wanted to get involved with Mental Heath Mates. In my darkest times, I didn’t talk to anyone and I don’t want anyone else feeling that way.

Our next walk is on Wednesday 22 May at Dinton Pastures – do come along if you can.


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Dylan’s Secret Agent Birthday Party

Being a little cash-strapped this year, we decided to forego a big party for Dylan’s 9th birthday and held it at home instead.

Without wanting the house to be trashed, we limited the number to eight school friends and let Dylan choose the theme from a selection of: paint balling, secret agent or cookery competition; the secret agent theme won.

To my delight Pinterest was a great source of ideas so began my crafting…


Being a keen logo-maker, and having just done an Udemy GIMP course, I designed the Lacey Secret Agent Training School logo, which I typically over-used throughout.

Code Breaker

This was a simple task which I made in Word out of a table, then flipped the text into Wingdings font.

Laser Maze

The Code Breaker led the boys outside where we had made a laser maze out of wool. Each boy took it in turns to climb through without touching the lasers; whoever was quickest won a small bag of Haribo sweets.


The next thing to make was a pinata, taking inspiration from One Creative Mommy.

It was a big job, but thoroughly worth it! AND it worked without the boys ripping my handiwork apart (probably because they were distracted by 44 balloons sitting around it!).


Mug shot wall

Next came the mug shot wall. This took a couple of attempts as my first, printed version, didn’t stick well, so we ended up simply painting a piece of wood, drawing the lines and then sticking the numbers on.

Nerf Gun Shooting Wall

Dylan modelled the shooting wall, expertly made by Sam, which had points velcroed to it so that the points varied from child to child. We already had the Nerf gun but bought 100 extra bullets from Amazon to avoid having to pick them up between rounds.

 Party Bags

I decided not to go all in for party bags but instead, each boy got a t-shirt with their initials on (iron on transfers from, a keyring with logo on one side and fingerprint on the other, a pair of sunglasses, pencil, badge, cupcake and water pistol.


Other decorations included 30 metres of ‘Crime Scene Do Not Cross’ tape, security access and hand scan to enter, a security line to enter and plenty of balloons!


Lucky enough to have accrued some Topcashback, the party only cost £40.75 (excluding cake mix) in total. Without it, it still would have been under £100 so I think a bargain!

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Be afraid, be very afraid

#TeamBadInfluences is back – and they’re bigger, badder and better!

After last year’s London to Brighton, the #TeamBadInfluences girls really got the cycling bug and wanted to go bigger, and stronger so on 25 June, we’re taking part in Davina McCall’s Big Sussex Bike Ride.


Last year we lost a couple of team members – Ruth, who ended up having a hip replacement – poor excuse 😉 and Sara who, last April, suffered a Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) leak which took months to heal. Both Ruth and Sara are back with a vengance though and raring to get going!

Unfortunately, we have lost Bryony as she’s done her knee in. Hopefully she’ll be back pedalling soon, or at least being our support team!

So the Team has gone from 8 to 9, which isn’t bad (influences)…

As well as being another challenge, the Team girls are raising money for a fantastic cause, Action Medical Research (AMR), a charity dedicated to improving the health of babies and children.

Hundreds of thousands of children’s lives are devastated by disease and disability – in fact had it not been for AMR, Abby, would not be on her bike today!

So dig deep, peeps, and give all you can to this fabulous cause and keep #TeamBadInfluences on the road for another year:


I am a feminist

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Happy Women’s Day

On this International Women’s Day, I am standing proud and shouting from the rooftops:

I am a feminist

… in the truest sense. I am not a man-hater (if you know me, you know how much I love men!), never going to burn my bra (I wouldn’t inflict that on the world!) and I don’t think women are better than men. I just want us to be equal.

But, to get equality, we have to work together, not just girls, but all of us. We have to stop shaming each other, stand together, love one another… and reach for the sky!

She believed she could so she did

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Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Competition time!As well as #gettingmyshittogether this year, I am decided to experiment in the world of comping. for those unfamiliar with the phrase, it is:

“the practice of entering competitions, especially those promoting consumer products.”

My self-imposed rule is that I don’t go looking for comps, but if I see one, I must enter it.

So far, I’ve tried my hand at winning tickets for a motorhome show, a few holidays and £35,000 for a deposit on a house and recently won tickets to the Outdoor Adventure & Camping Show.

Outdoor Adventure Show

Outdoor Adventure Show

Having spoken to a few peeps about comping, many think it’s a great idea and have shared tales of friends of friends who have won holidays, cars and even houses.

So there seems to be some merit is perhaps extending my experiment… providing I don’t get obsessed (good luck with that, Ab!)!