Indoor Skydive: A Family Adventure

Ever wondered what it was like to fly?

Flying is a sensation that very few people, especially young children, get to experience. Indoor skydiving gives you a unique feeling of flying. With the use of a vertical wind tunnel you get to make your dream of flying become a reality. It is a safe and fun experience with a highly qualified instructor that teaches you to fly,step by step.

We was very lucky to have been given Family tickets for a flight experience with iFly, which has a centre at Milton Keynes.

Our flight was booked at 12pm but they require you to check in an hour before. We filled out the necessary forms in preparation for the flights, but you if you get to iFly in plenty of time you can fill them out before you fly at the centre.

Everyone in the group was introduced to the flight instructor who gives you 1-1 help in the tunnel. Our instructor was very informative and friendly. We was all briefed about what to expect inside the tunnel, watched an instructional video and then shown the hand signals that would be used for communication inside. We was all then issued our flight jumpsuits, goggles and helmet.


The younger boys got to choose a helmet that had little teddy bears sticking out of the top. They looked so cute when they were in the tunnel and the little teddy was bobbing about in the wind.


Once all suited up they were ready to fly


We made our way to the flight tunnel, which had viewing all around. The vertical wind tunnel can produce 165mph wind speeds. All of the flyers lined up one by one to wait their turn to go into the tunnel and take flight with the instructor.

Before you enter the tunnel, you have to stand at the entrance with your arms stretched above your head and when the instructor gives you a thumbs up you have to lean forward towards him. The instructor then grabs your arms and leads you into the air tunnel safely so that your legs don’t catch on the entrance. Once in the middle, the instructor holds onto you until you get your balance and then he let’s go of you so that you can drift off. Once you have mastered the key flying skills you are able to try more advanced manoeuvres (but this comes with more lessons) You get to experience freefall as you float on a smooth cushion of air.

The aim is to relax and have fun. Stretch out your arms and legs and in Superman Style…Fly!

The whole experience lasts for an hour, with about 5 minutes flying in the tunnel.

We chose to have a High Flight, which was the best part of the experience. With the instructor guidance and support, they boys were flown 3-6 feet up the tunnel. They flew in a rise and fall pattern whilst turning. The High Flight happened for the last 15-20 seconds of their second flight

With no parachute, no jumping and nothing attached to them. I watched my boys fly. They were a little nervous, especially the little one, but that soon disappeared when the adrenaline kicked in.

Their faces say it all. They said that the feeling was unforgettable, they felt light and free.

We give iFly indoor skydiving a big thumbs up
We give iFly indoor skydiving a big thumbs up

The whole experience was definitely one to remember. The instructor was patient, professional and encouraging. My boys didn’t stop smiling for days (and that’s not because the wind in the tunnel had such force that it made it that way). At the end of the experience they were rewarded with a certificate which showed what flying skills they had mastered.

My son won this experience after I entered him into a competition that was run by Coca Cola and blogger Emmys Mummy and Harry Too to uncover an unsung hero. I nominated my son as he was my rock whilst I was having treatment for Cancer and is always putting others first. He is a very determined young boy and deserved a treat. He was my hero and still is.

Thank you for choosing us 🙂



learning to accept my Body Insecurities

At some point in our lives we all feel a little insecure about our bodies. We are all different with our own little flaws; we are not exact copies of each other, nor do we look like those airbrushed photos that are shared in the media.

From an early age we are all exposed to what, we think, we should look like on social media, TV and magazines; it’s not surprising that we feel insecure with our bodies.

The flaws on our body are what makes us. They are our make-up.

They tell a journey of life.

Many women have marks on their body that show a journey from a girl into a woman.

I have stretch marks, like many women, they are a reminder of how my body adjusted in order to grow my three wonderful children.

For years I suffered fighting my own demons on how I thought others perceived my body image. I was always worried about what I looked like, lacking confidence and having a low self-esteem of myself. I may be small in size, but I hated not having bigger breasts and don’t get me started on my hips/backside. I didn’t see what others saw although, I thought others saw worse.

Looking back I had no different flaws to any other person, I just wished I didn’t waste my time and energy in telling myself that I was no good. Looking back to how I used to feel makes me realise how normal I was.

I have a choice; feel bad about my body or learn to accept ‘I am who I am’. I am not model but I am perfect to my children and family, that’s all that matters.

I used to question my partners attention to other women;questioning my own looks and  figure but never my personality. That is something I have never had a problem with. I love who I am on the inside it was what was on the outside that I struggled with.

In order to love my self I have to let go of that ‘socially ideal image’ that I see as perfect and accept who I am.

It is taking time but I am getting there.

I need to shut out all of the negative thoughts and feelings about my body image and focus on the positive ones. I  need to recognize my strengths as well as personal value and worth.

A year ago I had bowel surgery to remove a tumour, this has resulted in me now having a permanent stoma. It’s not something I like to talk about. I don’t see having a stoma as a bad thing but I believe others do. People, in general do not understand what others have been through, they see it as weird and un-natural to have a bowel opening on your abdomen.  I am learning to accept my body once more. I have my moments where I struggle to accept this ‘thing’ on my tummy. Some days I hate it. Some days I accept it. One thing for sure, is that I just wish I could tell my younger self to not waste time in torturing myself over my body image and to appreciate the health that I had instead of putting myself down all the time.

Having Cancer and two major surgeries have made me realise how precious my body is. How precious life is. It’s too short to worry about how I look like and how others see me.

I need to find me again, from within. I am trying to gain a positive outlook and to focus on my unique qualities instead of what I see in the mirror. Finding my identity that isn’t based on just looks or a body image.

I am building my confidence up focusing on improving my self on the inside as well as the outside. Last year I enrolled on a course to better myself within my work. I have joined a gym, which adds to having a positive body image; leading an active lifestyle and making healthier nutritional choices. And, I am teaching myself, as well as my children, meditation and yoga.

But, most of all I have set myself a goal. I will no longer have the body that I had pre-operation (pre-cancer), I have learnt to accept that no amount of exercise will reduce my post-op swelling and no scars will disappear. I am learning to see me for who I am. I refuse to fight the demons anymore. My scars tell a journey of my existance and what I have fought.

I have overcome many challenges over the past couple of years and I am sure there will be many more. I have found confidence from within and my own ways to cope with social situations.

By sharing my experience I am hoping that it will encourage others to believe in themselves.

Self-acceptance is hard but it is possible with the right mindset. I understand where my weaknesses and strength lie. It’s accepting who I am, not who I think I am supposed to be.

I am not quite ready to share a body image of myself yet. But you never know, watch this space…


A Snowy World Book Day

It’s the 1st March, otherwise known as World Book Day. A day where chidlren all over dress up as their favourite book characters.

Today schools up and down the country closed due to heavy snow fall. The children have been looking forward to dressing up for the past few weeks. No one could have anticipated that World Bok day would actually become a national ‘No School Snow Day’

As soon as the children heard that school was closed, they immediately got upset; not because they would be missing lessons. No, it was because they wanted to show off their outfits. So, Even though the school has postponed World Book Day, it hasn’t stopped my boys still adorning their outfits today and going out into the snow for a little photo shoot.

This year the boys opted for Newt Scamandar and Peter Rabbit

If your school closed today, did your children still get dressed up?


Mum, Are You Proud Of Me?

There is nothing more that makes me proud of any of my three children than just being themselves.

I have three boys aged from 6 to 15 and they are all individuals, exceeding in different areas with talents and interests that are not the same as each other. That’s what makes them individuals.

There are no words that can describe how much each of them mean to me, I was blessed with three amazing young boys, who, without a doubt, I know will grow into three incredible young men. Being a Mum to these boys has given me a purpose in life and has shown me a new sense of being. They are why my heart beats and why blood runs through my veins. They give me energy like no other.

I am proud of all three of them and even though I tell them how much they all make me proud, the other day my middle boy (I actually hate calling him my middle boy, because they say that it’s always the middle child that gets left out and I am always conscious of that) asked me if he made me proud of him.

These 5 words stung my eyes.

There is nothing more that makes me proud of my boys than who they are. But, obviously my son was feeling a little left out.

We had had a couple of hours together doing something that he absolutely enjoys with a passion, we had gone cycling around the country park. He loves nature and the outdoors. So we spent some time, just him and I, cycling through the park looking at tress, listening to the birds and looking out across the lake at the birds swooping down to catch the fish.

He is such a sensitive soul and the most caring boy I know, he may not be outstanding academically but he is full of knowledge.

He can tell you so much about animals and their habitats. He can talk about them for hours.

He knows all about countries, there flags and where about they are in the world.

He can read a book of 600 pages, re-telling the story with passion, remembering every part of it.

He has his own fashion style, he always likes to look smart and likes to wear quirky clothes. He enjoys being different.

He is adventurous, courageous, intuitive, sensitive and loving.

I could go on describing how perfect he is to me, but like I said there really are not enough words.

I told him all this, all of the above and more.

I told him how much he means to me and that it makes me sad that he even had to ask me if he makes me proud.

I tell him and his brothers often how proud I am of them. Even for the little things. Like offering to hold the door open for someone, carrying my bag when they can see me struggling or for their caring nature.

Being proud of them doesn’t mean that they have to achieve something that is extra-ordinary or special. It’s seeing them grow. It’s watching them achieve personal goals. It’s those small moments that are giant steps of success. I give them praise when it matters and talk about the obstacles that they have overcome.

I held my son so tight and looked him in the eye and told him just look at me, with no words. Because no words could describe how proud of him I was, only the look of love and pride in my eyes could. That’s how we stood. In the middle of a country park, faces cupped into each others hands. Staring into each others eyes. (this in itself was an achievement for my son, as he finds it hard to keep eye contact) After a few moments we let go of our contact and cuddled each other. He just smiled at me and said that he saw the love nd adoration I had for him.

I myself, saw a little boy who was struggling to find a place for himself amongst the world around him. I saw a boy who needed Love. I told him whenever he needs that whenever he is feeling sad and alone to just remember the look in my eyes

I hope now he realises that words are not needed to show how proud I am of him.



Funny things children say and do – Just deflating

There are times when my boys have me in fits of giggles with the things that they say and do. I am not sure where they get it from, and even though sometimes I am horrified with what they come out with I can not help myself holding back the laughter (although, sometimes I have to refrain from it, especially when they say things beyond their years)

The other day we were all sitting around the dining table, talking about the day that we had had and eating our dinner. There was silence and we all heard, what I can only describe as a high pitch noise, a bit like a balloon that has just been let off to fly around the room. We all just stared at each other wondering where the sound came from, when my son said “Sorry, I was just deflating!” His face was so serious, that we all just burst into fits of giggles.


My eldest was talking about his running training and why his coach had cancelled the weekends training session. My youngest misheard completely what he was saying

“Gary is taking his wife to a football match” What the eldest said

“What’s a Call the Midwife game?” Is what the youngest thought he said


My mum fractured her ankle and we have just got back from spending a few days with her. She has got it in cast and is struggling using the crutches that the hospital gave to her. My eldest -who is 15- decided to spend the whole time whilst we were there, on a crutch as well. He said it was to make his Nan feel better about herself. He even put on a limp when he didn’t have the crutch with him.

But, this one tops them all. It was about 9.30 in the evening and I had just gone into the boy bedroom to give them a kiss goodnight. They were sleeping soundly, but it’s something that I always do before I go to bed. My middle boy sleeps in a high bunker, so I climbed the ladder and crawled into his bed for a quick cuddle and a kiss. He stirred a little so I softly whispered to him that it’s ok and Mummy was just kissing him goodnight. I got myself ready for bed and as I turned my bedroom light and just snuggled into my duvet, I felt someone creep into my bed beside me. My son, then said that he wasn’t feeling very well and felt very tired. I gave him a hug and said he will be ok and to go back to bed. He got up out of the bed and turned the light on. It was then that I noticed he had his school uniform on. He thought that I had woke him up for school! That’s not all of it though, before coming in to me, he had gone downstairs to the bathroom and as he passed the dining room he saw his older brother sitting at the table in there. He asked him to make him some cereal and that he would be back soon for it. He then went back up to his bedroom and got dressed and then came into me. He had only been asleep for an hour and a half, no wonder he still felt very tired lol

What have your little scallywags been up to lately?




Travelling With Your Child Who Has a Different Surname to You

It is not uncommon for a parent to have a different surname to their child. I for one, do not share the same surname with my boys. My children’s father and I are not married so I still have my maiden name but my children’s surname is the same as their fathers. There are  millions of children living with cohabiting, unmarried parents.
This can become a problem when travelling abroad with your children and your partner is not with you.


Two years ago I was travelling from Malta with my three boys and my mum. At the passport control I was asked what my relationship to the boys were. I told them I was their Mum and they asked why I had a different surname to them. I had to explain that I was not married to their father and that myself and my mum had been on holiday with the boys for half term and their father was at home in England. They even asked my son, who was 8 at the time, who I was to him. He answered without a thought, looking rather puzzled by the whole situation but later on he did ask me why they were asking him such questions.

I was lucky on this occasion that I was not turned away, but they do have the right to refuse entry/exit as a duty of care to protect children and to screen for child abduction.

The passport system does not recognise that children might have different surnames. The child’s passport only lists their name, date and place of birth. There is nothing on their that shows the border control who their parents are. The passports are out of date and have not kept up with the modern family.

The man at border control said that by looking at the children he could tell that they were comfortable in being with me and that next time he strongly advises me to bring along documentation to prove that they are my children and a letter from their father stating that I can take them out of the country.

The madness of it all was that I had already got them out of the country with no problems but it was getting back home that was the problem. If I was refused to exit the country then I wouldn’t have been able to bring my boys home to their father.

UK passports should make it easier for families to travel, not make it difficult. It isn’t the most important issue but it can delay the process at the border control and it can be very humiliating experience. Not only for yourselves but a knock on effect in delaying the people behind you. It’s stressful enough travelling with young children and then you have to prove that your own offsprings belong to you in front of others around you. It’s unfair that unmarried parents are being subjected to harassment and delays because they choose not have the same surname as their children. What if a parent is divorced in a unpleasant situation?

Last year I travelled to Paris with my children, again on my own and not with their Father. I took along their birth certificates –  which has my name on them, proving that I am their Mother. We travelled via Eurostar and changed at Lille. We managed to get through the border control for France without them asking any questions but taking only a few steps and we was at the UK border control where they asked for proof that the children were mine. This time I had come prepared and handed over their birth cerificates and although they were happy with the documents I was handing over they advised me to also carry a signed letter from their Dad. How this makes a difference, I don’t know! Anyone can write a letter and pretend that they are the other parent to the child. Maybe it would have to be signed in front of officials in order for it be acknowledged as parental proof.

Parents do not have to go through this embarrassment of proving their parental right if a simple piece of data was added on to the child’s passport. In order for me to apply for the children’s passports I had to send of both parents passports and details to the passport agency. So, it should be on file somewhere, and it’s no good being on file in an office in England if it can not be used at border control. I don’t want to carry the child’s birth certificates with me whilst travelling, but to save the embarrassment of being harassed at border control, I have to.




What a Difference A Year Makes

The past two years have been hard on the family,  I have had many hurdles to get over and many life changing decisions to make. The Year before was fighting emotional barriers, the past year have been trying to gain weight and muscle back from my nightmare hospital stay.

I lost a lot of weight during my hospital stay after the operations and was discharged on the 28th December 2016, weighing under 5 stone. My weight before I fell ill was always between 7 and a half to 8 stone.

A few days after my first operation
A few days after my first operation

During my time in hospital I had days where I didn’t eat or drink, I was told I was Nil by Mouth by a doctor over the weekend and then my doctor would come back on shift and tell me to eat. Eventually, eating and drinking became a chore and I struggled to even take sips of water. A dietician ordered for me to have a TPN fitted; a Total Parental Nutrition. It was administered into a PICC line, through a main vein, as a way of giving my body the essential nutrients needed to stay healthy.

I quickly became weak after my second operation and the weight began to drop
I quickly became weak after my second operation and the weight began to drop

I suffered quite significant changes to my physical and emotional health. I was inactive for over 2 months, just laying in a hospital bed and I could only manage a few trips around the ward. My strength was weak and I struggled to walk without help. Most of the time I used my drip stand for support, other times I was helped by a member of the family. I needed the nutrition to aid the recovery after surgery but also to gain strength. My muscles became weak and my joints stiff.

Christmas Day in hospital
Christmas Day in hospital

When family or friends visited, I covered myself up in my dressing gown to hide away how I looked.

It was hard to recover from my critical illness and 2 serious operations, the process was difficult and slow. Whilst I was in hospital I must have vomited every day. Family and staff believed I was doing it to myself, but it was hard to explain that my body was rejecting it. I could no longer swallow a glass of water, only managing a few sips every hour or so. Every time I ate; I was sick. I was given nutrition drinks called Fortisip but they were too sweet and they didn’t stay down too long before they was being brought back up. I lost my appetite, although I yearned to eat good food. I could no longer taste food.

My bones poked through my skin and hurt. This was just before Christmas day
My bones poked through my skin and hurt. This was just before Christmas day

Nutrition was the key to building back up my body strength and natural defences. I needed to build strength, boost my immune system, gain weight and restore my overall health and well-being. I was losing faith in myself and the doctors didn’t have the answers as to why my body was refusing food/drink. It was down to me. I couldn’t look in the mirror without crying, seeing a stranger looking back at me looking frail and withdrawn

My pain was being managed by 1/2 paracetamol four times a day. I wasn’t allowed anything stronger due to me weight.

A few days after Christmas my surgeon asked me if I wanted to go home. Of coarse I said yes. He signed my discharge papers and I was allowed home. He said that I needed to be home to recover.

Once at home my journey began.

I couldn’t walk up the stairs without being carried up. I had to sleep on the sofa downstairs as the bed was too hard for my skin. I slept on two soft filled toppers plus cushions.

With the help of my family being around me all day long, I began to take regular sips of water. Slowly my intake increased.

I had a choice of my own food, when i wanted it.

I ate every so often.

I wanted to gain weight but didn’t want to eat junk food to do it. I ate five/six small meals a day. Drank smoothies and weight gaining shakes. Ate yoghurt and snacked on fruit.

Gradually with the help of my family, I started to gain weight. It was weird as it was New Year and everyone else was dieting and I was trying my hardest to gain weight. My social media time lines were full of dieting and slimming clubs, where i was doing the opposite and eating high calorie foods to put the weight on. I downloaded an app that counted up the intake of my meals, it gave me a daily run down of calorie and protein.

22 days being home
22 days being home

Now my weight was slowly increasing I had to look at my  strength. I began to integrate exercise into my daily routines. My first was A short walk down the road, just a few hundred metres with the help of my son. It wasn’t long and I was taking longer walks. Even though I could walk, I needed help to sit down and stand up. My joints stiffened after a few seconds. I couldn’t bend down without being assisted. I began to see a physiotherapist who helped with building back my muscles. I was given  exercises to do and after 6 weeks was shown how to use gym equipment to help.

A year after the first operation
A year after the first operation

It has taken some time but I now feel like I am getting there. I still have work on the muscles in my legs, specifically around the knees but it’s a gradual process.

I now attend the gym a couple of times a year. Something I have never done before and I enjoy it. I don’t stand on the scales to weigh myself, It’s not needed. I only have to look at myself to know that my weight is fine.

I am happy with where I am today. I am proud of my development. But, I wouldn’t be where I am without the perseverance and help that I received from my family and friends.

Me now
Me now

The past year has been one hell of a journey.

I wonder what this year will bring?