Tag Archives: Matilda Mae

Baby Tilda Barn Dance

A week ago today we travelled to Kent for a very special occasion.  A beautiful setting, a perfect late Spring day, so many friends gathered to remember Matilda Mae and to raise money for the Lullaby Trust.

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The children had a lovely time, playing outside, dressing up in silly hats and helping themselves to a selection of their favourite snacks – Tiddler couldn’t believe his luck!

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Then we moved indoors for the dancing.  Owl was pleased to be allowed to join in with the band and Rabbit danced every dance.  Monkey and Tiddler preferred to watch, but they all had a good time.

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Rabbit made the most of the craft table, and had her face painted too.  All the children enjoyed the play area, and of course the ice cream.  There were bubbles for Tilda, big ones and little ones, a reminder of why we were there.

Rabbit has asked to help write this post, so over to her!

I liked playing with the ducks and I liked the snacks and smoothies.  I liked dancing and having my face painted.  I had an ice cream.  I liked playing with my friends.  I made new friends.  It was fun playing in the playground.  My brother played the violin.

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Later there was more dancing inside, and then beautiful music by Classical Babies outside.  The afternoon ended with the three raffles being drawn, and we were very lucky to win some amazing prizes, including vouchers for Livie and Luca shoes and a Princess and the Frock dress.  Thank you Jennie for having us, and for all the hard work you put into it.  We had a wonderful day!


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Mile in Memory of Matilda Mae 2014

On Saturday 17th May, we joined with Jennie and friends to walk a mile in memory of Matilda Mae and raise money for the Lullaby Trust.  The little ones chose to spend the day with Granny, so Paul and I travelled up to Warrington with the two big boys.  The venue, Walton Gardens, was lovely, and the weather was perfect.

mile in memory 2014 1

We gathered in the courtyard and blew bubbles for Tilda while we waited for everyone to be ready to set off.

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Pink and purple balloons marked the route.

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Thomas made an appearance and we were sorry that the little ones had missed him, but even the big boys were quite pleased to see him.

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Beautiful pink and purple flowers reminded us why we were there.

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After the walk, there was time to play in the playground, have lunch and explore the park.

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We walked around the mini zoo, and spent quite a while trying to get a good peacock photo but they weren’t really in the mood for performing!

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The boys had a go at bungee trampolining.

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Then they went on the bouncy slide.  By this time it was very hot and they needed an ice cream to cool down before finishing with a ride on Thomas.

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Thank you Jennie for letting us be a part of your day to remember Matilda Mae.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A Letter to Matilda Mae

Dear Matilda Mae,

Beautiful girl you are always in my heart, but I have been finding it hard to know what to say to you.  It’s impossible to put into words.  Your legacy is so many things.  Your mummy has made sure of that.  I could say that we are inspired to do more messy play, but we always did that a lot.  The difference is that every time we do it now, we think of you.  There are a lot of things that remind me of you Tilda.  Blowing bubbles.  Pink and purple.  Stars.  Sunsets.  Rainbows.  But the reality is that you are never far from my thoughts, even on the dullest of days.

I have been inspired by your mummy, to be a better mother, wife, friend.  In reaching out to her, I have found myself drawn into a supportive loving community of friends that I needed far more than I knew.  I have learned that there is beauty in brokenness, strength in openness and power in friendship that is enough to change the world.  You have changed my world Matilda Mae.  It is a better place now.  Thank you x


Matilda Mae Welly Walk

It’s taken me a while to write about the Matilda Mae Welly Walk, which was on Saturday 2nd November.  Being behind on blogging is nothing new, but it’s also hard to find the words to do it justice.  There were so many things I loved about the day.

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The beautiful setting of Beale Park in Reading, the pink and purple balloons and bunting, the gathering of so many friends who were there to support Jennie and David, remember Tilda and raise money for the Lullaby Trust.

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The careful planning, the attention to detail.  Questions for the children to answer on the walk, provided by twinkl.

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Wonderful live music, stars and bubbles.

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And after the walk, so many exciting things for the children to see and do.

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The Zu3D animation stand was the biggest hit.  More on that later…

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Hook-a-duck, a lucky dip and lots and lots of fantastic toys to play with.

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So many people to talk to, a beautiful montage of photos of Tilda to watch, pink and purple star cakes to be eaten (and delicious pumpkin soup, and crepes with chocolate sauce!)

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The children were having such a brilliant time, and were so engaged in what they were doing, that we even got to drink whole cups of coffee without them going cold.

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A storytelling session in a beautifully decorated pink and purple tent held the attention of our older children very well, while Tiddler had some more playtime with daddy – it would have been very hard to tear him away from the toys.

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Later on we went back outside for the welly throwing competitions and some time on the playground equipment.

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And finally, back inside and everyone gathered together for the prize giving and speeches.  Owl was thrilled to win a Kurio tablet – what an amazing prize!  Time for some more music, and a story read to the children by Jennie, a peaceful end to a lovely day.

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As it began to get dark, we said our goodbyes and set off with sparklers, and a bunch of balloons weighed down with pink and purple wooden stars.  The sparklers lasted a moment, the balloons a week, but the stars are in our playroom to stay.

To Jennie, David and everyone who worked so hard to organise such a perfect day, thank you.

We will always remember Matilda Mae xx


Sky Dive for Matilda Mae

This will have to be a quick post because I should be leaving for Oxford in just over an hour.  Before then I have to hang up washing, iron the clothes I want to wear, pack my bag, attempt to tidy the house while four children follow me around messing it up again, deal with any potty accidents that may arise and supervise children who want to do some painting for our summer display. And that’s the scaled-down version of the list, and doesn’t include the numerous things I’m sure I have forgotten.

Anyway, the point of all this is that tomorrow morning nine brave people will be JUMPING OUT OF A PLANE and I will be there to support them, as ground crew because I am not brave at all.  Well, I did manage to remove a fairly big spider from the house yesterday, but it’s not really in the same league…

The nine crazy  brave people who are jumping tomorrow are doing it to raise money for the Lullaby Trust in memory of Matilda Mae.  If you can, please sponsor them.  You can also help by sharing this post or the links within it, and if you are on twitter please tweet and retweet like crazy tomorrow morning to get #MMskydive trending.  Thank you!

A Mile in Memory of Matilda Mae

Today we walked a mile in memory of Matilda Mae at the Rare Breeds Centre in Kent with Jennie, her family and friends, and many who have read her story and were moved to come along and show their support for her today, and to raise money for the Lullaby Trust.  Many more people attended several other organised walks around the country, as well as families and individuals who walked a mile wherever they were and remembered babyTilda.

We walked around the woodland trail, through a sea of bluebells.  They were so beautiful, and from now on they will always remind me of Matilda Mae.


Half way round, we stopped to collect a packet of seeds each.  They had been hidden in the trees and in the notches of a totem pole.  We are looking forward to planting them, and watching them grow.  Another lovely reminder of Matilda Mae.


Towards the end of the walk, we came out of the woods and into the open.  We walked back to the starting point, where there were pink and purple balloons for baby Tilda.


We blew bubbles for Tilda, and sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, accompanied by the violin, which the children then had the opportunity to play.  Owl played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star beautifully, and Rabbit had a go as well.  She looked like a natural and now can’t wait to join her big brothers at their violin lessons.  It was a wonderful opportunity, and was one of the highlights of the day for me.


After a picnic lunch, we spent most of the rest of the afternoon in the two playgrounds which the children loved.  Owl and I also watched a falconry display which was excellent.  Then we joined the others to watch the pig races, and lucky Owl was picked to take part.  Eight children, in pairs, had to steer four pigs to the finish line.  Owl and his partner came third, and he commented that they had unfortunately been given a stubborn pig.  (I’m afraid I couldn’t resist responding that I had been given stubborn children, so I knew how he felt.)  We ended the afternoon with a rather quick look at the butterflies, rabbits, chickens, turkeys and other small animals, before setting off to have supper at Pizza Express.  We definitely need more time to explore the Rare Breeds Farm, so we have already planned our next visit.

We had a wonderful day, and we are proud to have been a part of such a special event.  We will always remember Matilda Mae.

Today, as well as the walk, the Matilda Mae Memorial Auction opened. This auction, run by Tots 100, is raising money for The Lullaby Trust, the trust that supports families affected by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and carries out research into preventing it. Please take a look at the auction, or you can also donate to The Lullaby Trust here.

Matilda Mae Memorial Auction


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Paint, glitter glue and bug hunting

On Wednesday, we had home education group at our house again.  I was anxiously watching the weather, as I had planned a messy painting activity and was hoping to be able to do it in the garden.  Jennie asked earlier in the week if people could do some pink and purple messy play in the week leading up to Matilda Mae’s Mile in Memory walk which is taking place tomorrow, so I stocked up on pink and purple art and craft materials, as well as a multicoloured selection to give the children plenty of choice.  It was cloudy and wet in the morning, but by lunchtime the sun was out, and by the time everyone arrived it was warm enough to be in the garden.  There were five families this time, and a total of fourteen children ranging in age from four weeks to nearly nine years old.

I set up the pink and purple materials in one Tuff Spot and the multicoloured ones in the other.  We had glitter glue, paint, paper, feathers, foam hearts, fabric stars, pipe cleaners, water beads and a few other random bits and pieces.  I also had a big table with an assortment of boxes, cardboard tubes and glue for model-making, and a small table with finger paint and sponges for painting directly on the table as well as on paper.  And inside, I had pencils and paper on the dining room table for anyone who wanted a quiet place to sit and draw.

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It was a lovely afternoon, the children were busy and happy, the adults had time to chat, the artistic creations were wonderful and there was, as always, a good satisfying mess.  As well as painting and drawing, the children enjoyed climbing and swinging, scooting and riding bikes, and the inevitable bug hunting.  The children were also very excited to find a nest with four eggs in, right inside the “talking bush.”  This is a bush at the bottom of the garden which the children love to play in, and they think it is funny that from the outside we can’t see them so the bush appears to be talking.  By the end of the afternoon, the model-making had become quite elaborate and there is now an extensive and luxurious Matilda Mae Bug Hotel in our garden!  We will always remember Matilda Mae here, even if we show it in unusual ways.

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We are also showing our support for Jennie and her family by walking a Mile in Memory for Matilda Mae tomorrow at the Rare Breeds Centre in Kent.  If you would like to help, you can donate here to support the work of the Lullaby Trust, and you can buy something lovely in the Matilda Mae Memorial Auction which will be launched tomorrow.  Sharing this post, and any of the posts I have linked to, would also help, so please do that too as much as you can.  Thank you.



An auction to remember Matilda Mae

On February 2nd Matilda Mae was found sleeping.  On May 2nd she should have been celebrating her first birthday.  This month sees the launch of the Matilda Mae Memorial Auction, running from May 11th to May 20th, to raise funds for the Lullaby trust, the charity which works to support those who are affected by SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.)  Please do support this worthy cause in any way you can.

Here are the links you need to find out more:

Information about the auction from Tots100

Susanne’s Page about the Auction

The Lullaby Trust

Information about the Mile in Memory Walks


Matilda Mae Memorial Auction

Bubbles and a Trifle Smash for Matilda Mae

Yesterday was a special day.  It should have been a day of celebration for Jennie and her family as their baby girl Matilda Mae toddled around the farm on a holiday specially planned for her first birthday.  But, as many of you know, baby Tilda died three months ago from SIDS.  Since then both her parents have been amazingly strong, supporting each other, grieving but also celebrating the life of their baby girl and raising awareness of the Lullaby Trust.  They have also been carrying on as much as possible with their everyday activities, outings and treats, and wonderful messy play at home for their toddler twins.  Like many others, I have been impressed by the way they have put the twins’ needs first, whilst at the same time doing everything they can to honour the memory of Matilda Mae and trying to find the space they need to grieve.

And so they made the decision to continue with the holiday they had planned, and to make the 2nd May a celebration, a positive day in as much as it could be and a happy day for the twins.  And then in the evening, when the twins were in bed, they said their own goodbyes to Tilda.  You can read their story here.

Like many other bloggers and tweeters, I was thinking of Jennie all day yesterday in everything we did.  We wore pink and purple and stars for Matilda Mae, as Jennie had asked people to do on the day of her funeral.  In the morning we made jelly, ready for our messy play in the afternoon.  I had been planning to do a Trifle Smash for a while, having been inspired by Susanne, and it felt like the right thing to do it Tilda’s birthday.  I took Tiddler for his swimming lesson (he wore his star swimming shorts) and then came home for lunch.  Next we went out for an ice cream, and then we came back to blow bubbles in the garden for baby Tilda.  The children were worried they weren’t going high enough in the sky, until Owl decided that when bubbles pop they reappear in heaven.


Later in the afternoon, I set up both Tuff Spots outside, cleaned them thoroughly with help from Rabbit and Tiddler, and got everything we needed for our trifle smash: the jellies we made earlier, custard, trifle sponges, butterscotch angel delight, bananas, sprinkles, snowflakes (leftover from Christmas but I decided they looked quite like stars!) and lots of bowls, plates, cake cases, spoons and assorted utensils.  All the children joined in enthusiastically and played, ate and made a wonderful mess.  They decided trifle sponges were too hard so we soaked them in fruit juice, which made them too mushy so they didn’t eat many of them, but everything else was very popular.  They played for a long time, and I suddenly noticed that it should have been supper time but of course they were too full to eat anything else.  Later, while Owl was at Cubs, I gave the little ones toast and peanut butter, cheese and milk, but when Owl came back I forgot to give him any.  I remembered at midnight that he hadn’t had any supper.  Spectacular mummy fail!  However, he didn’t seem too bothered when I pointed out to him this morning that he hadn’t had supper last night.  I have always said that of all my children Owl would be the one who would forget to eat because he is too busy playing.  I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten to feed him before though.  Rabbit has asked to play with Angel Delight again this afternoon, but this time I think I will give them their supper first!

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Jennie, we will always remember Matilda Mae xx

candle for MM