It’s that time of year again

Darling mum,

It’s such a long time since I was here. Life has rather run away with me over the last few months and all of a sudden its 6th November and another year has gone past without you. The last 5 years have rushed past so quickly and yet so much has happened that you’ve missed, it doesn’t seem possible.

We’ve got new babies in the family (and about to have one more!) people have gone to university, passed exams, got new jobs, traveled to far flung places, met new people and brought them into the family, moved house….. and so much more. It breaks my heart that you’ve missed it all. I know you  would have been proud of us, mostly, and at the least only been mildly disapproving if you weren’t!

I’m sure people who read this must think that I look at you through rose tinted glasses, and maybe I do. I make it sound as though you were perfect, and you weren’t.

We certainly fought, I well remember rows in my youth, what I should or shouldn’t wear, whether I was or wasn’t going out with friends, and I know I’m not alone in this, we all squabbled with you as well as each other. But (and I never thought I’d day it!) now I’m older and have children of my own, I can see what you were saying and find myself saying the same things! Simon is worried – I may just be turning into you – god help him!!!

As to other peoples opinions, well the size of the crowd at your memorial service and the hundreds of pounds raised for charity in your name with the undertakers is testament to how many lives you touched!

Maybe you weren’t perfect, I’m sure you had faults,  I’m sure you did things that irritated the hell out of people. But when push came to shove you were there. You never said no if someone needed help, and there was always an endless supply of tea and sympathy when it was required.

We miss you mum, everyday at some point my thoughts turn to you. We talk about you all the time. Today we looked for new conkers, because you loved the colour and feel of them shiny from their cases in the autumn. Yesterday I kicked though leaves and jumped in puddles with Bean and thought how much you would have loved to be there. Tomorrow I’m off to G’ma A to drink tea and gossip and I’ll think Mum should be here too. Next month we will make a christmas cake, using your recipe and shed a tear because you won’t be there to eat it with us. Another birthday has passed without your name on my card. And yesterday when we lit the fire for the first time we laughed about your obsession with bonfires and your only using one match rule!

There are times when only mum will do and I hate that mine isn’t there when I need her.


This entry was posted on November 6, 2012. 1 Comment

Guest Letter no. 1

When I started this blog, I requested other people to write letters for their mum. Well I have my first guest letter. The wonderfully brave Gina from Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies . I say wonderfully brave, because her letter has been quite difficult to write and she is very courageous to share these feelings with us all. So a round of applause please for my guest and when you’ve read her letter, go and have a wander around her blog, it makes for some excellent, heartfelt and funny reading!

Dear Mum,

I don’t really know how to start this letter.
Things have’t exactly worked out the way it was suppose to. We use to be such good friends, you were the one person that I could talk to and share everything with.
It always makes me sad when I think about how much you have missed out on with your grandchildren.  They hardly even know who you are! Infact just writing this letter is making me upset.
I still don’t agree with the way you behaved back then but I know now that you were going through a bad time, I only hope that things will get better for you soon and you find some happiness, real happiness.
I hope that in time maybe we can work things through. P and I will get married one day and It would be nice to have the mother of the bride there.  You always said that if I ran off to get married somewhere  without inviting you that it would break your heart. I don’t want to do that.
There are probably a million more things that I could say to you but for now I just can’t find the words. At least this letter is a start I suppose.
Still your daughter
Thank you Gina, it is beautifully written and obviously from the heart. I hope things work out for the best for you and your mum. 
This entry was posted on June 16, 2012. 4 Comments

What made you so lovely?

Darling Mum,

I have been pondering your influence on my life more than normal today having been sent a link to someone else site who writes a blog as a legacy to their mum (you can read it here)

It occurred to me that you were a great influence over me – of course you brought me up (with dad and siblings of course), but who else did you help, guide and when needed chastise ? Well after all you had 5 children who went on to have partners of their own and in some cases children of their own. So you became a mother to many many more people ! From personal experience, I can tell you that you were deeply loved by the son in law I provided for you! Given that we were so young when we met and married (20 and 18 when we stood at the alter) you were a parent to him for most of his adult life. I will assume that the same level of love towards you stands for the other chaps my sisters brought you! I’m assured in saying that your extra daughter (my sister in law) adored you! and I know from the way you spoke about her, and the way Dad still does – the feeling was mutual. The fact that so many people came to your memorial service is testament to how much you were loved

So why such a influence? What made you different to other people? After all there are plenty of people who have children and children in law who aren’t loved as well as you were. Can we actually distil down what makes a person likeable, or fun or loved? If we could – this time next year Rodney, we’ll be millionaires!!

Well I think I know what it was, others may disagree, in fact knowing my family – they probably will! Not that we argue (no laughing Rob!) But we have, shall we say, strong characters – like you I guess!

Well for me there are a number of things that made you loveable – mostly that you were unfailingly caring. Whether it was towards your own children, their friends, neighbours or the mums and children at the baby group you ran for 30+ years. There was never a day that went past when someone didn’t have a Patti cuddle. You fed, nurtured, sang nursery rhymes, rocked to sleep, offered advice, gave lifts, delivered meals on wheels and so on and so on and so on…….  Each one of us trooped endless lines of friends home for tea and fruit cake (or bread pudding)

You never said no to people who needed you. You never let someone cry alone if you could help it. You never walked away until you had fixed the problem. You never held back with arms open wide and a soft cheek to lean on.

See I’m blubbing now because I can still feel your face against mine, and your hand on my cheek and I miss it so much sometimes it hurts. But the tears pass and I can smile at the silly things we did together, the slightly off colour jokes you told when you thought Dad wasn’t listening. The dancing round the kitchen with the children singing old music halls songs. Family picnics when we had to cut a fruit cake with nothing more than a pair of folding nail scissors (which I hasten to add I still carry around in my handbag – just in case!) You giggling like a school girl  after a glass or two of sherry.

And the weirdest one, asking what someone was up to to by saying “whatcha doing Ingrid?” I say it to my children all the time – why ??? where the hell does it come from ???

Love you millions and squilions


This entry was posted on June 11, 2012. 3 Comments

laundry – why?

Darling Mum,

Why did you never warn me about laundry? Why did you never explain the ‘end of the laundry basket’ conundrum?

I know you never had an automatic washing. I well remember laundry day, hauling the twin tub out and clearing the decks in the kitchen. The bucket of hankies soaking in the down stairs loo and scrubbing the collars of Dad’s work shirts and our school shirts first. (and yes I know it sounds like I was brought up in a victorian work house – but it really wasn’t wasn’t!)

I well remember charging round the house with R wearing the laundry basket as a Darlek  suit, so it must have been empty , at least for a while! But mine never gets there. I mean I wash everything in sight and for a split second there is a glimpse of wickerwork in the darkness towards the floor and then suddenly, without anyone going near it, it bloody full again! And there are only 3 of us in the house these days! It’s like the never ending porridge pot in there!

I suspect that the teenage daughter is the one responsible although husband is looking equally suspect!  So why Mum did you never give away the secret? Is there some secret password or book of instructions to finding the end? Do I have to wait until my children have all left home before I reach the nirvana of the empty hamper?

And whilst we’re at it – what else is in that secret Mum’s handbook you never told me about – The trick to not crying during nativity plays? – the trick to yorkshire puddings always rising – even when you have guests? . And where do I find this book?

love you billions and squillions


This entry was posted on June 8, 2012. 6 Comments

Back to a normal week!

Darling Mum,

I never really considered how you felt when we all went back to school after the holidays until I had babies of my own.  We ‘ve had a long weekend for the Jubilee (bit sick of bunting to be honest!) and life is returning to normal. I know it’s half term but everyone is going back to their own thing after a weekend holed up together in the house.

I have to say, it’s kinda a lonely and it’s made me think about all those new school terms when suddenly the house was empty again. I know lots of people look forward to it as a chance to clear up and drink a whole cup of tea in peace and quite, but it always made me feel sad. We had to go back to living life to someone else’s timetable. No more breakfast in PJ’s, sudden picnic decisions and tea time trips to the beach.

It must have been the same for you as well, but bigger with 5 of us at home. I well remember one summer when basic training for one, university for another, a new job for the 3rd and back to school for the littlest ones, robbed you of all your babies in the space of a couple of weeks! Whilst I was pretty small at the time, I do remember the over large dinners you cooked, unable to cater for so few. And huge pots of tea made and no-one to drink them. The biggest advantage I guess was having a room to myself – finally!!

As we return to everyone back to school next week, I shall think of you twiddling your thumbs with nothing to do once the holidays were over! Nothing to do my foot! I know it never really stopped and I can hear you voice in my head now listing the things you had to do everyday! Just kidding!


love you billions and squillions


This entry was posted on June 6, 2012. 2 Comments

Letter no.1

Darling Mum,

Here it is a blog just for you! So much has happened since you went, so many things you never got to join in with. I often have a conversation with you in my head, but I thought it might be nicer to write things down and maybe other people might want to read them too.

There are so many things you taught us all and I hope I have passed at the very least the useful ones on to my own children.

I hope you’d be as proud of the my babies as I am, I’m sure you would be!  All grown up no of course and on the roads that lead to independence and hopefully an exciting life! University, college, travel, the world at their feet! but more of them later.

It’s been a busy Jubilee weekend, bunting, and scones and jam, parties and Barn Dancing and of course – rain! I remember the Silver Jubilee so clearly. You and Dad busy organising a street party with the neighbours. A fancy dress contest for the kids (R dressed as a petrol pump – me as a red devil parachutist) the tables down the middle of the avenue and races in the park! I remember my mug and coin and a special ribbon badge that Bubbie made for us all as well. Goodness knows where they all are now! I remember going to bed before the party was completely over, but sleeping in your bed at the front of the house so I could still here everything going on.

For now though it’s time to sign off after a busy weekend my bed is beckoning!

Sleep tight mum,


love you millions and squillions


This entry was posted on June 5, 2012. 5 Comments