I had several letters to write - or rather, two, but one of those was going to eight different people, so I got them all ready, printed out address labels (I already had that set up, so it was quicker than writing envelopes) and stamped them. Then I did various other bits and pieces, keeping an eye on the time, so that I'd leave in time for my 9.30 meeting. I thought I was doing quite nicely, plenty of time in hand, it was 8.38. After quite some time, it occurred to me that it had been 8.38 for ages...it was 9.15, my face wasn't on and my hair was wet.
I made it to the meeting on time, fully made up with dryish, if slightly unruly hair. And I'd posted the letters on the way.
The Sage was in London for the day, at a picture sale, and I played the clarinet (not for very long actually, but I'm still resolutely fitting it in every day) and ate lunch in the porch in the sunshine. I read the papers, read a book, typed emails on the iPad. If I'm feeling a bit wound up - not worried, there's a lot of stuff on and I can only assume that's the reason for not sleeping - then I reckoned that it was time to relax, knowing I'd be out this evening. I sat down to fill out my seed order to take to Gardening Club, perched on a stool by the Aga (by the time I left the porch the sun had moved round and I was a little chilly) and found myself nodding off, so I curled up in a chair and went to sleep instead.
The speaker tonight was great fun, he's an expert on dahlias (and also a qualified judge) and begonias, a retired landscape gardener and has a thorough north Suffolk/south Norfolk accent, which is always a pleasure to hear. A very good and interesting speaker, I chatted to various people afterwards and won a tray of violas in the raffle. I've also promised the present President that I'll rejoin the WI after Christmas.
She also asked after Al, whom everyone knows from his shop days, and another woman overheard and realised who I was - I had recognised her as a customer, although I still don't know her name - and we had a chat. It's a pleasure to be known as Al's mum (or any of my family's relation, come to that) - I mean, I don't mind at all if they don't know me as *Z* but as an appendage to one of my family. When my mother moved here, she was quite affronted to be greeted as Z's mother, or the Sage's mother-in-law (worse still if anyone thought she was his mother, since she was only some 13 years older than he). She'd never minded, when married, being the other half to her husband and, indeed, was proud to be. But she never adjusted to being called my mother, rather than I being known as her daughter. And honestly, I think that's a pity. But she always wanted me to remain her dear little girl.
Wouldn't it be nice if I were, though? I don't think I could be described as any of those now!
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I can often get my face on in zero seconds, as I can usually get away with not shaving for a day.
Darling, I use a lot of product. Although I got away without shaving too.
Because my son's the chef at a local cafe bar a lot of people now know me as Sam's mum. They used to know me before but now they know the connection. It means I get a good discount at some of the shops, including the greengrocers. So why do I have an allotment?
I hope you weren't doing your face whilst speeding to get to your meeting on time.
So, is the clock broken?
A broken clock has the advantage of being right twice a day!
When Boy started at nursery, I became Boy's Mum and it grated. But, I quite like now.
Mind you, looking at the two of us together, it's fairly obvious there's strong blood relationship. I confess that still gives me the biggest thrill for two reasons. I grew up around people who didn't look like me, being adopted and of course, Boy is my baby and I'm bursting with maternal pride for him.
No, my only speeding was to get out of the door, all ready, by 9.22. It is only two miles to the school and I drive past the post office, so that just delayed me by a minute. Drove into the car park at 9.28.
No, I was doing so many things simultaneously on the computer that the Spotlight search icon on the top (I suspect only Mac owners will know what I mean) froze. Since everything else was working, I didn't realise that the clock wasn't. I restarted and it was fine again.
It would be trite of me, and unfair to her, to suggest that I wish my mother's reaction would have been pride in me - I understand the reasons for her feelings.
It's the 'no name but Boy's mum' thing that can grate, isn't it? But we get used to it!
Hello Z [or should that be Al's mum]:
Congratulations on winning the violas - most welcome for this time of year, or any come to that!
Have you ever been to Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire? A long way from you, we realise, but the dahlia borders, created in Victorian times, are absolutely splendid and well worth a visit as is the whole pleasure garden.
The Mac malfunctioned? I thought they couldn't do that ;)
I hate it when people ring me up and say, "It's [child's name]'s mummy here!" I generally say, "Oh, you mean [first name, surname]!" It's almost like women assume they should lose their identities when they sprog, or that they only have an identity in relation to their offspring.
I nearly didn't mention it, I knew you'd have a dig, darling.
Al's schoolfriend Rahul's mother used to phone and she always said "it's Rahul's mummy here," which I thought was quite sweet, though quaint, since we were friends, and she did it right through schooldays!
I'm very comfortable with being identified in relation to my husband and offspring and I don't feel diminished by it. But of course, I do have quite enough self-esteem to rise above it, which is your point, I guess.
Sorry, Lance and Jane, I forgot that I hadn't replied to you. I shall plant them in a pot for the porch. I am very fond of violas.
No, I have never been there - I can't think that I've ever been to Staffordshire, in fact. I should visit that part of the country, I've got friends in that direction I would love to see. There is far too much of Britain that I have never visited.
I love the sound of clarinet with a viola accompaniment.
;D haha, Rog
You are like me Z, very proud to have raised independent children who are their own people. I don't think my mother has ever really got used to me and my siblings being grown-up, and as we are all 50 odd, that is not good!
It's true, Paff. We have to take care to remember this, and not become our mothers!
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