Friday, 15 June 2007

Mother's Day

Special day today; Mum’s anniversary. 14 years since she died, way too young at 55. Another smoking statistic.

She never saw her grandchildren. Gosh how they would have been spoiled! Me too I think. I dream of going away for a weekend break with the First Husband; children with Grandma, returning to an immaculate house and everything ironed within an inch of its life! Missed opportunities...

Every year to mark the occasion, my sister ventures south and I head north and we meet up in Stratford where Mum lived, worked and ultimately died.
Now Mum was the most stylish lady, worked in fashion, always elegantly dressed and she expected her daughters to be properly turned out too. Sadly she died one day before her birthday. Typical Mum, didn’t want to add another year to her age! Glamorous to the end!

So we place flowers on her grave, my sister and I, shed a tear or two….and then go on a memorial shoe shopping expedition followed by lunch at the Dirty Duck. Mum would have loved it!

Now as I’ve said elsewhere, the scent of Ambre Solaire oil reminds me of summer, and Mum, who loved to sunbathe. Imagine our horror then when the cemetery offered us a pretty spot under a shady tree for Mum.
“Oh no,no, no, nooo,” said sister. “Not our Mum.”
So there she is, placed right in the middle of the perfectly manicured lawn, forever basking in the sunlight.

And the inscription on her headstone?
Simply “Love Always”.
She signed off every birthday card, every letter she ever sent to us, with just those words.
Nothing else needed.
Rest in Peace Mum.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Pick n Mix

Responding to having been tagged, here are eight things about me you may not know or have suspected! What do they reveal, if anything? Made me think a bit and go down some routes I haven't been for a while.

1. My favourite sweet is cola cubes. These can be sourced from a brilliant website dedicated to all the yummy sweets you used to be able to buy from the old fashioned confectioners, one ¼ lb at a time. Pineapple chunks, cherry lips, sherbet dabs..they’re all here! What's your favourite?

2. So sorry to all those who keep chickens (fascinating birds) but my least favourite food is eggs: scrambled, hard boiled, soft boiled, fried, any way is yucky, just too eggy. There’s something about the consistency of a cooked egg white…..shudder. Used to love a soft boiled egg mashed up in a cup with butter when I was a little girl, and can’t remember when or how the volte face came about. About tolerable when incorporated into chocolate cake though. If it hadn’t been for Suzie who helps me with the children, the boys would never have experienced a boiled egg and soldiers!

3. I met my husband when I worked as a ski rep and guide for a season in Verbier, Switzerland. He was quite simply the best looking client we’d had out all season and he could ski like a dream too. A few weeks later the season ended, and back at the vet’s, slaving over a hot cat spay, my dear friend the nurse and I would put the world to rights. “I’m going to marry him,” I predicted. It only took him another 4 years to come round to my way of thinking but it was well worth the wait!

4. The bit of my body I like the best is my wrists; they are slim, elegant, fragile. The rest of me is not.Which is perhaps why of all jewellery, I like bracelets the best. And my current favourite is the little gold snaffle bit bracelet my husband gave me for my 40th birthday.

5. Just after we were married, I lived in the States with my husband, for nearly five years; first of all, just outside San Francisco and then in Newport Beach, about 30 miles south of Los Angeles. At first it was tough financially as husband’s business took a while to take off and I had to re-qualify to work over there. But it gradually got much better and we then took every opportunity to travel when we could. Denver, Vancouver, Seattle (loved it, loved the rain after dry predictable California), Kauai, Hong Kong for the rugby sevens..just all fantastic experiences!

6. One of my favourite smells is Ambre Solaire suntan oil (you know the stuff with virtually no sun protection in it - my mum used to baste herself in it and it always reminds me of summer…and her.)

7.As a little nine-year old girl, I danced on the stage of the King’s Theatre, Glasgow, the very same stage danced upon by the great Margot Fonteyn herself. What a thrill ! My ballet school was providing some of the woodland creatures for an opera and my Mum and Auntie had to sit through the entire opera performance (not their thing I can assure you) just to see my rabbit dance which lasted for all of about 3 minutes! Backstage, my thoughtful mum sent me my first grown-up bouquet of flowers, confirming me as the little diva I thought myself!

8. Sorry to say this, but I could manage to give up chocolate but NEVER strong mature Scottish (Isle of Bute) cheddar. On oatcakes with chutney there is NO better taste!

Okay, your turn now!

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Tipping the scales

Been having a bit of a moan lately....okay, okay ...been having a huge “poor me” sort of a moan. For several weeks.
Therefore I thought it only right to redress the balance by letting you all know that I had a brilliant day today.
Forgive me but is that boastful or just appeasing Karma?

Well it got off to a great start with a semi- naked husband, luckily my own (so much less complicated than borrowing one) bringing me a cup of tea in bed. Now I am a night owl as you may see from the time these blogs are filed and am therefore pretty useless in the morning without the reviving Tetley’s, so early morning tea is a must.

And joy of joys he was carrying a parcel, whoopee and it’s not even my birthday!
A parcel from Amazon, containing my CCW reading club book! Can’t wait to get started on that. Now Amazon is one of my secret little vices, that one- click shopping is too easy.

Soppy dog was licking my lazily outstretched hand, frantic in case I’ve forgotten her overnight. She never jumps up, so her whole body reverberated from side to side in a sinuous motion, propelled by that great thumping rudder of a tail.

The other man in my life, Greatest Jockey was running through the card at Goodwood on Channel 4‘s Morning Line another vice of mine (wonder if Blossom went or was it a wedding photo day?).

For the first time in months, no need today to jump out of bed and get on with things. No work, no studying, no pressure. I sip my tea, and with one eye on the runners and riders at Musselburgh, flicked through David Starkey’s Monarchy.

Can life get any better?

Yes, it does. Darling boys pile in beside me. Cosy and Toastie.

A perfect start to this or any other day.

And the rest of the day continued in the same vein. My elder son had his first session in the gym today. Having recently had a birthday he was now old enough to join the older children in a mini-gym session. What I had not realised though, was just how much store he set by this transition. Not a natural sportsman, he is still very keen and his little cheeks were flushed with pride and exertion. He was thrilled to be on the treadmill and cross trainer, convinced that he would soon be invincible at sports day!

I enjoyed an afternoon in the kitchen, cooking a carbo loading meal for First Husband and his Big Cheese business colleagues, who all swam 2.5 miles in open water today in preparation for their Triathlon. Appreciative, hungry men do make you feel wanted!

And now to bring a satisfying day to a close by posting a blog.....perchance to dream of finding 8 interesting things for @the mill's tagging!