London to Paris, on a bike…

In June, to celebrate my Mum’s 60th, my family took on a challenge unlike anything we’ve ever done before. My Mum, my sister and I cycled from London to Paris in a little peloton of three, with my Dad as our support driver/lunch provider/hotel porter.

We took on the 250 miles over 5 days, some longer than others – the longest was over 70 miles and the shortest (the last) under 30 miles. We stayed in some lovely places along the route and surprised ourselves at how much we enjoyed the experience – our legs coped so well with all the hills (there were LOTS!!) and I don’t think we felt tired once!

There is nothing like the feeling of cycling alongside fields of poppies and vast open spaces to clear the head and put lots of things into perspective. In my case, I’d been head down and full steam ahead in a pretty stressful project at work and it was such a lovely feeling to down tools and just be free even if just for a few days.

Time spent with family is never a waste, we enjoyed being in each others company – a rarity these days with small children around – and the added benefit of doing all of this for charity was not lost on us – we are incredibly fortunate to have our health and the ability to undertake such a mammoth task, so any difficult hills along the way were met with determination and grit (and lots of pedalling!)

We raised over £3,700 for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation in honour of my cousin Mark who has had a Liver disease since birth and received a donor liver four years ago. I was invited to speak on Radio Oxford before and during the journey, which was a lovely thing to do to be able to raise awareness of this charity.

Here are some photos from our journey:



End of term 2017

Somehow we’ve reached the end of the summer term. Elliot has finished in Year 1 and Alexander only has one more year in Pre-school before he starts Primary school in 2018. These babies of mine are sure growing up fast!

To mark the end of the school year, we took a little quiz – we’ll aim to do this year by year and hopefully see little personalities coming through and developing over the years.

Elliot, aged 6 1/2. End of Year 1:

What is your favourite food? – “sausage roll”

What is your favourite colour? – “green and blue”

What would you like to be when you grow up? – “a builder and a footballer”

What is your favourite film?  – “Star Wars”

What is your favourite book?  – “Calvin and Hobbes”

Who is your favourite superhero?  – “Spider-Man and Captain America”


Alexander, aged 3 1/2. Pre-school:

What is your favourite food? – “Milk”

What are your favourite colours? – “Pink and green”

What would you like to be when you grow up? – “a builder or a milk delivery man”

What is your favourite film? – “Octonauts”

What is your favourite book? – “Thomas books”

Who is your favourite superhero? – “Robin and Hulk smash”

I’m quite excited at the prospect of a building company run by brothers. I know Alexander would definitely be in more of the demolition trade based on his tendencies with LEGO in this house!

It’s been fun asking them questions and noting them down. Will definitely try to make this an annual exercise just to see how it changes!
Photos by Jamie Conroy, Witney 

My beautiful boys

I’ve taken a couple of lovely photos of the boys recently that I really wanted to share on here. I’m not a particularly good photographer, and it’s something I’m really keen to work on. These two were actually both taken on my trusty iPhone (remind me why I spent £300 on a DSLR in January?!)

Anyway, I think they really capture my little boys at this stage in their lives.

Cuddles are still in favour (long may that last!) – he likes to cuddle everything! He has been pretty poorly with ongoing colds recently so cuddles have been accompanied by lots of nose wiping. The working mum’s nightmare of snot trails on shoulders that I only notice when I’m in a meeting, have happened more often than I’d like recently, but hey ho.

This photo was taken while he and I spent some time den building at Charlecote park a few weeks ago. I love his little cheeky smile. He’s developing a real curiosity about him – always asking questions! I really need to do some swotting up to get answers ready!


Photos like this remind me how very much I love these two and feel so lucky each day to be their Mama.. even when they’re trying my patience and refusing to put shoes on/be put down (which is actually most of the time at the’s a phase right?!)

Today – my day with my littlest

We’re reaching that part of maternity leave that seems to be full of lasts and firsts.

It sounds rather dramatic and sentimental, but today was the last day (ever?) that I get to spend the entire day with my youngest son, on our own, before I go back to work next month.

We went to our last (ever!) Saltbox music group and I managed to hold it together enough not to blub at the point where all the babies just sit in awe of the bubble machine (why do I find that really moving? I’m clearly weird!) We’ve really loved those classes, have done them for months.

We celebrated our last class by having coffee and cake with a friend. Mmm chocolate cake on Monday morning – the best way to start the week!

Alexander and I then had a walk (well I walked, he slept!) and then lunch at home.

This afternoon I thought we should mark today in a small way, by doing some canvases of Alexander’s hands and feet. We got some kits for Christmas last year and have never got round to using them. Turns out it’s really easy so not sure why we didn’t do it until now. It’s nice that my sentimental brain will be able to look at them in the months to come and know we did that on our last day together.

So, my beautiful giggly little Alexander, thank you so much for the past 10 months, I’ve had a ball. Hope you’ve loved it too. I know you’ll love nursery and I’m so jealous of the ladies that get to spend their days with you while I’m at work.

Love you littlest one

Mummy xx

Some pics of our day (sorry there’s a few!):







Siblings – August

A late one from me this month. It’s no excuse but to be perfectly honest time is just passing way too quickly at the moment and upon scanning over my photos of the month I realised I had no pictures of the boys together for the whole month. Rubbish.

So this evening during a little post-nursery/pre-bedtime play in the garden I snapped the boys in their playhouse.

The playhouse was put up last year and has been being enjoyed by Elliot ever since. In the last week or so Elliot has been asking Alexander to join him so we’ve been putting him in there too, before being asked by Elliot to get out. He’s enjoying showing his little brother what fun he gets up to in there.

We’ve put a desk in there that I made when I was at school, and an old rug makes a cosy floor. I also got some pockets from ikea to go on the wall for much needed storage, and some time ago my Dad (the boys’ Grampy) bought Elliot some led dragonfly lights which he likes to switch on and off.

I think they’ll have many years of happiness in their little house. It’s even been given it’s own number (55) by Elliot putting stickers on the door!




dear beautiful

See my other Siblings posts below, and check out this months linky on Dear Beautiful: