23 Jan 2020

The Biggest Surprise

The Biggest Surprise on vickiarcher.com

2019 was a major year in my life.

I became a grandmother.

A surprise? Yes, in so many ways?

I am a woman who knows her mind and is very rarely surprised about her’s or other people’s behavior. Forget that, I have completely become an enigma. Where have I gone? Who is this new VA? In many ways, she is the same and in others, she has completely broken her mold.

I don’t recognize the old version but I absolutely love the new one.

Becoming a grandmother was not something I had ever thought about? That is the truth. Some women long for babies and the day when their children settle down and start a family – I wasn’t that girl. Deep down I knew one day it would happen but it was never my focus. I adore babies but I was happy with my lot and felt no need for more. My children are heaven, we are close and every day I feel blessed.

I underestimated the joy a baby brings to the family.

We are besotted by our little guy and cannot get enough of him. I watched friends disappear for a time when they became grandparents – I didn’t understand. They talked at length about the feelings for a new member of the family; I listened but was far from comprehending.

A brag book of photos may not be in my handbag (I promised myself I would not bore the world with daily shots of our darling) but change me he has. My priorities have shifted and last year I was determined to spend as much time as I could with my daughter and Archie before she resumed work. Fortunately, I clocked it was a time in my life I could not recapture and thankfully I followed my instinct.

We had the best time and I will be forever grateful for those life-changing months.

I don’t see myself as “granny’.

What I will be called is hardly a pressing problem, he is 8 months old, I’m hoping VV will fall out from the mix. Smart money tells me I will be called exactly what he chooses and all my prompts and planning will have little effect. Time will tell.

Now I am the woman who can’t walk past La Coqueta in Notting Hill without buying yet another cute outfit. This is a Spanish brand and if you have babies in your life and don’t know about La Coqueta, you are in for a treat. It’s on my London “insider’s list”. A year ago, this shop and all the other baby and nursery destinations were not on my radar. Fashion and homewares were my clicks of choice; now I have a whole extra repertoire. I couldn’t resist this for our boy. Their newborn wear is beautiful and if you are blessed with a little girl, you will be sorely tempted.

And then I found the teddy bears from de Bucci.

My fascination has grown as I helped my daughter decorate his bedroom.

My homewares and interiors love has taken me in a new direction. I barely recall the before and am smitten with this “after”. One day I walked past The Little White Company, became so engrossed and left with so many treasures I had to head home; my shopping list unticked. My dear friend Stephanie, at j.saint remy totally understands and has created a unique business to tempt us, besotted grandparents.

My dearest grandmothers, I finally get it. xv


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You are well and truly smitten and blessed as all grandmothers should feel. What an absolutely delightful distraction and a grandchild that will always make you smile. A lovely heart warming post Vicki.

Jenny Barton

Like you, Vicki, I had never considered myself a ‘granny’ kind of woman. Indeed, being the mother of a daughter with a hugely successful business of her own, I had assumed her rock-and-roll lifestyle with her husband would continue for always. However, almost three years ago my grandson entered our world, and instantly wound himself around my heart, followed last August by his baby sister. Living in Provence it isn’t easy to be as close to them as I would like, although Marseille airport is very familiar to me now, and I rejoice in the name of Gaga (my thinking was that if I claimed the name now, it might stop people calling me that in even later life). When he sees me, my grandson’s face lights up and he runs at me with open arms for a cuddle. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Barbara Novello

Welcome to our club. It brings so much happiness to this part of our lives. You will have the best time and will enjoy it immensely.


There is so much I want to say to you about being a Grandparent I don’t think there is enough space to write about it here. I will say that Archie has picked the most wonderful Grandmother to guide, love and nurture him as he journey’s through life. How Blessed the Archer family is to have this “little man” in their lives.
I may just becoming to you for advice on baby clothing and accessories. I have long been an admirer of the brands listed; fabulous suggestions!
Melissa and I are so touched by your kind words about j.saint remy; it truly brought tears to my eyes. A heartfelt thank you.
You are a beautiful soul, Vicki.Archer xx

Terrel Drendel

Yes! A grandchild once again changes everything on your personal horizon, just as having a child did all those years before. I had a son and now I have a granddaughter. My mother, Dora, decided when she became a grandmother she would be called Dor Dor. I decided to carry on that tradition. My name is Terry and I am called TerTer. I have friends who are grandmothers. Beth is BB, Mary is MiMi. You will be an amazing grandmother no matter what your name will be. ❤️


We will be blessed with a grandchild this April and we cannot wait! I have wanted to be a grandmother for so long but as you know, you cannot assume nor ask when is it going to happen, as so many young couples have quite a journey to become parents. Luckily our gorgeous boy and our equally gorgeous daughter in law, were very lucky and it happened quite quickly after their European adventure. I don’t mind what I am called but know that when he arrives, I will be just like you – totally smitten 🥰


Ahhhh…yes, there are not words to describe how much a grandchild can melt your heart. It even gets better as time goes on. So glad you have the chance to experience this ….

Karen Carlson

Congratulations, best thing in my life, being a grandmother. Enjoy every single blessed moment.


Yes, welcome to the club! It adds a new dimension to our lives. When our geanddaughters were small I loved buying gorgeous clothes for them. Such pretty things out there for little girls! They always loved what I gave them. One birthday the younger immediately tore off the dress she was wearing so she could put on the new one. Now they’re both teenagers it’s different. Their tastes change from month to month and it’s all about what their best friends are wearing. So I’ve stopped buying clothes and give them gift vouchers instead so they can choose their own. Before they left on their recent European holiday after Christmas I gave them each a card with euro notes inside to buy special things while they were away. They were both thrilled. Best wishes, Pamela

Judy Lykins

Congratulations, no matter what he calls you you will melt when you hear his voice!! G-Ma to 4 and GG-Ma to 2!!

Trish Murphy

Oh Vicki! Ain’t Life Grand being a Granny! As you say until you join the club you can’t explain to anyone the absolute joy that little one brings to all the family. Congratulations once again. Very interesting for the star Grandchild when another arrives. Wait until the next Grandchild arrives ! X Trish

Maryanne Lang

Well Vic, you’ve just described my life!
We have another due in 4 weeks, Caitlin’s second child. Can’t wait.
Who would have thought! xx


Dearest Vicki, good morning!

Well, I never had children of my own, but I have experienced this SURPRISE and still do, as a teacher.

Never did I see myself as a mother but my heart had other plans. As I teach, I also have to care. As I care, I also have to have the compassion that is sometimes lacking in “the job” of teaching. However, in the craft of this position, the craft does a reverse: the work starts to work on ME.

Children are a blessing. Sure, for someone like me, I can be with them all day then go home and rest, with no responsibilities. However one may experience the joys of children, one thing is for sure. They find their way into your heart and transform you.

Linda B

I joined the grandma club about a month after you, Vicki, and spent the whole summer living close to our new little family. I’ve been privileged to see them a few times since. In fact yesterday I just finished my latest little visit to my granddaughter and her sweet parents. How I miss them already! The 1,400 miles between us is too much. I plan to spend the summer there again. Not only am I smitten, but I know my husband and I are a real help to our daughter and son-in-law.

Wishing you all the joy, dear Vicki! It is just such a special experience!!!


I don’t have children so I will never know the joy of being a grandmother, but I delight in your happiness!! A baby is such a blessing! A new beginning in many ways. I know your hear is full of love, and I send mine as well. xoxox, Brenda


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