Monday, 9 January 2012


I love this picture. I absolutely love it.

It's a group photo from a chaotic, funny, fabulous, family holiday spent with my parents and my two brothers and our children in a ramshackle old Norfolk farmhouse in 2005.

I love it because of its imperfections, not despite them.

I love the way most people aren’t looking at the camera. I love my niece Kate having a tantrum, and Aunty Angela trying to talk her down, while her dad tells her to get a grip, and her big sister Jess looks on in disdain. I love my Mum and me (far left) looking like little chubby peas in a pod. I love my Dad on the other end, completely oblivious to the mayhem going on behind him.

And I really love the sight of my girl, wriggling out of my grasp, because she didn’t want to line up. All she wanted to do was go and find some more peacock feathers to add to the few she's already collected and is clutching tightly.

The reason I love that so much is because she’s in the thick of it. Getting fed up of posing. Doing normal kid stuff.

When she was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome, I never dreamed this would be achieveable. I thought the issues with food would make extended big family gatherings impossible.

But we all spent a week living, snacking and eating together. And watched in amazement as our hungry little girl insisted on waiting way past her normal tea-time in order to eat with her cousins. 

It was such good fun, we did it again the next year. But because we’ve now got a bigger clan, different jobs, and most of the kids are now teenagers and twenty-somethings, logistics mean we probably won’t all go on holiday together again.

Maybe that’s the real reason why I love this picture so much. 

To everyone else, it might just look like a bit of a rubbish line-up. An out-take, even. For me, it bottles a bit of the magic from a magical time that's now out of reach.

Video is McFly - All About You (one of my daughter's favourites from this year.)

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