Today we went out to lunch to celebrate my mum’s 85th birthday. We had a tear or two as my sister told us how she’d sat with my dad in the same restaurant shortly before he died, and he told her how marrying my mum was the best thing he’d ever done. My mum, tiny though she is, is a force to be reckoned with. We grew up with a strong sense of right and wrong and even now I’ll always run any major dilemma past her because I respect her opinion and nine times out of ten she makes perfect sense. My mum is a Yorkshire lass, a true legend amongst friends and family. Her pioneering spirit took her out to East Africa, where she met and married my dad. Together, they explored Kenya and the rest of the world, making friends and magical memories along the way. Whatever the occasion, she is always elegant, always perfectly-groomed and her reputation as a hostess has remained undimmed – only the other week, she was rustling up a gourmet three course meal for some friends (complete with a fresh flower arrangement on the table picked earlier from her cottage garden). When I first moved to my current house my parents and a friend spent a long day helping me to clear carloads of junk from my attic. Hours later, exhausted, we were all taking a well-earned break and sitting down with a cup of tea, when I looked round to discover my mum (who had been very concerned about the jungle of weeds in my garden), merrily wielding a pickaxe and making considerable headway with the rock hard soil in my flowerbed! She is both my fiercest critic and my biggest champion and one of the very best people to have on your side in a crisis. There’s room in her heart for all of her family and her many friends and even at 85, she’s still curious about the world around her and ready to appreciate truth and beauty wherever she may find it. I only hope that I can be as good a mother to my two boys as she has always been to me and my two sisters.
My book, “THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE- How To Pick Up The Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” (available now to order on Amazon) contains the stories told by a host of inspirational single mums.