Motherisms Festive Specialé 2.0

It’s been an interesting year to say the least. But, here we are, mum and I at the end of it, still standing, still talking to each other …



It’s some time in September and we’re driving down a narrow country lane, Mum pulls in to let a person go past. They manage to raise a finger to thank her but don’t look happy about it. Mum is not impressed …

“God a smile wouldn’t break your face. So miserable all these people, the English take their pleasure sadly.”


Mum’s friend owns an excellent Pizza restaurant …

“That pizza oven’s incredible, they can do cremations in the winter when things get slow.”


In October Mum and I were in a rather nasty car crash. Mum got sent an awful lot of flowers (I didn’t). Mum’s looking around the room, barely visible through the foliage …

“It’s like a funeral parlour in here … so beautiful.”


Mum makes no apologies for being a big fan of Real Housewives (of New York, Beverly Hills … and wherever else these women live). She is setting the scene for me …

Mum: These poor men must get confused – all the women look the same. ‘Was she my wife? Or was she?’
Me: She seems like the smart one.
Mum: Yeah she’s the surgeon … her and her husband. He does all their work, so you don’t want to upset him too much.
Me: You can tell how much work she’s had done because her neck’s red with blood and there’s nothing in her face.
Mum: Oh yeah, the amount if work these women have had done! They’ve had their faces done, their fannies rearranged …


We’re watching Paddington Bear, who arrives in London and lands the most beautiful home, just like that …

Paddington Bear: I feel quite at home in Windsor Gardens!
Me: I bet you do you lucky sod.
Paddington is not representing the reality of living in London, and is skipping about with glee …
Mum: Might have made a serious mistake here.

(Actually turns out to be a lovely little film.)


Mum has discovered Marks and Spencer’s do bread and butter pudding, this has proved dangerous …
“I’m addicted to bread and butter pudding, the woman at the check out has started to notice. She said, “I started getting like this, but it was with the jam rolly polly.”


It’s Halloween and we’re in Barnstaple late at night walking back from the cinema, everyone is dressed as slutty zombies, zombies, pirates, slutty pirates and slutty cats. I see mum observing the revellers with suspicion …

Me: It’s Halloween.
Mum: Oh that’s what that is.


Mum’s wistfully looking out the window over the river …

“Wouldn’t it be nice if it were attractive people sitting on the wall.”


It’s time to squabble over what we should watch. Mum wants to watch something about forensic murders, life is stressful at the moment, and I’d like something a little more cheerful ..

Mum: Forensics is fascinating
Me: Yes it is, but isn’t there anything with a bit more joi de vivre?
Mum: Joi de Vivre … ok.
Mum puts something on, I can tell immediately it’s a television drama as someone is shouting at someone else.
Me: Not sure about this mum.
Mum: It’s supposed to be very good.
Me: Yeah but it’s not ‘joi de vivre’ is it?
Mum: No, it’s hard hitting drama about crack addiction in 1980s.


I am tinkling away on the guitar, I have improved, slightly over the last year or so …
Mum: You should write songs
Me: I should but I won’t.
Mum: Your guitar playing is getting quite good
Me: It is, but I can’t bare to be under appreciated about anything else
Mum (with sarcastic melodrama): Oh dear, couldn’t you?


It’s nearly supper time and there’s a strange noise coming from the kitchen, a low droning sound …

Me: What is that?
Mum: The chicken tikka masala.
Mum thinks twice about this and goes into the kitchen to double check it is the meal making this noise …
Mum: Oh god no it’s Bartok! Jesus Christ, at this time of night?


Mother is very up to date, she will soon be micro dosing daily and using a new crypto currency she calls …

“Bit con”


It’s two days before Christmas and I have deigned to grace mother with my presence, we are discussing the many treats we have, and what we don’t have …
Mum: We don’t have mince pies, you don’t like Mince pies do you.
Me: Yeah, but I don’t mind if we don’t have them.
Mum: Well we can always go to M+S and do the vulture’s dash tomorrow.


It’s Christmas Eve and continuing my grandmother’s tradition we are allowed to open a little present this evening. I unwrap a beautifully packaged present to reveal … a tube of effervescent Vitamin C.

Me: Oh lovely, thanks very much.
Mum: No darling look inside.
I do look inside and to my relief see a mascara.
Me: Oh excellent!
Mum: Took the vitamin c very graciously

I fail to take my two thermals vests and thermal tights quite as graciously.


David Attenborough is on in the background, again ….

“Kind of taken over from God now, Attenborough. We’ll have Attenborough carols next.”


Mum’s listing what we have to eat …

Mum: Bananas, brandy butter, brandy cream, hummus, dips ..
Me (trying to join in): Chips and dips …
My American terminology gets lots in translation.
Mum: No, no chips if you want chips you can lightly roast some potato skins.


It’s just gone Twelve in the morning of Christmas Eve, we’re discussing what we could possibly drink at this hour, mum is holding a minute glass filled with transparent liquid …

Mum: Gin.
Me: Mulled wine.
Mum: Mulled wine will make you sleepy, micro-dose with this, incredibly expensive stuff, won it in the raffle … this will get you going.
Me: Maybe later, I’m not sure in quite ready for neat gin.


Mum is worried we are being taken over by our robot overlords but can’t remember their names ..

Mum: All this stuff is spying on you, that bloody Celsy …
Me: Alexa.


For now mum can’t drive and she’s bored, so she’s thinking about joining a political party, any political party …

Mum: I’ll be a liberal and a communist.
Me: You can’t pick both, you have to be loyal to your party if you actually want to effect some change.
Mum: I don’t know which party I’m going to chose yet, and anyway I’m just agitating I think effecting change is a little ambitious


We are trying to plan our evening’s televisual entertainment, mum has her favourite show on the brain …

Mum: You can watch Dennis Potter
Me: Who?
Mum: Whatever his name is. …
Me: Harry Potter?
Mum: Yes.
Me: Is that on now is it?
Mum: Real housewives?
Me: No, Harry Potter!
Mum: No, later.


I have made a comprise and agreed to watch Real Housewives provided I get to watch Harry Potter, without complaints. Mum studies the men on the television and announces …

“This must be an old one all the husbands have left now.”


Mum bought me ‘Monoploly, North Devon Edition’ for Christmas, which comes as a surprise as the last time we played it I was 8 and had what a believe is a called an ‘episode’ – I was not born a good loser, it came with practice …

Me: Shall we play monopoly then?
Mum: Yeup. Made sure there’s a taser behind the sofa.


We’re on our wildly exciting Christmas walk, mum shouts excitedly over the roaring gale …

“Oh look, rabbit poo!”


Mum and I returning from our delightfully bleak and drizzly Christmas walk along the estuary and are walking down a little brambled road near the Rugby club, covered in litter. We are tutting furiously at the rubbish. Mum names the culprits …

“Rugger buggers.”


We’ve had a phone call from family in Japan and Mum is whimsically entertaining going to visit on her air miles, but appears to have a price on her head …
“Ah, but I’d be within range of Kim Jong Un.”


Mum comes in, puts 15th century convent maestro Hildegard von Bingham on the CD player, and then leaves. I am left to eat chicken sandwich alone in a fantastically ominous atmosphere.


It’s Boxing Day and we’re playing monopoly again, mum is on a losing streak after a night of winning the previous evening (and gracious losing on my part), I have landed on ‘Verity’, one of her less-expensive properties. Mum is disappointed …

“Verity … a cheap tart, £8.’


Poor mum was walking home with a very heavy pineapple from her friend’s and it left her unbalanced in wet conditions and she slipped over on the pavement. Displaying her excellent character, she has not held a grudge against the pineapple and is eating it with zeal …

Mum: It was lovely of Michael Jackson to give her so many pineapples.
Me: Michael Jackson?!
Mum: It’s his name, must be very annoying, his parents should have thought of that.


We’re watching the weather forecast for excitement. The skies are black, rain is attacking the windows and it’s a howling gale outside.

Weather Woman: … as storm Dylan comes in from the west.
Mum: With storm Cohen close behind.


It’s Boxing Day and I ask mum if she wants a chicken sandwich (the highlight of Christmas for me) …
“No bread for me – enough trans fats man … The countdown to starvation begins.”


I have just bankrupted mum for the third time this evening and the fourth time in her life, someone in a drama on television is saying that their mother couldn’t afford a bus ticket.

“If the mother can’t afford bus ticket she shouldn’t play monopoly then.’


Mum is decimating the chicken I thought I had already stripped in preparation for making chicken soup, she calls in from the kitchen:

Mum: Whole other meal on here.
Me: I’ll have another chicken sandwich tomorrow then …
I think for a second and try and count how many days it’s been since Christmas, possibly two hundred, I can’t be sure ….Is the chicken still ok to eat tomorrow?
Mum: You’ll find out.

(I ate it and I’m still alive so I guess it was.)


Mum’s looking in the fridge and telling me what we have a lot of …
“Things you can eat freely: Bread and butter pudding.”


Happy New Year! And if you have a Motherism (or two) you would like to share do send them in (anonymously if you don’t want to get in trouble). I will be compiling a collected Motherisms soon! Send them to

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☆ I Made Christmas Cards …☆

… but it took so long no one is going to get one this year. Sorry! Here’s a sneak peak for next Christmas … only 369 days to go!





Motherisms: Kings Ginger and Crimbo …

It was a big day for Jesus, it was a big day for everyone, it was certainly a big day for mum. Christmas is upon us again.  


I get in to the car the first thing I see is a bottle of empty Witch Hazel stuffed next to the gear stick.

Me: Have you been drinking Witch Hazel?

Mum: Yes I’ve been going mad for it.


Mum’s talking about how tough it was in the old days, again …

Mum: In my day …

Me: You were lucky to be alive.


It’s Christmas Eve Eve and mum’s put on her pyjamas and has decided to stretch out her shoes by putting them over some rather alarming furry, stripy socks and then preceding to cook supper. I am in hysterics … 

Mum: What? This is high fashion sweetie, you go round Kate’s she’s always wearing these.

She is continuing to fart about in high heels and furry stripy socks …

Mum: Comfort over all, that’s the thing about going out, one can’t be as comfortable as one would wish.

Me: Thank God.


Mum is behaving like a 4 year old and wants to talk about all the presents that are sitting in front of us, so no one is surprised on Christmas Day.

Me: Mum, please, control yourself.

Mum: Oh I’m ALWAYS controlling myself … damn good thing too.


Mum brings out one of her Christmas jumper options from the wardrobe, it is possibly the first time it’s seen the light of day. She inspects it in the light for a couple of seconds …

“Oh, great. The moths have been at it …. fucking bastards.”


It’s Christmas Eve and back at home with the Twists, there’s no heating, well, mum has refused to turn it up past Arctic, so I have wrapped myself up in a light blue scarf to prevent heat loss from my head. I look a little like Mary, except I imagine Mary did not have blue lips. Mum looks at me and cries out …

“Oh yes, that is great! Get the camera darling, not many people can get away with a veil.”


Mum, out of the (turning) blue ..

Mum: I make very good cakes because I have cold hands.

Me: Good?


We’ve just had Christmas eve supper and we want some chocolates, as usual, there’s none in the house.

Mum: Sugar is the devil.

Me: Which is why it’s best enjoyed at Christmas.

Mum: Yes, exactly. Why do you think it turns up at all these religious festivals, it’s no coincidence.


It’s Christmas Day and we’re watching some carols, a man is vigorously conducting the choir, and next to me, so is mum …

Me: Thank goodness they’ve got you here conducting …

Mum: Oh don’t be so silly.


We’re on the way to our friends for lunch, there is a rather excited woman singing some of the most painful gospel I’ve ever heard  ..

Mum (to the radio): Yes, ok very good dear …

There is a climactic screeching warble about Jesus …

Mum: Good God! What is she on?! I want some.

Me: Christ. I don’t.


We arrive at Appledore and see a strange wire-y statue of an angel …

Mum: Oh look … A deconstructed angel!

Me: I thought you were talking about me then …

Mum: It’s not always about you darling.


It’s present opening time and our friends little girl has opened another present revolving around One Direction, mum screams out ..

“Oh Honey! This is riches beyond the dreams of avarice!”


‘Twister Rave’ has been given as a present, we are all discussing whether or not we can play Twister, mum interjects …

“I can play poker.”


Mum is driving so hasn’t really been drinking, I have noticed she has been drinking my port …

Me: Errr … mum, that’s my port.

Mum (to the whole table): Alcohol is the poorest of drugs, it just doesn’t do it for me.


I gave my mum a bottle of Kings Ginger, which is pretty lethal stuff, fortunately I only gave her a tiny bottle, but the whole lot went as soon as we got back home. Then mum went on Facebook, and instead of spreading good cheer, has spread disaster, regardless of this I hear her shout …

Mum: I am the bard of the internet!

Me: You are the comment monster.

Mum: Here I come ….. Oh no. I’ve made another serious error here. Oh well. I say so little everyone loves it when I do.


I can hear mum on the phone to a friend …

“Oh darling no, you just do NOT wear diamonds in the day time, so vulgar.”


We’re watching Poirot …

Me: What the hell’s going on?

Mum: I don’t know but it’s all so stylish I don’t care.



I love you mum, best Christmas Ever x x x

Happy Happy Joy Joy  ….

I was going to write a blog about coming to terms with my mortality, but I decided it wasn’t all that festive so I’ll save that gem until after Christmas. You lucky things.

Instead I’m writing about that one big thing that everyone’s talking about, no, not Christmas, but the wikileaks scandal.

Just fucking with you, I’m going to write about Christmas. And for once I’m going to keep it very brief because for me the message is pretty simple (and I’m late for my swim) ….

Make a conservative effort to be genuinely happy. For a day or two forget about what you lack, what’s making you worried, stressed or sad. Remember what you have and who you have. And remember that they want to see you happy.

To aid you on this journey to euphoria, I have a step by step guide for mind blowing Christmas fun ….

Things to do …… (because Christmas is extreme, like in Spinal Tap it goes up to 11 …)

1)   Put up and look at fairy lights – never underestimate how festive they will make you feel – providing they’re clear. If they’re coloured and flashing they’ll make you feel depressed.

2)   Go for walks, that don’t involve shops.

3)   Contemplate and talk about going to midnight mass, whether you go or not is arbitrary.

4)   Take a moment to appreciate the people in your life and a moment to appreciate the people who aren’t any more.

5)   Give Mariah Carey the respect she’s due.

6)   Read. I hate Catcher in the Rye – the guy in it’s a dick, but it’s a nice book to read this time of year. He mentions hot chocolate and snow – among other things.

7)    Watch films – see below.

8 )   Give monks props – nothing spells Christmas like singing monks.

9)   Get tipsy but not totally pissed – Christmas is not the time people. It’s not about you.

10) Eat stuff – I don’t really like Christmassy food but have a mice pie and smile through the pain.

11) Be happy. You’ll have a better time.

Things to watch …

1)   Mrs Doubtfire

2)   The Snowman

3)   Life of Brian

4)   The Queens Speech – not the alternative one, you’re not a try-hard, pre-pubescent rock band

5)   Black Adder

6)   Lord of The Rings

7)  Background noise – whatever’s on tv at Christmas

8 )  The Red Shoes

9) An old Simpsons episode

10) Great Expectations

11)  The turkey, don’t want to burn it …….. ahhohoho.

And remember, Jesus isn’t just for the religious, that’s why he comes from an unconventional family, he’s fun for everyone. Yay for Jesus!