Abby Lacey

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Heavenly Gowns

A little while ago I saw an article online about how a lady had donated her wedding dress to make gowns for stillborn babies and thought it was a great idea.


By the time I got round to getting my dress down from the loft, Cherished Gowns were no longer taking donations – clearly the Mail’s article had done wonders – so I went about finding other charities, when I stumbled across Heavenly Gowns UK, a voluntary, non-profit organisation set up to help bereaved parents and family members at the unimaginable time of the passing of a baby.

I sent them a Facebook message and within an hour they came back with their address. I packaged up my dress and popped it in the post and was thrilled a few days later when I received, not only a private message on Facebook, but also a post of pictures showing they’d received the dress and would be starting work on it soon.


Come back to see how they used my dress to make some wonderful clothes.

If you would like to know more about Heavenly Gowns UK, please visit:



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3/4 of the way there!

The other day, someone asked me in the school playground “How many days?”. I replied perplexed, “How many day ’til what?” and of course what she meant was until I’m 40. I’ve been so busy lately, I had lost track and so I’ve worked it out: today I am 39 & 3/4.

I feel like The List has been left behind a little, so here an update (for me as much as for my readers!):





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#TeamBad Influences (a shameless plug!)

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In October 2015, a group of girls from Twyford, Berkshire, decided over far too many Coronas and Sauv Blancs to take part in the London to Brighton bike ride on 19 June 2016 to raise money for British Heart Foundation.

Within two months, they went from riding around the village in stilettos on their pub bikes to owning the latest hybrids and truly became a gang of MUMILs (Middle-aged Mums in Lycra).

Training has commenced with team talks over beer and wine, and rides broken up with coffee stops, selfies at Windsor Castle, and the odd shout of ‘stop talking and start riding’.

All the girls will finish the ride, in one form or another, but we need your dosh to spur us on!

We appreciate every donation and thank you from the bottom of our padded shorts.

Abby Laceycalais (12)

As part of my #40b440, I challenged myself to take part in a charity bike ride which I completed in August 2015, coming in ladies’ first place. I decided this wasn’t enough and that a real challenge was needed so in my familiar bossy style, I recruited this bunch of gorgeous girls to come with me. Highly competitive, I will scream and scream and scream until I’m sick if I don’t win!

Bryony Blackwelldsc_0026

Having beasted my husband over the years for wearing Lycra, obsessing about bikes, routes and everything else that comes with loving his bikes, I have decided to take part in the London to Brighton bike ride this year to see what the fuss is all about and whether the millions of bikes in our garage are ACTUALLY required!

Caroline Sheridanimg_1454

I’ve signed up for London to Brighton Bike Ride to help me get fitter, raise some money for a very good cause  have lots of fun with my friends and to also justify buying a new bike.

I’ve haven’t done much cycling before, but want to try and get to Brighton in a reasonable time…will set a target nearer the time.

Kate Whitmarshimg_1448

The last time I did a serious bike ride with a team of girls, I was riding a hand me down Denim Raleigh that was covered in Aha stickers and suffering serious envy of my mate’s Grifter! So 30 years later and I am actually planning to ride 54 miles! You will be glad to know I have upgraded my wheels and am surrounded by amazing friends, in this VERY aptly named team! I would love to raise loads of money for this fantastic cause so please think of my suffering backside and sponsor me!

Katie Caldwellpalma 201527

Having taken part in various 10ks and a half marathon I decided it was time for a new challenge (and an excuse to buy a lovely new bike!). After far too many drinks, #TeamBadInfluences was created and now 10 lovely ladies from Twyford, Berkshire will be taking part in the 54 mile London to Brighton Bike Ride on 19th June 2016.  Training has started and all the cycling gear has been purchased so please now help spur us on by sponsoring us and donating to such a worthy cause.

Lucy Brackstoneimg_1449

So we are in the pub drinking sav blanc and a friend says to me, ‘what are you doing on the 19th June?’ I replied nothing and before I knew it I was a participant in the L2B bike ride – Team Bad Influences! Obviously to take part in a bike ride you need a bike, so am now the proud owner of a brand spanking new bike which I really need to start using and train for the event…. which is where you come in. I need your support and encouragement to get myself ‘in the saddle’ and to begin training for this very worthwhile event.

Ruth Beale2015-06-06 22.14.50

I am so not a cyclist! I have not owned a bike since I was a kid…. All that is about to change with drill Sergeant, soon to be 40, Abs in charge. Abs, I’m sure I managed to pass this milestone quietly(ish!). So far, I’ve done a 5 mile test drive on my new 2 wheeled machine and it hurts your bottom; a lot! Bring on the 54 mile challenge!

Sara Wildesara & her carers

Having only ever ridden a bike as a necessity – to get to work, to go to the shops, to go to the pub I am enjoying the thought of this new challenge – a 54 mile bike ride! It also has the special bonus that I get to raise money for the  bhf  Heart disease has been a silent killer in my family taking my Grandma and a contributor to my fathers death so I hope by being able to raise some funds for the organisation I can do them both proud.

 Saz Phillipsdsc_0031

Apart from ‘dipping my toes’ last summer (v non competitive ride which still nearly broke me), most of my cycling journeys have been small jaunts into the village & back so this will definitely be a challenge for me. I am resigned to the fact that I will not be able to keep up with some of my more competitive team mates (mentioning no names!!) but am hoping to make it in a reasonableish time, whatever that may be!!

Sinead McDermott dsc_0024

I am a novice cyclist and I still haven’t got a bike! However, I am determined to raise as much money as possible for the BHF and to prove to myself that I can actually cycle to Brighton without killing myself in the process.  I am sure my friends in the team will enable me to continue cycling this long road as much as they enable me to be a bad influence, so your money really will be going to a great cause.

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