A few weeks ago, I blogged about my amazing dad. On Monday, it is my mum’s birthday, so it seems only right to honour Mum for all her coolness and general amazingness too.
Where to start?
In my old job, I travelled lots. Every month or two and I was packing a case and off to some far flung place, with a camera crew in tail; Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Vietnam, Armenia, Albania, Thailand and more.
Sounds amazing but it was actually really hard work – long days, language barriers and sometimes field accomodation, in sheets that had probably seen more than a few occupants.
And there, I drag you back to the present, because see, my mum has a bit of a fixation with clean sheets. When she discovered that I was sleeping in conditions she’d hate, she set about creating me a ‘travel kit’, which included a double duvet soaked in the smell of ‘home’ (i.e extra strong ‘Comfort’ and other magic things she puts in her washing), and most importantly, a pillow case with a zip she had sewn on – to stop the spiders from crawling in.
By day, we were off filming some of the most awful things; mums in hospital struggling with the curse of Aids, children in refugee camps, women who’d been trafficked and violated in the worst sexual ways you can imagine.
And at night, when I’d get back to my lodge or motel, and collapse on the bed and try to process what I’d just seen, there was that smell of Comfort, of home, of my mum.
And THAT is what my ma is like.
She is a homemaker, through and through. That is what she always wanted to be. She lost her own mum and dad at an early age – she was effectively on her own when she was 16 years old, but she has always tried to create ‘home’ for everyone else.
So, when you go to visit mum, you’ll always get a fantastically home-cooked meal, and if you’re fortunate enough to stay over, you’ll get a lovely, plumfy bed, piled high with pillows and squeakily clean sheets and (if you’re me), freshly ironed PJs on the pilliow.
My mum is ‘home’. She is the first person I run to, when I go through heartache, pain and hassle. Some years ago, when I was going through a really tough time, all she could say was, ‘Come home to your mum’. And when I did, I was able to sit on the sofa and vent. She made me soup, and put extra Comfort in the wash….and later, she even came over to my house and cleaned it from top to bottom.
She does that a lot – because she shows her love most of all through good food, warm towels, clean sheets and a whole pile of Comfort (the stuff you buy in a bottle, and the stuff that only Mums know about it).
My mum is ace.
Happy birthday to the mum, who gave me the strength (and sheets!) to keep on going.
One of the lodges we stayed in, in Kenya, where mum’s clean sheets made all the difference.