My boy is ten!

We passed a major milestone a few weeks ago – Alex hit double digits! Somehow I’ve been a parent for an entire decade!

We marked this momentous event with a thoroughly lovely weekend of celebrations. His birthday was luckily just a couple of days before the government brought in the ‘rule of six’ for gatherings, so we were able to go ahead with his little party.

We spent a brilliant afternoon with his gang of friends (all in the same school Covid-19 bubble!) at the fabulous Herne Hill Velodrome. We’re so lucky to have such a brilliant venue within a short walk of our house. It was built as a Victorian facility and hosted the 1948 Olympics. Refurbished in 2005, we’ve been regular visitors ever since.

Here’s the gang outside the club house ready to and get kitted out with their track bikes:

All the boys were set up with proper fixed-wheel track bikes:

They were soon out being briefed on the track for their hour of fun. The coach was so good at getting them comfortable on their bikes and teaching them the basics.

Soon they were off. They were challenged with a series of exercises to get comfortable riding on the banking, riding in a group and stopping without traditional brakes!

Alex loved every minute of it, and his friends all said the party was ‘epic’! To end the session, the coach coordinated a kind of pursuit/elimination race. They all cycled so hard, determined to win and completely exhausting themselves. The final three in the race kept going for ages, and we were so proud when Alex managed to win!

Here’s the sweaty, tired gang ready to head home for pizza!

Back at ours, we ordered in loads of pizzas and ate cupcakes together. They’re such a tight group of friends, and I love that they got to have so much fun together before the new Covid-19 restrictions came in.


Another highlight of Alex’s birthday weekend was a special trip for the two of us. I’m so thrilled that Alex shares my love of the theatre, so I was delighted to surprise him with a show for his birthday. After months of the West End being closed, the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre ran a limited run of Jesus Christ Superstar.

So we cycled up to London together on a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon, stopping for Greek food and enormous ice creams in Covent Garden en route.

It was such a thrill being back in a live audience and the show was absolutely brilliant – I must confess the experience brought me to tears! And it led Alex to learning lots of the music in his electric guitar lessons!


Happy birthday Alex! Here’s our boy on all of his birthdays!

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