Do you remember what your dreams were when you were 10 years old?  Lulu has a timeless passion for horses but she is also a kid of her times, dreaming of visiting New York and wishing to have her own  laptop. Alison Spence her mother is the designer and founder of new girl’s brand called Original Sister, offering “plainer (but not plain) well-considered, easy-to-wear, premium quality and stylish basics”. The brand was featured last Sunday in The Telegraph (read the article here).


What do you want to be when you grow up A famous horse rider.  Before that, I wanted to be a famous author

What is your favourite famous person Lady Gaga

What makes you laugh My Dad.  He makes me laugh a lot

What makes you sad or angry Falling off my horse

Your favourite films and books  Racing Stripes (film).  Eragon from the Inheritance Cycle Trilology by Christopher Paolini (book)

The best holidays you ever had  When I went to Portugal for the first time in 2010. We went to the beach every day and I got a great tan!

A place that you would dream to visit New York, because my parents get so excited about it.  It must be a great place to visit

Your favorite outfit Checked shirt with dark brown leggings and dark denim shorts

What is the piece you like the most from your wardrobe Johnny B Floral puff-ball dress

The next item you would be happy to get Mac Book Pro because there are lots of different software downloads, such a iMovie or Garageband

Something you did recently that you really loved Going to London with my Dad to go to the Imperial War Museum.  We had a great day out. We went shopping afterwards and Dad got dragged into performing in a street act in Convent Garden, which he was really embarrassed about

If you had a magic wand, what would you do with it right now? Make myself amazing at horse riding


Your favourite children’s brands No Added Sugar – A really distinctive stamp; Britcool defined; Ralph Lauren – classic preppy at its best; Boden/Johnnie B – It’s hugely popular for a reason! A reliable source of separates and dresses.   I like the way they’re including plainer pieces these days to off-set their signature prints which can be a bit limiting at times; American Outfitters – A really contemporary approach to easy-to-wear classics.  I think it’s really hard to put a new twist on original concepts, but they do it very well

Your favourite children’s stores  I don’t have one, sorry.  Maybe because I’m such a dedicated (and promiscuous!) on-line shopper!

What do you buy online?  Almost anything you can think of!  Plants, clothes (for me and my daughters, but not my husband. He prefers a traditional bricks-and-mortar shopping experience) and household goods/furniture. Food only sometimes; I still prefer to peruse food aisles in person. I see online shopping as a vital survival strategy in today’s time-starved world.  It’s the ultimate convenience.  I love browsing on-line (often with a glass of wine in hand in the evening!).  For me, it’s so much more enjoyable than trudging up and down the high-street.  I love the fact that on-line has completely leveled the retail playing field, allowing smaller retailers (as long as their on-line presence is good) to compete side-by-side with the big boys. The breadth of the product offering is incomparable, instantly available to view and today’s delivery and (in most cases, returns policies) make it an efficient and de-risked exercise.

Lastest item you added to your child’s wardrobe  Some Converse-inspired trainers from Fat Face, for my 10 yr old daughter.  They perform the same practical function as Converse, but the contrasting effect tape-laces add a really nice feminine touch without being overly girly.

Most precious item you bought for your child A lap top computer for my 10 yr old.  It wasn’t the monetary value that made it precious, but her response to receiving it.  She wasn’t expecting it (in fact we’d convinced her that having one was a long way off), and hence she was quite literally speechless when she opened the parcel on Christmas Day.  She was thrilled and, touchingly, hugely appreciative.  Kids’ lives (including school work) are so legitimately centred around IT these days.   I see it as a positive as long as it doesn’t become a wholesale substitute for recreational pastimes.

Best gift you gave for a child’s B-day Tickets to the musical ‘Oliver’.

Items that are hard to find Good quality furniture at an affordable price.  Most modern furniture is thrown together.  If it’s built to last, it’s almost unaffordable.  (My step father is a master upholsterer.  He opened my eyes to all this!)

Favourite pieces in your child’s wardrobe A Johnnie B print puffball dress. Fun and funky.

The book on your bedside table I’ve just finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I was worried that it was over-hyped, and so I might not enjoy it, but it was sensational.  I’m a real crime fiction junkie, but it has to be well-written.   Scandinavian crime writers are amongst the best.

A film that you saw recently and that stayed with you? The last film to really make a impression on me was Bombay Millionaire.  It was pretty dark, which I hadn’t expected.  It affected me to a degree I just hadn’t expected.

The film that you love to see with the whole family? Up.  The kids love it (they can recite it word-for-word!) and my husband and I love it.  Funny but thought provoking at the same time.  At several points, I shed a few tears.  One of those rare movies that we can all watch together.

An unforgettable place you’ve travelled to I’m lucky enough to have visited many incredible places, but there are two that really stand out for me. First, Venice.  It took my breath away.  I felt as if I’d been transported back in time. Second, The Colosseum in Rome.  Again, it was like stepping back in time.  I could almost hear the crowds baying for a gladiator’s blood! In both places, the sense of history was palpable.

The ideal place for a family summer holiday If the sun is shining, you can’t beat Cornwall.  With a four year old to entertain, Portugal is a current favourite.  I’m sure it makes me a hideous stereo-type, but the beach, pool and villa combo keeps her happy all day.  Happy child, happy parents!  I’m itching for her to be a little bit older so we can strike out and resume more adventurous recreational pursuits.  The 10 year old is being very patient about it.  Her interim compensation is an annual Daddy/daughter long weekend to Euro Disney.  They’re on the rides from dawn to dusk.


Photos by Julia Bostock