familyHere with my folks, newborn brother Solos, first cousin Solos and Grandad Solomon who the boys are named after!

There’s nothing I love more than looking at old photos from my childhood (bar the 10 year old school pictures that is- my eyebrows aka Carpet World samples were let’s say, ahead of their time when it came to brow trends, and most of those scary shots have found their way into the bin-eek!

My eldest son innocently tried to frame of those said pictures which actually made me cry with laughter! Oliver is clearly a fan of the ‘big brow’!

Seriously though, flicking through these goldie oldies (when the brows were smaller) have seen me re-live some of the happiest times of my life, and twice over too, as I share them with my own kids, ‘Is that you Mama?’ they ask me in disbelief! ‘Yep, I was 5 one day too, boys’!


swings siblings

So here we go again, this time for you guys- a trip down memory lane-


How big is my brother’s hair and how similar is he to my youngest, Alexander? Here we are in Rhodes. My first #proudinmybikini pic! 

And HELLO? What is my Dad wearing?!

Embarrassing Dad

…I was actually spurred on to write this post, with the recent birth of my first nephew, my brother’s beautiful newborn son, Zachary. Looking back at these faded snapshots, I can clearly see him, and my own young children, Oliver, 5 and Xander, 3 in both mine and my brother’s faces.

I can detect their expressions in our own and can visibly trace the family line from my grandparents down to them. How wonderful is that?!


Can you handle the cuteness, though?!

I only wish my grandparents, both my Papous (Grandads) and Yiayia Annetta had met my own children. They adored my brother and I and our bond was unbreakable. They live on through us and our children.

Here is Papou Solomon, a gifted intellectual who spoke 7 languages and loved to wind his grandkids up whenever he could. He’d take Solos and I for walks and hide, jumping out at us and I always remember him buying me fake sets of plastic nails for kids, that would drive my feminist Mum up the wall! I loved them though!

Two Solomons together!


…My Grandma Vikentia, my Dad’s mother had in fact met, and loved Oliver when we took a trip to Cyprus when he was 6 months old but sadly she never got to meet Xander, the one who looks so like her.

old photo

I was always close to my grandmothers-they taught me how to be a mother, as did my own, they lovingly handed down Greek recipes to me, my Grandma Annetta’s famous marble cake for one- and really instilled confidence in me and I always felt so loved by them.

They inspired me hugely and still do today. They selflessly lived for their families- I’ll never forget my Grandma Vikentia telling me it was her, ‘ job to worry’ about us all! I definitely feel that way about my own kids.

We were also lucky to have another Grandma in Grandma Hilda far left who we loved like our own, a neighbour and family friend she never missed a party and she was a huge part of our lives.


…In many respects, my brother Solos and I had an idyllic childhood, we grew up in the pretty, picturesque and tiny town of Ilkley, an Enid Blyton upbringing of sorts, we lived on a private, secluded road in a beautiful house which luckily had a swimming pool in the basement (which was a huge ground floor the size of the lounge) and lots of space to play…Our pool parties were always so much fun for birthdays-Dad in the sauna, we lot splashing around.

It actually made my brother and I weep when we moved to Leeds and returned to visit our old house and the new, elderly owners had boarded up our beloved pool.


We were lucky kids.

Other parties were hosted in their Greek restaurant ‘The Olive Tree‘, their first ever branch (no longer there) in Ilkley.

My Mum left her job as a university lecturer, my Dad as a manager, to set up a restaurant in a town that knew nothing of Greek food. They were a total success and now own 4 thriving restaurants across Leeds, a city we moved to when I turned 7.

Here we are in the Ilkley branch on my third birthday.

Not sure I got the memo about umbrellas indoors!




…I also remember attending the now defunct, local primary school ‘All Saints’ as it it was yesterday.

Aged 4, I  had two boyfriends, not one (!)- twins, whom I believe were called Jonathan and James (hi! if you’re reading boys-as if). I dated them both as I literally couldn’t decide between them! Decisions hey?!

To this day, I remember feeling a little judged walking around the playground hand in hand with those cute boys. Hilarious now. The start of rule-breaking had begun!

Here’s a primary school photo from when we moved to Leeds-


primary school

And here we are from when we attended a Prep School a few years later. Another cute photo alert!

prep school

And some jazz hands for good measure!

jazz hands

…Anyway back to the boys, I always loved them-I would force the young chap who literally ‘lived down the lane’ from us, Richard, to marry me most days, he in my Dad’s jacket and oversized shoes, me in my favourite peach frilly dress and silver princess T-bar shoes.

I’ve spared him (and you) the photos here 😉

…Like many other girls my age, boys were not my only obsession-Cabbage Patch Kids were also great loves of mine too.

I distinctly remember being desperate for baby one like the doll my friend Jo had brought back from holiday in America.

Alas no toy shop in the land, aka Ilkley stocked baby Cabbage Patch Kids (it’s a hard life when you’re 4, right?)… I loved the baby powder smell of the boy doll’s head, and desperately wanted to mother it. It seems I was clearly always the maternal type, even then.

Can you tell Solos and I loved dress-up too?! Just look at that TV!

Cabbage Patch Kids

…Another memory clear as day from primary school, was crafting a small, sparkly box from a matchstick box, covered in shiny wrapping paper and tiny sequins. Again, it makes me laugh we were encouraged to play with matchstick boxes as kid at school. It was the 80’s though!

My cute clown brother!


Reflecting on those early years, what a wonderful whirlwind it was- of children’s fancy dress parties, magicians in top hats and magic rabbits, sugared mice and fairy cakes, walks on the Yorkshire moors in wellies, woodlands filled with bluebells, candy floss trees as we called them, in the spring-and the freedom to play on our road with other children our age, inventing games, building tree houses and simply feeling free to be ourselves.


Some of those childhood friends of ours (now in their 30’s too) are still our mates today.

I feel so lucky to have enjoyed the childhood I did.


…Here are some more cute shots-

Baby blogger in the making! I loved writing from an early age. I actually said my first word, ‘Look’ at six months and haven’t stopped talking since!

baby blogger

I would create storybooks particularly when they went on holiday, drawing and writing an online diary-see I really was a baby blogger!

As a teen I would beg my father to hire a VHS camera and made my first ever ‘vlogs’! Later I became a TV director and filmmaker. The seeds were sown from a young age.

We loved our local park in Ilkley, and today, I take my own kids there, by the river overlooking the open countryside- it’s the sweetest park I know.


…My brother was my first baby boy before my own. According to my Mum, he would look up in awe at me, I was his second Mama.


Here are my brother and I with my nanny Mandy’s Father.

Whenever he was asked his name, he’d look up to me to answer.

We each had our own bedroom but were so close, we opted to share a room together, and with only 22 months between us, he and I, simply don’t remember a time without one another!


childhood photos old photos

Sneaking into neighbour’s gardens to pick roses for perfume I concocted, putting on plays and inviting all the neighbours to watch-waking up early and pushing apples and oranges into wine glasses, pretending we were hosting dinner parties-these are the memories of crazy times with my brother and sidekick Sol.

…We are also part of a wider Big Fat Greek Family, many of whom live in Manchester from my Mother’s side, and we’re all as thick as thieves- when I think of why I feel so confident, grounded and content, so much is thanks to them-my own immediate family and knowing I have the love and support of so many cousins, aunts and uncles.

Here with my Auntie Zak


A childhood picture here with my cousins Solos and Vasos and my gun-yielding brother.


It truly counts for a lot.

Any problem, big or small is met with kindness and support.

You really can’t ask for more than that in life, can you?!

We’re all collectively LOUD as can be too, and full of life, there’s never a dull moment when we get together-we watch TV with the subtitles on because EVERYONE talks over one another, we love a party and a dance (how we love a dance-Opa!) and it’s safe to say we’re all obsessed with the finer things in life, food taking centre stage of course!

I must say too, it often surprises me when readers kindly remark they think I’m a glam mama as all the ladies in my family seem to be just that- I wonder if it’s the default mode for us.

Big hair: check, red lips: check, Jackie O shades all year round: check!

And here’s my glamorous mama in her heyday!

Ooh lala!

my mum

And here’s my Dad smoking just for the photo (he never actually smoked)-Papa G cracks me up!

my Dad

And here’s a few more of yours truly!

I can’t wait to show the boys this post tonight, a family archive of lots of photos in one place we’ll no doubt always look back on with a smile (and I’ve saved one big brow photo of me for posterity too)-and the laughs!

Now look at me pouting!


Always cheeky!

little girl

And what a poser, check out that strut!

Some things indeed, never do change!

Have you looked through your old family photos recently?

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47 Responses

  1. Sarah-Arthurwears

    The part I loved most about this was the bit about having 2 boyfriends! It made me remember something I’d forgotten – when I was 6, my twin sister and I both had the same boyfriend (James) and we used to walk around the playground together each holding one of his hands…he couldn’t choose between us either lol!!

  2. Fiona @ Free Range Chick

    I loved this post SO MUCH! There is something about those beige, 70s and 80s photos (I realise you weren’t in the 70s as you’re the same age as me!). The family resemblance between your family and your kids is incredible! Strong genes, hon.

    I was recently looking through my photos, and I’m always in awe of my parents in the 70s. My favroutie decade for music, my parents always looked liked total rock stars to me, effortlessly cool in their beat-up flares, crazy hair and crazy make-up.

    I was thinking about doing my own post about their younger days, looking at their old photos. I think I will do it. Love seeing your parents here, particularly your dad enjoying a cigar (I LOVE a cigar).


    • Honest Mum

      Thanks darling, I would love to see your post, will you let me know once it’s live, I remember you showing me a pic of your Dad who looked like mine, nothing lovelier than taking a trip down memory lane x

  3. Emma T

    I love looking at old photos. I wish we had more family ones so that N will be able to look at them in future, but we have none of the 3 of us together, let alone wider family ones.

    You have a great selection of them – and how similar are your kids to others in your family?!

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks Emma, I know my own children look so like me as a child and my family, it’s scary! My Dad says I’ve literally reproduced myself! x

  4. Julie Downes

    I loved reading through this post, the photos show some lovely family moments. I love looking back at our old family photos too, all the funny clothes and hairdo’s. Looking forward to showing old photos to my children when they are a bit older. #brilliantblogposts

  5. becca farrelly

    What a lovely collection of photos, Iam researching my family tree (a huge on-going task!) and I love getting the photos out and having a good look through them all! What lovely memories 🙂


  6. Adam Alexander

    I particularly enjoyed this post Vicki! The pictures are classic and give such a lovely example of your childhood. You really have a beautiful family. Ilkley is such a great place to grow up too! Lot’s of fresh air and countryside. My favourite pictures is the one of you holding a pen and a pad. You are honestly too cute! x

  7. Mum in Brum

    Wow these are amazing!! So great that your family took so many photos of you and your brother growing up. I do miss old photos and the spontaneity of them – we don’t seem to take them like we used to in this instagram/edited photo world. It’s so great to look back. Lovely post #Brillblogposts xx

  8. jeremy@thirstydaddy

    This is great. I have tons of old pictures from my childhood and I really appreciate my mom taking the time to save them and organize them into albums. Its always fun looking at all the old clothes

  9. Ebabee

    A trip down memory lane is always such a sweet, sweet treat. Whenever I go to India, I show Anya pics of my childhood and she adores it although finds it incredible that I was once a child too! Your photo’s are adorable – you were a cutie then and now such a cheeky little grin! And your brother does look remarkably similar to Xander. Such wonderful memories to have and so lovely to look back on them. But I have to say Papa G’s outfit takes the cake! What?! LOL – could not stop laughing when I saw that pic 🙂 xxxx

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks darling, I know, it is hysterical, I was crying with laughter at it! Would love to see a post with your childhood photos too xx

  10. Angela / Only Crumbs Remain

    I just love looking through old pictures. My parents have a huge array of photo albums from when my brother & I were growing up. They’re so much fun to flick through (better, in my opinion, than having images held on memory sticks). We also have a few images which are over 100 yr old of my grandma’s parents. They’re fabulous – one shows (what we believe to be) their wedding day as she stands in her finery and the groom sits in his army uniform! It’s so fascinating looking at the period dress.
    Angela x

    • Honest Mum

      Haha yes, Oliver saw a girl with long dark hair the other day and he said, ‘she looks like you when you were little’. Lovely he even got to see me little thanks to all these photos x

  11. Catie: An imperfect mum

    I love looking through old photos too and enjoyed reading this post as it was so lovely to see the love and warmth you have for your family shining through. I bet your boys loved seeing these pictures. When my nana died we found so many amazing photos and my boys loved looking through them. I think sharing family history is very important in giving us a clear sense of who we are. How great you have such a tight knit family! #brilliantblogposts

  12. Fatima @ Baby Toddler Me

    Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful photos Vicki! Your family sounds amazing. It’s a real blessing, isn’t it, to have a family that your close too! x P.S You still had gorgeous hair as a child!

  13. Sarah

    What great photos – just the style of them makes me nostalgic for my old ones. The digital world is great, but old photos have a special quality to them in my opinion 🙂

  14. Nadia - ScandiMummy

    Aw, I love this post! And I love flicking through old photos, too. I might have to do a copy cat and dig out some of my family’s photos. Though my partner has three albums with photos of his family and now Caspian’s ancestors as well, dating back more than a 100 years!! His father put them together with a document explaining who everyone is. It amazing and so interesting.

    Thank you for hosting #brilliantblogposts and keep up the fab work on the vlogs!

    Nadia – ScandiMummy x

    • Honest Mum

      Oh wow, that’s sounds incredible. You must write the post, I’d love to see it. Will you let me know when it’s live please xx

  15. Joanna @mumbalance

    It’s great to relive happy moments from one’s own childhood. And even better if you do it with your own kids 🙂
    It’s wonderful to see that you have always been surrounded by a loving family. It’s a great confidence booster xx

  16. Juliet McGrattan

    Oh wow, that could be Xander hugging the cabbage patch doll!! I’m really sentimental about photos generally. I worry that mine are mostly digital now and often mean to print out more. These are special memories to treasure forever. Thanks for letting us seem them. x

  17. Notmyyearoff

    What a brilliant trip down memory lane and I love those photos. We have so many of them like this, and we dug them all out too when E and my newest niece were recently born. 🙂 When I see your childhood pics I’ve realised how much of a mini me O is of you!! 🙂

  18. globetrotting Mommy

    What a fun post and what a fun childhood you had! I’ve never heard of a pool in the basement. I need to dig up some old photos and show them to my daughter for some good laughs!!

    • Honest Mum

      It was wonderful, the basement was the size of a lounge, another floor-it was huge, my Dad had a bar in there too. So sad when we visited a year after we sold the house to move to Leeds and discovered the elderly owners had boarded it up. I hope I can my own kids a pool one day.

  19. Lins @Boo & Maddie

    Such lovely photos and happy memories, it’s a joy I think now that we’re older to look back on the childhood and appreciate everything our parents and other family members did. I definitely didn’t feel appreciative of everything until I reached my mid-20s and now in my mid-30s it becomes even more relevant. Gorgeous X

    • Honest Mum

      So glad you liked it, I definitely had a greater appreciation of my folks and all they did for us once I had kids myself. Family is everything xx

  20. Marina Sofia

    Aww, what a lovely trip down memory lane – a lovely childhood, combining the best of Yorkshire with the best of Greek family traditions. I love the child-friendliness the Greek culture – children are always made to feel very much wanted and appreciated, even on social occasions.

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks so much Marina, you are so right there, children are valued as are the elderly, I love that I had the best of both worlds culturally x

  21. Lucy Bishop

    Awww I LOVE looking through old photos – it’s the best! What beautiful memories you share – I especially sympathise with the loss of your wonderful grandparents and wishing they’d all been alive to meet your boys. None of my grandparents survived to meet Bert – in fact Bert is named after my wonderful Grandad Bert whom i was immensely close to: I show Bert pictures of him all the time, and love watching old family movies from Christmases in the 90’s: I miss them all so much! xxx

    • Honest Mum

      Oh Lucy your comment really moved me, so sad Bert didn’t meet baby Bert but he lives on through him. Sending you love, I miss my grandparents so much too xx


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