Nothing beats a pair of freshly ironed underpants
My mother is well known for championing the ironing of socks. Most people wouldn't even think of ironing socks but it has to be said, now that I don't bother to iron my own, I do feel the difference and miss the smoothness and sheer luxury of a well ironed sock.
My mum's particular forte is the ironing of pants (in the comic British sense of the word). Oh so many cold winter mornings of my childhood were staved off by the presentation of freshly ironed pants and socks before I trundled off to school. That warmth made all the difference in the soggy drizzle of the Welsh valleys!
Never transfer locusts from a box to a bucket
Once upon a time, a lizard found its way onto our Welsh mountain-side doorstep and became our new pet. Mum would dutifully go out into the garden and find spiders to feed Lizzie the lazily-named lizard. One day, we decided Lizzie deserved better than backyard creepy crawlies and upgraded her food to a box of locusts.
To this day, I cannot fathom the logic of what happened next. I can only imagine that my kind-hearted mother felt sorry for the bugs squished together in a tupperware and wanted to give them space to roam freely before being unceremoniously eaten by a reptile. My mum wanted to elevate the locust from a battery-style insect in a box to a free-range insect in a roomy bucket.
It's almost needless to say that before the lid had even been fully opened, a fountain of over a hundred insects leaped for freedom! All I remember was a shrill 'Quick! Get out! Close the door!' and the next thing I knew I was barricaded on the other side of the door listening to the screams, bangs and general pandemonium of my mother in her futile effort to catch the locusts with a broomstick.
For months, we'd hear the sound of crickets in the kitchen or sometimes they'd even jump out at us when we opened the food cupboard. So, let that be a vital lesson for you all!
Thunder is no match for a mother's jumper
Heavy rain always reminds me of the time when my family were stranded at Beachy Head during a thunderstorm. Suddenly the heavens opened accompanied by flashes of lightening and the boom of rolling thunder. Mum instinctively gathered me and my brother to her and bundled our heads under her brightly coloured jumper in an attempt to keep me warm and safe, like a bird nestling its chicks.
We still got thoroughly soaked of course and to be honest, we couldn't really see where we were going with the jumper impairing our vision and mobility rather substantially... but I certainly felt loved in the damp glow of that neon jumper.
Afterwards, my mum led the search for the nearest toilet and then promptly dried us and all our items of clothing (including the recurring theme of pants) under the electric dryers until we were nice and toasty once more.
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This irreverent homage is partly due to the fact that I realized it's impossible to put into words how much I owe to my Mum and to thank her fully for the sacrifices she's made for me through the years.
My prayer today is that my mum knows just how much I love and appreciate her even though I may not be able to put my feelings into eloquent words and even though there are many miles between us.
I pray for all those who are away from their mothers or children at this time and that where we're unable to verbalize or show our affection, God is there to surround our dear ones with love and keep them safe.
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What eccentric advice has your mum passed on to you?
What are the oddest memories you have of your mum?