"Who is N for?" Asked David, looking at my necklace "Your new fancy man?"
"N is for NO ONE" I replied.
When you have five children you can't possibly wear all their letters. Even if they are Love Letters
BLOGGER. Imagine actually having to introduce yourself as such "Hi nice to meet you, I'm a blogger" BLOGGER. Its just such an ugly word. There is not a hint of romance about it. But we all know that out there, in the big old world, there are hundreds of thousands of them..... bloggers blogging blogs.
At first I couldn't really understand it. Who wanted to read some whipper snapper's thoughts of fashion, when we already had access to Anna Wintour's and Andre Leon Tally's. And the idea of not actually turning the page, not feeling the thin shiny sheets between your fingers, instead 'scrolling' down the page with a 'mouse'. Madness. And who wanted to see the pages of our great shelter and decorating magazines simply scanned and republished under the bloggers name, no fresh content, just stolen ideas. And even more odd, living your personal life out loud, editing your own reality show, putting your kids onto a cyber platform to perform publicly. Ooh it was all horrifying. Toe curling.
And then slowly, slowly as the weeks turned into years and I spent more time on the island, with out access to book stores or magazine booths, with endless power cuts and little TV, virtually no culture and certainly no daily newspaper, I began to turn more to the internet. I realized that even if they were whipper snapper's their views were actually interesting, that reading about someone else's' parenting nightmares was comforting and watching their children have melt downs through my computer screen was actually fascinating.
There are an overwhelming amount of brilliant blogs out there (and a whole load of bullshit ones too). I creepily stalk the wonderful Heather Armstrong on Dooce
, religiously read my friend Amanda Brooks on I Love Your Style
, admire Heather Clawson with all she has achieved on Habitually Chic
, am impressed by the energy of Erin Gates' Elements of Style
, but above all I worship Fuck Your Noguchi Coffee Table
. This site reminds us all not to take any of it too, too seriously.
What would he say about the below image? Fuck Your Fake David Hicks Wall Papered Fridge?
It's Mother's day weekend in some parts of the world. I am thinking of all those Mum's out there. Especially my own. Seen here with Mahatma Gandhi.
I think they must have shared an optician, don't you?
Oh, to shave your head for charity, to wear a club Tropicana pink mini skit, to wriggle and grind your body down to the floor, and more importantly not get stuck there, and to have a hit named Domino. This girl can do no wrong. Although she can be held directly responsible for my alarming Olivia Newton John dance moves (the bit where she tosses the leather jacket aside and simply doesn't care what anyone else thinks) Thank God my eldest son was not there, on a normal day he thinks I'm embarrassing enough.
Jessie J was playing at Gabrielle's Gala. Gabrielle Rich Aouad died at the age of 27, despite her mother donating her own bone marrow to try to save her life. Gabrielle’s final wish was to create a leukemia foundation that would help spare others the suffering that she endured. The work of Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research continues in her honor and memory.
Gabrielle’s strength and wisdom live on in her own words, "Love defies all pain, even death."
Mother's day, rather like Valentine's, leaves that slightly funny taste in your mouth. You know its a little bit commercial, well actually a whole lot of commercial, but equally are you going to be the one who doesn’t give your mother a card, covered in pink butterflies with a hallmark message? No way.
And anyway she did put up with you through those teenage years, so butterflies are the least we can do.
My mother and I are very close, we share the same sense of humor and much more importantly, a love of chocolates and dachshunds. We are so close that we were asked not once, but twice, to do an interview for Relative Values
, a page in The UK Sunday Times magazine. You are interviewed separately, about each other. It’s rather unnerving.
The first time we did it I was 18 years old. Fresh out of school, just finding my feet. In my interview, I was asked what my mother had taught me, life lessons and all that. I thought for a moment and said "She taught me how to water ski really well” Later, reading this, my mother was furious “Oh darling, is that really all you think I taught you? I did also teach you to speak French”
When she was interviewed about me, she said that I had pretty much taken over around the age of 12, but this was said in a tender, loving voice.
Twenty years later, being interviewed again, my mother opened with "Meet my daughter Miss. Bossy Boots" And although I can’t say for sure, I’m pretty certain the tone of voice wasn’t all that tender. She was clearly still mad at me for making her write that book. Daughter of Empire
. Mind you a box of Charbonnel and Walker
rose and violet creams lightened the mood fairly rapidly.
Every Mother’s Day I give my mother the card with butterflies and the hall mark message, although its not needed, she knows that she is everything to me. Everything. This year though my mother needs more than butterflies, she needs a new knee.
What does your Mum need for Mother’s Day?
Mother's Day? Yes possibly, if you don't lead a nomadic, gypsy existence, between several continents.
I'm normally in the wrong country, on the wrong day. When The Bahamas is celebrating Mother's Day I am in the UK and when the UK celebrates I might be on a plane to the States.
Very occasionally I have a little pang of jealousy for those Mum's who get to celebrate properly. Smudgy homemade cards, burnt toast brought to you in bed, and extra kisses. But then the other day, one of my smaller chaps came home from a trip. Clutched in his little sweaty hand was a scrumpled up ball of loo paper "For you" he said. I unwrapped the ball. Inside was a miniature, unbroken, glass Dachshund. A miniature Banger. "Do you like it?" he asked.
He could have given me a lifetime supply of free air miles on British Airways and I could not have liked it more. Well, Ok, lets not get carried away here, possibly I might have liked the lifetime supply of air miles a teeny bit more but this came a really close second.
Who cares about burnt toast and a day called Mother's Day when I get a glass Banger out of the blue.
Sixty years ago a woman, with five small boys, turned up on my mother's doorstep. She had been mistreated by her husband and had left him, taking with her their children. She was looking for work.
So my mother took her in. And the five boys.
Pat, who stayed with my mother for sixty years. Who brought me up when my mother was away, who stroked my hair and put me to bed, who dried my tears and steadied my teenage years. And the only person I ever knew to face my father's temper. A person with enourmous kindness and patientce. In her late seventies Pat married again, to Steve, my parent's gardener, whom she had quietly loved for all those years. My mother, also in her late seventies, was their bridesmaid. An unlikely image.
Along her way Pat faced the deaths of three of her children. A blow most of us could not sustain. So inconceivable. And then Steve, her husband, also died.
Hardly surprising that Pat would become physically weakened and contract phneomia ending up in hospital, a few months ago, just before Christmas. When I went for the first time to visit her I passed by the bed she lay asleep in, not recognizing the barely breathing skeleton that lay beneath the sheets. Redirected by a nurse, back to the bed I had passed, I saw her name, Pat, printed on the medical record hanging above her head.
I stood and wept. How could she ever recover, so diminished and frail was her appearance. I thought death must be imminent. And then her eyes opened, she looked at me and whispered "There she is, there's my girl"
I returned to The Bahamas and was kept up to date by her oldest granddaughter. Pat did recover, she fought the phenomia and regained her strength but her mind had sustained a blow too great. Thoughts became muddled, names forgotten and simple tasks became monumental mountains to climb.
A care home was found and Pat was moved. Only a few weeks later I returned to see her again. There she was, dressed and looking fit, even walking a few steps here and there. But this was not Pat. In a those few short weeks Alzheimer's had slipped in and stolen her away. Before our eyes Pat was disappearing into a world of fear and paranoia, where confusion and worry ruled.
One only hopes that our government in Britain, and British care homes, work together to lift expectations and call for tougher minimum standards to boost the quality of life for those in care, as recent reports reveal poor treatment of residents. And in some severe cases suffering horrifying humiliations.
I pray for Pat, that she finds some light in this dark place. She does not deserve anything less.