Flashback Friday – 14 weeks and counting!

This time last year I was 14 weeks pregnant with Esther and William. Because we knew it was twins and because we had IVF we had lots of early scans showing us our babies developing. We really were very lucky in that respect. From 12 weeks they started to look less like aliens and more like babies. Things started to feel real. We were going to have not one baby but two!!

I loved going for scans though I was alway anxious that something would not be right, we had been warned by our clinic about vanishing twin syndrome and a higher risk of miscarriage throughout the pregnancy. It was a time of joy but also of worry. I did not have a very active pregnancy as I was so frightened that something would go wrong.

The scans were like a window into another world. A private silent world that Esther and William were already sharing and learning about each other.

When the babies were born at 27 weeks we were given another window, an opportunity to see first hand how babies develop at such an early stage. We saw with our own eyes what most parents see only on a scan photo. It helps to look at prematurity in that way sometimes, an opportunity to witness human development at its earliest stages.

Esther and William were so tiny and so perfect and it was a privilege to be able to watch them grow from kidney beans to aliens to mini athletes to proper podgy babies.

Today for the Friday Flashback I wanted to think back to those earliest of days and to remember the excitement of being pregnant and the thrill of growing new lives inside of me. It really is a wonderful thing we do.

Here are Esther and William at 13+5, less than 14 weeks later they were born x

Flashback Friday – All Island Championship

When I was 6 we moved to Cyprus where I went to Berengaria School followed by Episkopi Primary. It was a great place to be during thos important childhood years. School started at 7.30am and finished at lunch ready for afternoons in the sun and on the beach. Happy days!

One of my best school memories from this time is playing table tennis. My Mum and Dad were both excellent table tennis players and my Mum in particular won lots of trophies and awards.

In 1985 I also played table tennis in a competition and what’s more, I won. I won the Junior Doubles competition with my good friend Mary Casson and I came second to her in the Singles contest. These games formed part of the All Island Table Tennis Tournament where I represented my school.

I continued to play table tennis when we moved from Cyprus to Germany but I never played competitively again, which is a shame really as I think if I had continued I could have been really rather good. My parents still play even now, though socially rather than competitively.

Here are some photos of a younger more champion me!

Friday Flashback: Wee Sis

Today I have been missing my little sister. She lives in Australia and I know that she is very happy there but sometimes I really miss her, more than any words can say.

Today I have been thinking about when I first introduced, Julie, my little sister to my fiance, David. Dave and I were living in West Malling at the time and Julie came to stay in our flat for a long weekend. We had a fabulous time and as I knew that they would, Dave and Julie got on really well. It was brilliant, two people I am closest to in the world seemed to like each other, I was a very happy girl.

It was the summer of 2007 and I think it was a happy time for all of us. We certainly look happy in the photos I have chosen to share today.

It was a glorious summer weekend. The air was warm, the sun was shining and swimming in the sea was refreshing and cool. We went to the beach at Joss Bay and it was a perfect perfect day. At night we went to the pub, the three of us, and got merry chatting and playing drinking games. It really was a wonderful day.

This Friday Flashback is of happy summer days with the people I love best of all.

Flashback Friday – Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage!

This Friday I have chosen to reflect on my acting career – amateur dramatics that is.

I started performing when I was 6 years old in school nativities and local pantomimes and I continued into my thirties playing lots of fantastic roles, mostly in musicals and one act plays.

I studied drama at school to GCSE level and also completed A-Level Theatre Studies.

I share my love of theatre and acting with many of my friends and my fiance David.

I really do love acting and singing and directing and hope that at least one of my children will inherit the theatre bug from me.

Today I have been remembering good times and good friends made in theatres across Europe.

I have been recalling Little Shop of Horrors and playing Audrey, Dulcie in The Boyfriend, Mrs Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank, many principle boy and girl parts in panto and much more.

I have been reliving my roles and singing all the songs for I still know all the words.

There is no business like show business even when the show is an amateur one!

Our House in the Middle of Our Street

Making Our House Our Home
For this week’s flashback I want to share some photos, in no particular order, of Willow House becoming our home.
We decided to move from our cute little cottage in Bodiam at the end of 2008, when we started IVF. Naively we just assumed that the treatment would work first time and that very soon we would be a family of 3, or even 4.
We found our current house online before it was properly on the market. There were no pictures, only a very brief description, but as it was in a good location for us we decided to go and take a look.
We found this house, our home, and we immediately fell in love with it.
It is a higgledy-piggledy lopsided 17th century cottage which has been sympathetically improved and extended creating a wonderful family home. It is softly lit through small windows and has a very warm feel inside though in reality the house is often freezing because of all the holes in the ancient walls!
On our first viewing we rushed from room to room gasping and exclaiming at how perfect it was for us. The beams, the original floors and doors, the little garden leading to stepping stones over a stream and on to the village green. It was perfect. We could see how we would fill and use each room. It excited and inspired us. We wanted the house to be ours. But we were not the only ones … another couple had viewed he property with as much excitement, energy and enthusiasm as us.
At the end of the viewing we had a chat with the owners who seemed to like us, a young, professional couple with no plans for children!! The owner did not want children living in their house. David and I assured them we were not planning any as they told us that we were not the only people interested in the house.
We went away excited but disappointed, we could not move into a house where we could not have children. Once home at our other house I decided to write to the owners and explain our story to see what could be done. I explained about the IVF and how we might fall pregnant within weeks or not for tears, it was impossible to know. I told them how much we loved the house and that if we were to have a baby there we would leave before they were mobile and able to cause any damage.
We sent the letter and we waited.
We waited.
Then we got a letter, a letter saying that the house was ours and in February 2009, the day of our first unsuccessful embryo transfer, we collected our keys. Later that month we moved in and vegan making our new house, Willow House, into our home.
During the two week wait of that first IVF cycle I had furnished our new house through EBAY. And on moving day David and his Dad drove all around London collecting the bits I had bought. It was a very tiring day particularly for David and his Dad.
There were some bits of furniture I had not bought that David made; our enormous dining table and our bookshelves. And later our television stand. He made them all from wood using no nails or screws. He used the Internet to teach himself how to do it and they are amazing. A real focal point of our house along with the fires.
This house is in a community that has become special to us, I was baptised in the church behind our house where later this year we will marry and next the twins will be christened. I taught in the village school, we had our engagement barn dance in the church barn and it is just a really lovely place to be. I will be sad when we leave to buy a house of our own.
This is a house that is at its best at Christmas. The beams and fires come alive when decorated with traditional Christmas trimmings and our magnificent table can host a wonderful festive feast.
It has become even more of a home since the babies arrived and we created their nursery and playroom. For a house that is not supposed to have children it has become all the better for having the here.
I love our house, our home.
I hope that you enjoy this peek inside.

For further Flashback Friday Fun hop on over to Cafe Bebe’s Blog and see what other people are sharing.
Perhaps you have a favourite flashback of your own?

First Ever Flashback Friday

For the first ever Flashback Friday I am exploring Februarys past.

FEBRUARY 2011

This February has been all about my sister’s wedding.  My wee sis got married to her lovely man, Hugh.  They are now in the US on honeymoon before they return to Oz where they live.  Well done again, wee sis.  So, so proud x

FEBRUARY 2010

February 2010 featured another wedding.  On a beautiful winter day David and I went to our dear friends Rich and Lex’s wedding.  I was about 5 weeks pregnant in this picture and we were not sure yet if it would be twins or not!!

FEBRUARY 2009

February 2009 is when we moved into our house.  It has snowed a lot since we started living here.  It is a perfect house for snow and Christmas.  More about that next Friday as I plan to feature the house again in my Friday Flashback post.

FEBRUARY 2008

This was the month that my parents left for Spain but here I am with my Dad on his February birthday before they left.  It his birthday on Sunday actually, so …

Happy Birthday Dad!!

So there you have it, a little flash through my februarys past.  What will you choose to reminisce about?  What have others chosen to share?  Why not hop on over to Cafe Bebe and begin your own trip down memory lane.

Thank you for a fun Friday meme x x

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