Category Archives: Interviews

SM chats to… Jason Krogh, CEO of Sago Sago

Sago Sago is the little sibling of Swedish App company Toca Boca and they make beautiful, creative, gender neutral apps for preschoolers.

One of our Dad testers gave these a go – with his three year old son – and was blown away by the graphics, the ‘free play’ element and just how engaging they were. His son’s verdict: ‘Awesome!’

We had a chat with Toronto based CEO Jason Krogh…

SM: How did Sago Sago come about?

Jason Krogh: The idea came about over lunch with Bjorn Jeffery, the CEO of Toca Boca. At the time I was running my old company, zinc Roe, where we worked on a wide range of interactive media projects for kids – everything from kiosks to websites and apps. Our real passion project, a set of apps we created just for toddlers, was getting great feedback. But we needed an investment to turn that passion into a viable business. Simultaneously, Toca Boca had found amazing success with their apps and as we spoke it was clear we shared the same design philosophy. We founded Sago Sago as a sister studio to Toca Boca’s team. The partnership just made a lot of sense to everyone.

SM: As a parent yourself, do you feel it is important to create apps responsibly?

Jason Krogh: Of course. We are driven to make the apps we want for our own children. It’s no small thing to ask parents to put one of our apps in the hands of their preschooler. We’ve built up a really dedicated following because we’ve proven to parents that we take this responsibility seriously.

SM: Do you limit the amount of time your own children spend on their iPad?

Jason Krogh: Yes. We curate the apps that our daughter plays, just as we do for TV shows and books. People make the assumption that, because I make kids apps, my daughter plays them all the time. The iPad is normally a thing for weekend mornings, when we’re travelling or waiting at the dentist or doctor. It’s five minutes here, 10 minutes there, and that’s how it works best.

SM: Your apps are gender neutral; are you finding they are just as appealing to boys and girls?

Jason Krogh: Yes. We test our apps with a mix of boys and girls and it’s important that they appeal to both. There are a lot of subtle (and not so subtle) ways that toys exclude one gender or another. We have proven that you can have a super-successful children’s app without targeting just one gender.

SM: You’re obviously a tech whizz, but are you happy with the level of technology taught in schools? Should coding replace learning a language perhaps?

Jason Krogh: I think there is a lot of room for improvement in using technology in schools. For one thing, I don’t think it should be treated as a dedicated subject. They are tools that help us learn and work. As for learning to program – it’s a key skill and all kids should have exposure to it. I also think this would go a long way toward addressing the massive gender gap in programming professions.

SM: Did you celebrate when you hit the 5 million download mark?

Jason Krogh: Can you believe that we are already at 6 million downloads! We celebrate all our wins, big and small, but we are still very humble about our success. The biggest reward for us really is knowing that children all over the world are enjoying our apps.

SagoSago’s latest app Sago Mini Toolbox is now available on the App Store.

SM chats to… Kristi and Emma of BerryClever

If you’ve not yet discovered BerryClever it’s definitely a site to scope before you buy anything new for your kids or pets. The site provides peer recommendations for a huge range of products and it’s directors Kristi and Emma work tirelessly to ensure their advice is trustworthy. We caught up with them and found out what made these two former City workers decide to trade it all in to work with children and animals…
Photo Emma and Kristi
SM: How did BerryClever come about?
Emma: Kristi and I both experienced that sense of being overwhelmed as expectant mums when it came to buying baby products. We both leant on our friends and families for advice, who all gave us a shopping list of things they had used. This was where the idea for BerryClever was formed. We wanted a place where parents could go to get trusted advice about baby products from people they know. When we researched what our audience wanted, we discovered that 86% of new mums leant on their friends and family first when considering what to buy for their children. We also found that 86% of mums preferred to read reviews from people they know and trust.
BerryClever.com is a unique online environment, which allows you to connect with existing friends and new like-minded ones to discover the products they love, regret or simply can’t live without. You simply log onto the site to browse and discover new products, and read other parents’ reviews. BerryClever’s reviews, known as ‘tips’, are no longer than 150 characters making them quick to write and read on mobile devices and ideal for busy mums on the go. Our hope is that we help parents make the right decision about what to buy, and also to give them new ideas for making life easier! There are so many baby products out there, so BerryClever is a great way of wading through all of the products and find what’s right for you. There are also lots of great pre complied lists that you can browse, these will give you ideas on the best products for dealing with certain issues such as teething or colds, or just to prepare you for different stages in your baby’s life like weaning, bathing, feeding or changing. 
 
SM: What has been the biggest challenge for you as a business?
BerryClever: We had a host of product features and ideas prior to launch and the most difficult thing to do was decide on which products to launch with and test first. With a limited budget we chose those which we felt would give us the most significant learnings to take the product forward.
 
SM: Coming from corporate backgrounds, do you miss wearing suits for work?
BerryClever: Not at all!  We mostly get to wear jeans to work, and dress up a bit more for meetings.  It’s a good mix!
 
SM: Being mums and pet owners yourselves, do you find you tend to agree with the tips on your site, or are there products that surprise you?
BerryClever: There are definitely products that we loved, and then found that lots of other mums didn’t like them (and they listed out great reasons for why they didn’t like them!). Most of all, we’ve discovered a lot of really innovative and helpful products that get highly reviewed, or that other parents suggest that we put on the site. Some of these products are quite simple, and will make such a big difference!
 
SM: Which of your respective babies, dogs and cats is the most difficult to shop for?
BerryClever: we think puppy Parker is probably the most difficult to shop for, because he is less able to tell us what he loves, mehs or wishes he had.
 
SM:  What’s next for the business?
BerryClever: We’re always working on refining our website and making it easier for people to use.  We are working on lots of new features and designs that we hope our members will love!
 

SM chats to … Clare Grogan

We were thrilled to get the chance to chat to Clare Grogan. From 80s pop starlet to ‘Gregory’s Girl’ to poster lust icon for Sci Fi Geeks, it seemed like Clare had done it all. Except fulfil her dream to be a mother. After heartbreaking failed IVF, Clare and her former-bandmate-now-husband Stephen decided to adopt; and life has seemingly never looked rosier. In fact, Clare is now a patron for the BAAF (British Association of Adoption and Fostering) and Clare describes her latest children’s novel  as ‘a love letter’ to her gorgeous daughter.

The latest novel – titled ‘Tallulah on Tour’ and released on 6th April – follows on from ‘Tallulah and the Teen Stars‘ and tells the story of fifteen year old Teresa as she takes her band on the road. Peppered with words of wisdom, but written in pure teen-speak, this one will definitely resonate with your little lady (and the illustrations are beautiful too).

SM: Is the adoption process somewhat harder when your occupation is ‘The Pixie of Pop’?

Clare: Actually, in some ways I found it easier than my husband because I  am quite used to being scrutinised,  having spent all my working life in a public arena. So answering very personal questions is something I’ve done quite a lot of over the years in interviews and having my work reviewed and critiqued…I think it’s important that they take the time to get to know you and it’s only right they ask you some probing questions which although its tricky it seemed to both Stephen and I appropriate. After all it’s precious little lives that we are dealing with here…

SM: Is it still very rock and roll ’round your house?

Clare: Well we do have a studio in the top floor of our house where we recorded the songs for Tallulah. 
We created a sound cloud and you can hear some of the songs mentioned in the books…which was good fun as we got my daughter and her cousins to sing on the choruses. It got quiet raucous at one point – that’s 10-year-old girls on cola and cupcakes for you!  And we have a disco ball in our lounge because we do all love a dance in our house…
SM: the character ‘Patti’ seems to have a lot of parallels with your own life (her job at Spaghetti Factory, your middle name is Patricia etc), do you see yourself as more of a big sister than a mum?

Clare: No – I am such a little sister in fact. I am the youngest in my family and I LOVE having big sisters.

I have borrowed various little character traits from my sisters, myself, in fact all the woman and girls in my life and used them to define all the girls in the book. As for the Mum thing my Mum use to call me little Mother – I was obsessed with my dollies when I was wee and loved bathing them and taking them walks and feeding them…all of it!
SM:  Is your daughter showing signs of following in yours or Stephen’s footsteps?

Clare: Elle loves to sing and loves coming to work with me…she has come on filming trips, helped with props at Theatres I have been working in and stood at the side of the stage refusing to wear her ear guards at gigs. I just hope Elle finds something she is passionate about and works hard at which is what the whole Tallulah thing is about. Chase your dreams is what I love to tell all kids! t’s not about being famous it’s about being fabulous at whatever you do.

SM:  ‘Tallulah’ is very much a gigging, touring, hard-working would-be popstar… Do you think that teens these days think the key to their musical aspirations lies with impressing Simon Cowell?

Clare: I think  X Factor is a great entertainment show but I do worry about how harsh the experience is for some people.  But, I just love the idea of kids being in garages or bedrooms or community halls playing instruments and having fun and seeing where it takes them…it’s not all about having that big belter of a voice.

SM:  As someone who struggled with IVF, do you have an opinion on the recent D&G/Elton spat?

Clare: I felt completely bewildered by the comments that Domenico Dolce made…in fact I was horrified at the word ‘synthetic’ and the whole attitude he expressed. apart from anything it was horribly unkind.  Not buying Dolce and Gabbana won’t be a big problem for me!

SM: And finally, we had to ask (sorry!) Do you get random people shouting ‘Happy Birthday’ to you in the supermarket?
Clare: Yes, I do…in fact everywhere I go it happens and I love it! I often sing at friends and families birthdays and everyone joins in which is really funny and very very silly!
‘Tallulah & The Teen Stars’ and ‘Tallulah On Tour’ are available as e books through the Amazon Kindle store. Get the titles on Amazon.
Contact the BAAF: http://www.baaf.org.uk/

SM Chats to Ali Burlingham of Waterbumps

 

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Ali Burlingham is former Aquatics Manager at WaterBabies – the baby swimming lessons which have thousands of parents, including celeb SM Fearne Cotton, ‘splish splashing’ with their little ones – and she has now launched a new ‘sister’ venture called WaterBumps.

WaterBumps is an aqua fitness regime aimed to help pregnant women prepare for childbirth and get back into shape afterwards through gentle but effective workouts in the pool.

Currently regional,  but with plans to expand nationwide, find out more at http://www.waterbumps.co.uk/

Many of our team’s own little ones were or are avid Waterbabies and we were delighted that Ali agreed to chat to us…

How did the idea for WaterBumps come about?

Ali: During my time as an Aquatics Manager at Water Babies I was challenged to keep ahead of the competition by thinking centred around other areas we could develop into. Lots of other competitors and swim schools were already doing 4-7 year old swimming lessons, but no-one was looking the other way!

As a practitioner of pre/post-natal reflexology, and having attended pre-natal yoga classes throughout my pregnancies, I started researching how we could break into this market. In the summer of 2012 Paul and Steve took the leap of faith (based on my research) and in January 2013 I became the Head of WaterBumps, a new and exciting role developing a new franchise business in pre and post natal water-based exercise classes – WaterBumps!

Most of 2013 and the start of 2014 saw us complete a feasibility phase where there was strong evidence that this market is untapped, especially in the water. An outstanding piece of internal market research (20% of the Water Babies client base – 8,000 clients) also proved to us that this market has great potential. Therefore the business modelling phase and programme trials were done and are now completed!

At the start of July 2014 we appointed a Business Development Officer, Penny and we relocated the Head Office of WaterBumps to Bristol. Since being here we have built the brand of WaterBumps, finished the website and on the 15th September 2014 we launched the first ever WaterBumps – WaterBumps Bristol & Bath. This is a company-owned franchise that I run with the assistance of Penny.

Can one do WaterBumps at any stage of pregnancy/post partum and does one need to be a good swimmer?

Ali: Women can join our ‘before birth’ classes after their 12-14 week antenatal check right through to due date. Our ‘after birth’ classes can be joined either once a woman has been medically signed off – 6 weeks after a normal vaginal delivery and 10 weeks after a caesarean as the recovery time is a lot longer, or any time after they have had a child – this can be years after too!!

No women do not have to be good swimmers, all our skills can be tailored for them to have their feet on the pool floor, we don’t ask anyone to go underwater or do anything that they feel uncomfortable with.

As you are currently regional, is there one ‘taster’ exercise you could share with us to try at our local pool?

Ali: Push and Glide – as soon as you are pregnant you don’t and can’t lie on your tummy and lots of women miss this. This skill is a great way to glide across the water on your front and give your body a full stretch. Stand with your back to the pool wall, with shoulders under the water. Place arms out straight in front of you holding a float. Bend your knees and gently push forward by pushing your feet either off the pool floor or the wall behind you. At the same time really stretch your arms forward and straighten your legs once you have started to glide. Sometimes you won’t go very far – this is more about getting the full body stretch rather than reaching the other side of the pool!!! It’s lovely and very relaxing, our mums-to-be really like this skill after a long day.

Are you running WaterBumps courses for would-be-instructors as well as for new/expecting mums?

Ali: Yes, as the business grows we will be training teachers through on the WaterBumps teacher training course which will include the brand new ASA Level 3 qualification that we instigated, designed and developed with the ASA (National Governing Body for Swimming)

And – we had to ask – is there any singing involved…?

Ali: Hehehe – not in WaterBumps classes – the peace and quiet of the classes is exactly what our ladies want – time to bond with baby, stretch and tone, as well as relax and switch off!!

Ali – we hope the new venture goes ‘swimmingly’ (and without any Happy Nappy accidents!)

SM Chats to Maggie Howell

When Maggie Howell got in touch with us we whooped for joy. Amongst our team – despite the fact that I don’t think any of our children came out ‘to plan’ as it were – we all loved her book and cds on Natal Hypnotherapy and generally regard her as a bit of a guru.

Maggie’s methods have aided a staggering 100,000 births and she has a network of practitioners who run workshops and classes. Her books and cds rank in the top selling on Amazon.

The anecdotes of her devotees (and Maggie herself, when she talks of the birth of her five sons) describe a warm, calm, primal, gentle birth – without any screaming, tearing or distress to the baby. (I hope Maggie won’t take offence but the image that springs to mind is that lovely scene in Julia Donaldson’s book ‘Tabby McTat’ where the cat calmly produces kittens under the bed..!)

So we obviously had lots of questions for Maggie – who, interestingly didn’t come from a background in midwifery but in fact was an international sales executive – and you can read her words of wisdom below:

What do you think about the ‘too posh to push’ culture of elective Caesarians?
To be honest I really dislike the phrase “too posh to push”. I believe the vast majority of women who choose to have an elective cesarian, do so not because they have the money to make the choice over the time and place of the birth of the baby, but because they have significant underlying fears and anxieties.  This was recently highlighted in the BBC program “childbirth – all or nothing” when one of the women had chosen to have an elective cesarian. The program played up on the fact that she was a well off woman who had enough money to make the choice. They also played on the fact that she wanted to choose the time and place of her birth (in fact it was moreher husband who wanted to make the choice) and that she could have a massage and manicure in time for the birth. However as the program developed we found out that as she had struggled to conceive for many years, had undergone significant stress and anxiety and hence her baby had been conceived through IVF. Is it any wonder that she may have felt a lack of confidence and trust in her body’s ability to give birth naturally? Another example is Kirstie Allsopp. her first baby was born by emergency Caesarian section and the second baby was breech and hence resulted in a second Caesarian section. However many people have criticised her for being “too posh to push” when in reality her experience had nothing to do with her financial situation or social background.
In Many NHS maternity clinics, if women request a cesarian section there is now a pathway of care to understand the psychological reasons behind this choice. If women are given the correct support, counselling, and birth preparation many of the fears and anxieties can be addressed and dealt with. Sadly however the resources within the NHS do not always allow this and as a result women who are severely fearful of childbirth do not always get the care and the birth of outcome.
However I am particularly concerned about the increasing rate of cesarian section’s classified as “emergency sections”, which can in no way be attributed to women being”too posh to push”. Instead it has more to do with fear within the Maternity system, fear in women in general, increase in unnecessary medical intervention, increase in unnecessary induction, a decease in midwives autonomy to allow a woman to birth instinctive and a general decrease in trust in the ability of women to birth their babies.
– Do you find working with NHS hospitals ‘challenging’ or are they receptive to your workshops?
Over the last five years there has been a significant change in the acceptance of hypnosis in childbirth. Initially it took a very long time to go through the process and bureaucracy of working within the NHS. However on the whole we have been accepted and welcomed by the vast majority of midwives, as they have seen the positive benefits that hypnosis can bring when women use this as a tool to prepare for childbirth. Of course we have come across some more old school midwives who were sceptical and sometimes even dismissive about the concept. We have also met with some midwives who have felt concerned about the concept of “hypnobirthing” as there are some methods which have led midwives to feel alienated and more stressed by being given long lists of words they can and can’t say and even in some cases being told that they cannot speak directly to the woman and must go through the birth partner. This is not an approach that Natal Hypnotherapy takes and so in some circumstances we have had to explain the differences and reassure midwives that we consider them to be a integral and highly valuable part of the team supporting the mother to have a positive birth.
– Do you think that women sometimes feel afraid to ‘stand their ground’ to doctors and midwives when prefering to adopt your techniques and what would your advice be in this situation?
I think that there are many women who experience “white coat syndrome”during their pregnancy. We are generally brought up to believe that doctors know best and that they are there to help us so we need to do as we are told. However giving birth is not normally a medical experience and so the situation is somewhat different to when we are in need of medical care. For women choosing to use Natal Hypnotherapy as a first port of call we encourage them to include information about natal hypnotherapy in their birth Notes. We provide women with a large sticker which they put on the front of the notes explaining that they are using natal hypnotherapy as birth preparation. This can then facilitate a discussion with the midwives about the choices that the women have made. In addition it gives information for midwives on the research background and ways they can support women who have made this choice. During our classes we spend some time coaching couples on ways to create a rapport full and supportive team around the mother, and offer suggestions on the kinds of questions to ask if they feel that the medical team are suggesting changes or intervention during the birth. We also suggest that couples ask for time alone to discuss any options which also gives them time to use some of the techniques that they learn during the classes to maybe help change the situation. We have had feedback from many couples that simply having this time alone to either help the mother become even more relaxed or to help the baby change position has prevented them from needing medical intervention.
– Co-sleeping has had quite a bad rep recently, but you’re an advocate (we are too!). What do you feel are the benefits?
Yes you are right I am a huge advocate and very firm believer in the fact that as mammals our babies are safest and happiest when they are close to the mother, especially at night. There are no mammals, other than humans who choose to have their babies sleep at a distance from them. However, I also understand that as humans we have developed other traits which are not present for mammals for example intoxication from alcohol or drugs, smoking and being overweight, which can have an impact on their ability to respond to their babies presence and needs. On a personal note I could not for one moment have imagined not sleeping with my babies. Apart from the sense of safety, comfort, protection, nourishment and warmth that the my body gave to my babies, I am in essence relatively lazy! The thought of having to actually get out of bed and go to a different space to feed my baby was simply unthinkable. we have slept with all five of our babies and so have had at least one baby in our bed for almost 15 years! For many people this is probably quite shocking and I’m sure that there are many questions that they have. Needless to say having babies in our bed has not stopped more babies coming along 🙂
I believe that there are huge benefits to both mother and baby (and father), especially if the baby is breastfeed. From the mothers perspective you get more sleep, you’re more relaxed therefore your milk is more like to flow and you’re more likely to feed at the crucial times between 2 and 4 PM to ensure a healthy flow of milk during the day.  From the baby’s perspective there is a deep-seated sense of safety, comfort and warmth. The baby is able to search for and find a breast very easily so there is often no need for the baby to cry or to show any signs of stress during the night. For Babies who sleep in their own Moses basket or cot, when they wake up and do not feel or sense their mother immediately nearby, the only way for them to alert their mother to their needs, is to cry which increases the stress hormones within the baby. I believe that babies live completely in the present moment and so if the baby wakes up and is all alone I imagine that the baby has a feeling of fear and abandonment as they have no way of knowing where the mother is all when their mother will come to them. This in itself must be very scary and stressful for the baby and so it can take much longer for the baby to settle once it has had a feed. I also believe there are benefits for the father as for many fathers they may not spend a great deal of time with the baby during the day and so having a baby close by through the night gives them an increase time to bond and connect with their baby even if it is purely well they are asleep. My husband was always very supportive and felt that he really wanted our babies to be close to him as well…
– You draw on many primitive instincts in hypnobirthing, but are there any modern comforts or technological advances you’d recommend to compliment your techniques?
Absolutely. I believe that the use of hypnosis in childbirth is a two, one of many tools that women can use to help themselves have a calm and positive birth experience. I am a strong advocate for the use of pools during labour.  This is not something that mammals would instinctively do, however us humans have enjoyed the concept of a warm bath for many years and so this can seriously aid relaxation. I am also a supporter of the birth ball. We no longer spend time as women squatting for long periods of time which strengthens the pelvic floor muscles and helps keep the baby in a good position in Utero. So the use of the birth ball can really aid the birthing process due to the position the mother is in whilst using it and the constant micro movements which help increase strength and flexibility in the pelvic floor. I also believe in the power of aromatherapy oils and Homoeopathy all of which work naturally with the body to aid relaxation, to increase the ability to cope with contractions, to deal with mood swings et cetera.
– if you could give just one bit of advice to a woman in early labour, what would it be?
Relax, breathe and trust and as one couple recently said wrote as a affirmation “just do your best, let the body do the rest”
– And finally, with five boys (wow!) do you hold any belief in gender selection methods such as Shettles?
If I had a pound for every time somebody asked me whether I was hoping for a girl I would be very wealthy! I also get somewhat annoyed by the suggestion that I would continue to have babies purely based on the premise that I wanted a girl. For me the gender of my baby has never been an issue, all I ever wanted was a healthy baby. I know this is very cliche but it is absolutely true. Having said that by the time the fourth and fifth came along I suppose I was secretly hoping to have another boy as I felt very comfortable with boys, had all the gear and knew how their bits and pieces worked :-).
But that is just my story. I have friends and known people who have had a deep-seated desire and longing for either a girl or a boy. For women in that situation, it can become all consuming and so, as with anything in life, I am a firm believer in doing whatever you can to bring about a change or outcome you desire. If this means having sex on the day of ovulation or two days before in the missionary position then why the heck not. Of course there are no guarantees but sometimes just feeling like you have done something positive to help you get the outcome that you wish for can be beneficial. For the vast majority of women, when they hold their baby in their arms for the first time, the fact that the baby is either male or female pails into insignificance.
Visit NatalHypnotherapy.co.uk to find out more or to order any of Maggie’s downloads, cd’s or her book Effective Birth Preparation – Your Practical Guide.

Lose Baby Weight the 5* Way at a Matt Roberts Retreat

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Celebrity trainer and gym empire owner Matt Roberts told us about his luxe retreats – and some of them are family friendly!

Slick Mummy: At first glance your Retreats look like the chance to top up my tan or snoop on a celeb wedding… Will I actually get fit?

Matt Roberts: There are between 4 and 5 hours of structured training every day, so getting fitter is a guarantee. In fact, for some this might sound like a lot of exercise to get through each day, however the way each day is planned and orchestrated means that your body is being tested in different ways and different intensities throughout, making sure that you are stretching your ability but staying within the realms of possibility!

Slick Mummy: What made you decide to include the Retreats as part of your brand?

Matt Roberts: The demand and trend for fitness and activity based holidays is one that is growing rapidly. Clients have asked me to do these for years but I only wanted to do them when the time was right and I had the best venues available for the Retreats programme. This isn’t slumming it and eating basic food, this is being pushed physically, staying in a luxury surrounding, having first class service throughout and some incredible food. Only when it was a perfect offering was I keen to get the service out there, and now it is ready so we are pushing ahead at full speed.

Slick Mummy: How did you choose the locations?

Matt Roberts: They are places that I personally like to go to and that I have tried out many times. Whenever I travel I exercise hard, and wherever I am I am always thinking how great the venue might work for a group. So I have picked the places that I know work well, and there are more to come too!

Slick Mummy: Are the fitness programmes tailored to the venues…? How does working out on a Retreat differ to in one of your clubs?

Matt Roberts: The programmes vary venue to venue based upon the setting, facility, environment and climate, however the basic structure of each day remains similar in format, with the same approach to the overall timing and scheduling of the day. The Training itself is comprised of many of the approaches that you would get in my clubs, it simply provides us with an extended time each day with each client in which to get even more work done. This concentration allows us to get some great results in the Retreat and gives the client a massive boost in their programme once they are back home again. Clients all say that the effect on their body when they had returned home was amazing and that the results just keep on coming!

Slick Mummy: You’ve been quite vocal about parents setting a fitness example to reduce child obesity. Are your Retreats family friendly?

Matt Roberts: Our retreat at Forte Village is certainly family friendly, there is a great kids programme of sports and exercise at the resort and the service is set up to allow parents to do the Training programmes and kids to do the sports and then meet up during the day at various points along the way.

Slick Mummy: You’ve trained the likes of Tom Ford and John Galliano, did they teach you anything about fashion in return..?

Matt Roberts: I’m sure some of what they said rubbed off!

Slick Mummy:  We hear you’re a fan of photography/arts. Has anything caught your eye recently?

Matt Roberts: Yes, but unfortunately they weren’t for sale and even if they were I’m afraid the price might be prohibitive. The Picasso Museum in Barcelona has some amazing pieces and I’m particularly keen on the Blue period. Most people describe it as melancholic but I personally just saw a great deal of calm in them (probably something Freudian!)

Slick Mummy: And finally, do you have any vices..?

Matt Roberts: I always get asked this! I guess people would love to hear that I’m a secret choco/alcoholic!

No, sorry, I don’t! my answer used to be that I love a really great glass of Bordeaux or Barolo, however I stopped drinking completely a year ago, so even that’s gone! sorry to disappoint!

Visit www.mattroberts.co.uk/retreats for more information.