Mother’s Day 2017

5

Well hello again. Mother’s Day seems so long ago now. Amazing how fast the time flies, faster and faster the older I get! I appreciate that days such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are ones which are either eagerly anticipated or fearfully dreaded dependent on your own personal circumstances.

I know so many people who are in the latter category who have only the memory of their mothers, those who didn’t have the good fortune to have a loving maternal figure or lost theirs too soon, women who, like my mother, have outlived their child/children and then the ones for whom motherhood has not been a possibility. My heart goes out to you and I hope you were able to get through the day with some consolation in the form of other blessings you possess. Good health, maybe? Perhaps a time of reflection and remembrance? You might have just enjoyed some time with friends or some other distraction from any hard to deal with feelings. I know some of what you may feel as I feel it on Father’s Day, too.

This year was one of great gratitude for me. I awoke on Mothering Sunday, put the kettle in and ran a nice hot bath with some of my favourite Molton Brown Bath & Shower Gel. I simply can’t get enough of that Rhubarb & Rose. I’ve already bought a tent and fashioned a protest sign to set up camp outside their HQ should they ever discontinue it. When I re-emerged from the bathroom I was met by the tantalising aromas of a home cooked, vegetarian breakfast which my beautiful, smiling daughter was preparing.

Also greeting me was my wonderful son, Bose remote in hand, who uttered the words “This song is going to be played on repeat all day”. He then pressed a button and ‘Hey Momma’ by Kanye West began to play. This was a song he dedicated to me back in his teens. Well worth a listen, I know I am biased but it’s true!

On the dining table were some gifts for me along with two cards. Tom has a very quirky sense of humour. He always buys a completely inappropriate card such as ‘congratulations on passing your driving test’ or something similar. This year it was a card for ‘grandma’ with grand scribbled out. We share a unique brand of humour, I love it! He bought me a DVD of one of my favourite films starring Nicole Kidman, ‘To Die For’.

My daughter favoured a more traditional card and inside it wrote “You’re a writer, start acting like one 🙂 Love Chrissie xxx” and gifted me a book by one of my top authors, Stephen King, entitled ‘Stephen King on writing. A memoir of the craft’.


Writing is something I have always loved to do. Due to a fragmented and continually interrupted school life (I’ve attended over 20 schools across the USA and the UK – one was for just a day!) I left school at the age of fifteen and always hungered for a real education but the university of life was to be my schooling. A few years ago I was offered a major book contract but I didn’t have enough self belief at the time and backed out of doing it! It was right there on the table… an advance for my first sample chapter and everything but I retreated and simply made no more effort to see it through. Isn’t it sad that we can sabotage ourselves in this way? As with most things in life, sometimes we can be the only thing standing in our own way.

Well, I am starting to put pen to paper again… or should that be fingers to keypad? In any case, I’m enjoying building my confidence and exploring the magical world of writing once more. Perhaps it will be purely therapeutic and for the eyes of only my family and closest friends, maybe I’ll even put a snippet or two on here. Who knows? I’ve discovered that to write is akin to being possessed by some other force or energy. It will emerge and evolve organically and I’m interested to see how it grows. The encouragement of my children means everything to me, especially as they are both talented lyricists. They inspire me daily. Ok, so I’ve bared my soul somewhat… I’m feeling a tad self conscious so will move on!

My mum. 82 years old but never an old lady! Chrissie had to go off to work in the afternoon so Tom and I decided to walk to my mum’s house. It’s ten miles from where we are but we have some stunning national trust woodland walks between us so, I expect, we must have stretched that out to more like fifteen. Typically, I forgot my Fitbit which was on charge back at Chez Huntley! All those steps I could’ve earned! Sigh. It took us four hours as we meandered in the sunshine and indulged in a pub pit stop for a refreshing ginger beer.

Mum was thrilled to see us and had cooked a gorgeous chicken stew with good, old stodgy dumplings. Oh my goodness, my mum can cook some fabulous traditional English dishes. Her home cooked, hand cut chips have the power to heal heartache, lift the darkest of moods and just, generally, feed the spirit as well as the body. I have memories of arriving home from school as a teen in the 80s to find her peeling potatoes, dropping the peelings into newspaper and the chips into a bowl of water to have later. Funny how so many memories are attached to food. It was a great comfort to come home back then as I was pretty badly bullied at that age and it was good to get back home to mum’s chips. She can still dish up a serving of comfort with the greatest of ease.

She was delighted with the Elemis goodies we treated her to. I think my son and I have inherited her mischievous humour. Her card from me was a little cheeky… well, a lot cheeky. Too naughty to show you here. On the front, two smiling children with the words “A mother’s work is never done… cleaning up after her little ****s”. I do hope I don’t offend any of you with that but it’s just how we are. We each have both feet firmly planted in the ‘act your shoe size not your age’ camp! Mum certainly appreciated it and giggled like the teenager she still is on the inside. Maybe it’s what keeps her so young!

Being a mum has been the greatest gift. I was a young mum and feel immeasurably lucky to consider my two not just my family but my truest friends. We like to spend time together, we love discussing life, watching films, appreciating art, creativity, our cats, cooking, going for walks and so much more. My horizons are considerably broadened on a regular basis through them. Don’t get me wrong, we face challenges like every family, but we know that no matter what happens we have totally ‘got each other’s backs’ as they say.

Chrissie also says ‘YOLO’ meaning you only live once. We also only have one mum so, if you are lucky enough to still have yours with you, give her an even bigger squeeze next time the opportunity comes along. I’m definitely going to hug my crazy momma a little tighter next time I’m tucking into a plate of the best chips in the world.

See you soon.

Lots of love,

Catherine xx

5 Comments

  1. Jan gurmin April 5, 2017 at 6:23 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine lovely blog my mum is 94 this November and as lived in the same house since she was 18,we lost my dad in 1976 he was only 51 I still miss him like you father’s day is still hard. We also lost my nice to breast cancer 2years ago she was only 37 she also left behind a 4year old little girl its been hard for my sister as her son lives away he comes home as much as he can but we stay strong for them as your family and all families try to do keep up with your writing you have your family to back you up and keep up the good work on qvc xx

  2. Jill Dowding Walker April 5, 2017 at 10:30 pm -  Reply

    That was a very heartwarming blog Catherine! Glad you had such a lovely Mother’s Day. You clearly have a talent for expressing yourself, so do continue writing! I am writing too – I finish my last module of my OU English Literature BA (Hons) degree next year! Six years of hard slog, part time! See you in WH Smiths (or any good bookshop) in future! x x x

  3. Marie McGee April 6, 2017 at 12:17 am -  Reply

    Hi catherine, what a fab blog! So honest and down to earth. Dont tell anyone but uou are my fave qvc presenter! So funny and great to watch. I am one of those people you mentioned, I sadly lost my Mum in May last year so this mothers day was my first without her. A truly mixed day! Sad not to have my mum to make a fuss of but as i have a son and a daughter like you, they treated me to a cuppa in bed and some lovely gifts. Your mum seems so lovely and you do her proud! Take good care of her as i know you will. The thing with the homemade chips brought back memories of my mum too, she used to always have tea on when i came in from school then later in from work. Keep doing what you do catherine, keep being yourself because you are a pleasure to watch on QVC , and give your mum a big squeeze from me xx

  4. Kirsten Chambers April 6, 2017 at 7:49 am -  Reply

    Hello Catherine. Don’t stop writing what you have written is beautiful. Writing is cathartic and helps express what is difficult to say. I was bullied in school as well. I often keep words that inspire me in my head or important words on paper or words from a song that stick in my head and help motivate me. I always think of John Legend’s song,” all of me”, the words “All her curves and all her edges and your perfect imperfections” , these are the things that define us, make our uniqueness and what makes us all special. Celebrate who you are, because the real you always shines through and that is more memorable then anything in this life. Put your best you forward each day. I always treat others how I wish to be treated. Be there for the ones that matter and always have your back. Sincerely; Kirsten Chambers

  5. Jan Burnley April 6, 2017 at 8:07 pm -  Reply

    Lovely blog Catherine. I’m the same age as your Mum and like her, don’t feel it! When I scrolled down to the photo, I almost did a double take, we look very similar, hair colour and even similar specs. My Mothers day treat was a visit to a nearby village hall for homemade cake and coffee. Such a delicious choice. Then a ride around the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside . Spring really has sprung.
    Love to you and yours.
    Jan Burnley.

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