Showing posts from March, 2014

Mothering Sunday

When the Vicar marvelled over a recipe for 'Penis Stew' in a Two Fat Ladies' cookbook, my mother roamed the Home Counties in search of an abattoir that would supply a bull's glory to expand his culinary repertoire. When intuition told her that I was ill was during a phone call from university, she got in the car at 5am and drove 120 miles to nurse me. When my newborns wore me down at night, a dressing-gowned figure would emerge from the guest room and bear them away till dawn. When I admired a garment or a garden plant it would turn up inside my luggage when I reached home. When the children grew, the bottom drawers in two chests were cleared to become treasure stores and were filled with novelties when they visited. When, the day after her accident, I was clearing the Christmas presents she'd begun buying, I found she'd remembered the rose hand cream I'd once raved over and predicted the 11 year-old's craving for a jewellery casket. Everythi

Life Essentials

The Vicar has confiscated the 11-year-old's iPod. 'You may as well,' she sobs, 'take away my life!' Upstairs she sags desolately, contemplating 24 hours without Instagram, Jesse J and hair-styling videos on YouTube. I am fascinated by her grief. Self-sufficiency, I tell myself, is one of the perks of maturity. Fate might rob me of any of my possessions and I'd be none the poorer, provided health and loved-ones remained intact. I enjoy the smugness this realisation causes me and, leaving her adrift without her prop, I go downstairs to make breakfast. Then the blow strikes. Someone's scraped out the last of the Marmite. The jar is empty. I have to face 24 hours without Marmite toast inside me. My complacency evaporates. I am not invincible. Shaken, I start to ponder the material objects to which I'm enslaved. The length of the list dismays me. I feel sudden empathy with my bereft daughter for I realise that I would struggle to live without: My well