Saturday, 18 April 2015

A, B, C, D - alphabet of my mother

Apple - My mother used to cut up an apple into 8 pieces and then peel it. She'd do this once my father had left the table after dinner. My brother and I would stay at the table to chat about how I was born or other important things. When I was pregnant with Thomas and feeling that I needed to stay sitting on the bean bag instead of standing up to make lunch for them, she brought me a saucer with apple cut into these same shapes :)

Books - She would read standing up, or walking up and down the stairs. She could even translate from French to English for us, to explain why she was enjoying a particular section of a Claudine book she'd just picked up. Sometimes she'd have the newspaper and would read out one phrase because it make her laugh. My father used to say that she just counted the pages, because she read so fast. I think she read out of order too, jumping around in a book.

Chicken - She'd make very tasty roast chicken, with no fuss or explaining what recipe she'd followed. She just cooked it. Then she'd simmer the bones to make soup, again with no fuss, she'd just do it.

Dancing - I don't think she was ever a dancer, but she did mention a film in the late 50's which involved twisting in the aisles. She has never been interested in Scottish Dancing, so I went along with my father and learnt it with him.

Enjoying - cafes, making toast, throwing the keys out of their bedroom windows when I rang the bell at 3 in the morning after a party, buying me apricot Danish and cappuccino at more cafes, laughing as I push her in hospital in a wonky wheelchair, agreeing to bunk off church and talk together before meeting up with my father after the service for the drinks afterwards.

Basically everything is an opportunity for imperfect happiness.

Finding - or rather, not finding things.
One of my talents is to suggest looking under her side of the bed for whateveritis!

Great swear words - her mantra when stressed when we were teenage was 'boredom and nausea' which I now realise is a translation of Sartre's book La Nausee.

Hats - those big floppy hats for weddings used to cause big trouble if my brother and I somehow squashed them while they were on the shelf behind us in the back of the car. Oh dear!

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