I’m guessing most mums had similar days so I won’t bore you with the details of my Mothers’ Day, other than the photos. We went to Cup on Renfield Street in Glasgow for afternoon tea and cocktails. The surroundings were sumptuous, the food was lovely and the company was great. I had lovely presents from my children and a tasty breakfast made by HimIndoors.
However, I feel like I have to give my mum and my gran (sadly, no longer with us) some extra credit.
Compared to my friends I had a strange upbringing. My mum got divorced when I was about 2, back in the early ’70s. This was unusual and we went to live with my grandparents where we stayed till she remarried in 1977. My mum went out to work, again unusual for the time and my gran did the childcare – during the school holidays she also looked after my cousin who was the same age. Looking back it was agreat childhood. I was safe and secure. I had lots of friends nearby. We had a massive garden to play in and the neighbours all looked out for us so the streets and the local park were safe to play in all day. We made perfume from rose petals – made in jam jars it consisted of tap water and rose petals and smelled horrible the next day. We made jumps in the garden from clothes poles and random stuff from the garden hut and pretended we were horses. We caught bees, and the odd wasp, in jars with holes punched in the lid so they didn’t suffocate but we used to open the jar and run away before the end of the day. The summers seemed warmer and lasted for ever. Skint knees aside it was full of fun.
My mum says she can’t remember much of my childhood and jokes that she wasn’t there. Now that MiniMe’s getting older I’m starting to feel the same about her younger days. What my mum did give me is strength, although she probably doesn’t see herself as particularly strong. While other mums stayed at home – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – she worked, at first to pay her way but then she forged herself a career.
My gran was a formidable woman who made a career out of keeping a home. There was a day for everything – washing, ironing, hoovering, dusting, changing beds. Everything in its place, nothing out of place. You could even tell what day it was by what we had for dinner. I loved the sound of her knitting needles clacking. She knitted loads of stuff, even socks and she darned them when they wore through. When I speak to people my mum’s age it’s their childhoods I relate to, not my friends’. I had a ’50s childhood because we lived with my grandparents. When I read Nigel Slater’s book Toast about his youth a lot of the food he grew up with and his family rituals were the same as mine.
My gran spent most of her time doing housework because that’s all she had to fill her day – she gave up work when she got married. I remember my mum made the bed one day and my gran remade it because it wasn’t up to her exacting standard. Shortly before she died she told my mum not to waste her life doing housework like she had. My mum shared this wisdom with me and we’ve taken it to heart – we’d rather spend our time doing other stuff because, let’s face it, the housework will still be there anyway.
So today I celebrate my mum but I also celebrate my gran. Without them I wouldn’t be who I am today. Now my dad’s contribution – well that’s a whole other blog.
Today I have learned:
- Mum you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for
- if you look up at the building above KFC on Union Street you’ll see some great Charles Rennie MacIntosh
- one can never tire of champagne 😉
Roasted tomato and marscapone soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
half a tsp paprika
1 litre veg stock
Method: Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Halve the tomatoes, arrange on a baking sheet and season well. Roast for 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions and garlic for five mins till soft. Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 mins.
Blend till smooth then sieve for perfectly smooth soup. Stir in the marscapone over a low heat and heat gently. Don’t let it bubble too vigorously or it may separate.