About us







Second Year In the Philippines First Year

A collection of some of Charles' `firsts'. Many exciting moments and great achievements are recorded here. Of course this is only a selection of his `firsts' - there are many we did not record on camera, most of which would have been quite inappropriate; the ones involving nappies, for instance.


Although neither Ivy nor David can (yet!!) play the piano with more than one finger at a time, Charles is already starting to play with all of his. Cacophanously, but he seems to enjoy it! It is nice, though obviously overoptimistic, to dream that here is a Mozart in the making ....

Charles enjoys a wide variety of music, from Bach to the Beatles. At eighteen months, he is already showing signs of being able to follow rhythm and hold a tune. The one requirement is that they should be tuneful and harmonious. `Rap', and other things consisting largely of bass or drums without noticeable melody, make him scream. Unfortunately, so does Daddy's erratic attempts at the piano.

     Charles' first party (a Filipino party at St Ives, near Cambridge in England, on 21 December 2002). Seen here with Christina and Toni, who are Charles' Godmothers. Charles might have enjoyed the party, but since he was asleep for most of the time, it was hard to tell.

     Charles was Baptised in April 2003, in the Church in Melbourn. We held a reception afterwards at South Farm, about five miles from home. The concluding point of the reception was a speech given (badly) by the proud father, followed by a toast to his health in Champagne. As Daddy drank from his glass, Charles reached out his hand and said `?!???!!', which for people who don't speak Infantese means `Daddy, I want some of that please'. We obliged with a tiny sip. This was a tactical error, because Charles immediately made it clear beyond any doubt that one small sip was not enough ......

    Charles enjoying his first time in the big bath. If looks could speak, this one would say `Mummy, I like this, please let go of me so that I can cause some proper chaos'. The photograph was taken at David's parents' house in Hexham, Northumberland.

      Charles' first meal was conducted with all proper Phillipine ritual. Charles took to solid food very quickly, especially as he soon cottoned on to what fun it was to demand a share of ours. With an eye to nutritional value, and also to inculcating a taste for good things early in life, we always prepare fresh food for him rather than using anything pre-prepared or tinned. In this way we also avoid filling him up with whatever peculiar chemicals, colourings and additives the manufacturers are pleased to stuff into their offerings. I suppose he gets his fair share of pesticides and fertilisers instead

     Charles first fed himself at about seven months. This was only moderately successful, and indeed for many months afterwards more food ended up on the floor, table, chairs and clothes that in Charles himself. I suppose he thinks of it as `sharing'. To make sure he gets enough (and also to keep the time spent cleaning to a reasonable level, and to stay sane), we have continued to feed him with his hot food for much of the ensuing year.

      Charles at the fun fair in Melbourn. Although a very small fair as these things go, there was still sufficient excitement to hold Charles' interest for some time. But it was also very noisy, which Charles doesn't like so much.

A year later the same fair returned to the village. This time Charles rushed around with a massive excess of energy, demanding to go on every ride for which he was too small. He really enjoyed the Dodgems, an ill omen for his first driving lesson when he gets to 18


      Seen here with Daddy half way up a minor mountain in the Lake district, Charles enjoyed his first holiday. The Lake District is a mountainous region in the north west of England. As its name suggests, there are several dozen lakes in the area (the one here is called Haweswater). The mixture of tough igneous rock, glacial erosion from the Ice Age, and a high rainfall from the westerly winds coming in from the Atlantic, make it an ideal region for the formation of lakes. There are also forests, coombs and a rugged coastline, which all combines to make the region highly rich in wildlife diversity (for a temperate zone, that is). Famous Lakelanders include Beatrix Potter (of Peter Rabbit fame), the poet Christopher Wordsworth, and the huntsman John Peel. 

Charles' first Christmas was spent at home with his proud parents. From left to right: Georgina, his elder sister (delighted to have a brother, as long as she didn't get involved with anything in the nether regions); Mummy; Jane (one of Charles' Godmothers).

Charles with Daddy by a river in the Lake District with a number of friends, many of whom have tails!

      Charles' first Birthday was to have been spent in the Philippines. Sadly, Ivy wasn't well, so the trip was postponed at short notice until Christmas (see `Charles in the Philippines'). Charles' actual first birthday was therefore spent quietly at home with Mummy, Daddy and a large amount of cake.

If Charles becomes an interior decorator, no doubt one of his regular recommendations for a furnishing scheme will be `cake coloured'. 


David has a small share in a small aeroplane, based on a farm near Cambridge. He is strapping Charles in for his first flight! After a brief moment of unhappiness at the sound of the engine, he settled down to enjoy it. Long may it last