I like to consider myself an exemplary parent, but probably all mothers think that. The truth is that my two sons were dragged into the wake of my own enthusiasms. Lucky their father seldom left home, as my selfish priorities may not have always featured family first. Our photo books support me in providing a peripatetic and sometimes idyllic childhood, but always to suit my travels, my schedule and my work in wildlife, conservation and adventure.
Two little boys posing in checked shirts on a Khumbu chorten, peering out of a tent on a remote terraced hillside with early morning peaks behind, bundled in life jackets hanging on through the white water, and embracing an elephant deep in the jungle grasslands. There were many years of birthday cakes for Tim Jack Sangjay or Rinchen, moulded out of elephant dung, elaborately iced and delivered by a decorated hati, a perennial delight with everyone valiantly keeping up the well-worn joke to please the grown-ups.
Brought up in Kathmandu, our boys attended the British School until their early teens, both speak Nepali like natives, and both consider this Valley their home. As children they were forced to follow me on various missions – the picture albums show coconut throwing competitions in Sabah, canoeing in the back blocks of Sarawak, volcano trekking in Indonesia, horse-riding in Mongolia, cycling in Vietnam, rock climbing in Kenya and abseiling in Wyoming. After a particularly arduous trek recce wading rivers and lost in the Chandragiri hills, Rinchen declared: “Never again, Mum.”