Table of Contents
- When did you buy your first home?
- Did it have any unexpected quirks?
- Did you live there alone?
- How did it feel to get a place of your own?
- How long did you stay there?
- Was buying the place a nightmare?
- Where do you live now?
- With three children, how do you juggle motherhood, nutrition, and everything in between, alongside your elite sporting career?
- Dream place to live?
The Olympic rower wasn’t very nosy about her kitchen cupboards (Picture: Babybel/ Getty/ Metro.co.uk)
Helen Glover may know how to win an Olympic gold medal — she has two with rowing partner Heather Stanning, one from London and the other from Rio — but she didn’t know much about the kitchen appliances in her first home.
After a year in her flat in Reading, Helen found a secret dishwasher inside a cupboard.
Star of the recently aired BBC One show, The Mother Of All Comebacks, 35-year-old supermum Helen has three children together with husband Steve Backshall.
Helen has teamed up with Babybel to help feed parents with innovative ‘hack to school tips’ and ‘snackspiration’ to liven up lunch times.
When did you buy your first home?
I bought a two-bed in Reading in 2011. It was a cool flat on the top floor of a five-storey tower block with a super-small kitchen and living room.
It was a new-ish block and for me at the time it was just round the corner from the rowing lake — so very convenient.
Did it have any unexpected quirks?
A year after moving in, I opened a door and there was a dishwasher I never knew about. It was quite small and it worked.
It was behind a little cupboard door. I thought it was stuck and contained some piping. I definitely got a bit more for my money.
Helen bought her first home in 2011 (Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Did you live there alone?
I had a flatmate for a year but most of the time I was alone. I was the world’s most boring homeowner — I didn’t change anything. It was all ready to go.
I was training all the time and real tired so I left it all boring white. I changed a picture I think — after the Olympics I had a pic of me and Heather and that went up.
How did it feel to get a place of your own?
It felt amazing, this was my place. When you rent and house share for so long you have to be careful and polite but there was a sense of being able to relax in my own home.
How long did you stay there?
I stayed there until 2015 and then I sold it. The biggest lesson I learnt with selling is make sure you have a good relationship with the estate agent. I was selling at the same time as the World Championships and the woman who was doing the viewing came in and a pipe had burst.
This was all while I was away and she fixed everything, put my mind at ease and totally understood my situation. You don’t normally think of estate agents like that.
Was buying the place a nightmare?
I stayed quite detached from the process. I knew I wasn’t buying a forever home so I was quite emotionally unattached to the whole thing. For me having detachment from it, a bit of reality, made me less stressed with it.
[A good bit of advice is] before you get too emotionally involved remember to stay relaxed. These days I’m always on the internet looking at dream homes — it’s something that seems amazing but the buying is a bit daunting. I don’t really like paperwork.
Where do you live now?
Between Cookham and Marlow. I once looked for ease of maintenance, now it’s about how warm does it feel. It’s a long-term family home.
I have a rowing machine, which is really time-efficient — you can get a full body workout in 15 minutes. But it gathers dust — it’s not my favourite thing to do, it just hurts.
With three children, how do you juggle motherhood, nutrition, and everything in between, alongside your elite sporting career?
Everything is a balance in terms of making sure the kids come first. I’m working with Babybel on their life hacks on getting back to school.
There are loads of tips on making life less stressful. One thing for me has always been never plan in too much detail. If you have three young kids it will never work, you’ve got to have flexibility.
Dream place to live?
My heart has always been in Cornwall as I grew up there. I’d love my children to have that childhood, too. I love the outdoor life and being by the sea.
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