Skip to main content

Happy Mother's Day Lisette!

My dear Lisette,

You are an amazing mother to the boys. You might doubt that yourself on occasion, but you most certainly are. Let's take a moment and think about how this is true.


Each day you provide food, clothing and bedding for the boys. They don't worry about where their next meal is coming from, they don't worry about whether they'll have clothes. Children shouldn't have to worry about such things, and ours don't. They are relaxed and know these will be taken care of, because of you.

The Rolling Stones

"You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well, you might find
You get what you need"

If you listened to what the boys wanted, they would live very different lives. They don't have phones, they don't watch everything on TV that they'd like, they don't go to bed at 10pm. You're careful to have children that have what they need, but not what they want. If they had what they wanted, they'd be less content than they are.

You've created healthy boundaries which make for happier children. The boys wouldn't thank you for this now, but I will. Thank you.

Their biggest fan

The boys know that you really dig them. Even if they don't always respond in kind, they know that you think they are amazing. This builds quiet confidence in them. It means they don't have doubt about their tremendousness as human beings. They know they are brilliant as they have a cheering section in you. You want to spend time with them, you enjoy their company and believe that the best possible time you could be having is with them.


In your days you've built rituals for them. You start the day with cuddles and stories. We pray as a family before we leave the house and at bedtime. There's showers and stories before bed. All of these build happiness within the boys. Humans like rituals. It's a basic need we have; it centres us and calms us. You've made good rituals for the boys that make them happy and that connect then with God.

You're an amazing mother and your boys are blessed to have you xxx

a photograph taken of the whole family at dinner at Del Posto in St Margarets


Popular posts from this blog

Dieting Italian style in the Cinque Terre (or "Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen...")

We have arrived in the Cinque Terre which is on the North West coast of Italy. The direct translation is "Five Towns" and the idea is that you stroll / hike from one town to the next marvelling in the sights of the sea and the beauty of the towns. And the towns are lovely - it is as if Walt Disney came here 80 years ago to get his ideas of what fairy castles etc should look like. Pretty as a picture We are staying in the most Southerly town inside the Cinque Terre - Riomaggiore. There are no real hotels inside the Cinque Terre and the books (Lonely Planet and the " Rough Rubbish Guide to Italy") advise staying with locals. Accordingly we found ourselves following a burly, and I thought rather scary, Italian man home from the station after we arrived. Despite initial trepidation we ended up at a lovely apartment with a view of the sea at a fair price and with a gushing landlady who is wont to say things like "you should-a make-a the hay while the sun-

What would Phileas Fogg do?

It is June 2022. COVID hove into view back in early 2020 and radically adjusted all our lives. Part of that was the ability (and ease) of travelling abroad. Like so many, the Reilly family were effectively grounded since then. We have made trips, but we never left England. So when life started to seem less restrictive, we made plans. We found ourselves camping in a place called Cavallino in Italy. It looks on a map, as if it is near Venice. Looks can be deceiving. It turns out Swindon has better travel links to London than Cavallino has to Venice. However, links it has, and links we have used. You can travel from Cavallino on the bus down to Punta Sabbioni and then switch to a boat for the trip into Venice (or rather "Venezia"). This is the Reilly family on Burano, an island to the north of Venice. Having left the UK, where pretty much all COVID related mask restrictions were lifted some time ago, it was a surprise to discover that they are still in force in Italy.

Cable Cars and Credit Cards

I proferred the binbag. "All the rubbish; in here please". Conor turned to his right, "Una, will you climb in now?" Una grinned and mimed throwing objects into the sack. "There's my hopes and dreams right there Conor." Conor, Una, Lisette and I have known each other for half our lives. Well; Conor's not quite there - he's the elder statesman of our group. We met when we were working for British Airways as students, and living in Hounslow's finest dodgy digs. Since that time we've been scattered to the four winds; Una to Ireland, Conor to Switzerland. Lisette and I, well, maybe 3 miles tops to Twickenham. In seeking a mutual meeting place we found ourselves reaching for the logistically logical location: Italy. (I know; like a stepladder where you least expect it.) In keeping with how we first got to know one another, luxury accomodation was not our priority. We decided to camp. Can there be a fuller way to challenge your fear of