Sunday, 3 April 2011

Put the kettle on, it's Mothering Sunday

This morning we scrabble around for the electric kettle after turning off the Aga.

This might not seem a very exciting first sentence to a blog post but there is a point to it, believe me.

Mr Grigg finds the lead, sprays me with water as he attempts to fill the kettle up at the sink while I'm peeling potatoes and then goes off in a huff to see his dear old mum with an orchid after I tell him off for whistling tunelessly to the theme from Gladiator.

Peace at last. I contemplate a pottering kind of morning, preparing a family buffet while listening to music as loud and tuneful as I like.

Today it is the stirring tunes of Hans Zimmer. It is Mothering Sunday, it is my day and I get to choose the music.

'My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.'

I put the kettle on, promising myself the reward of a nice cup of tea after I've polished the table.

The phone rings. A Welshman, whose accent is so strong I can only decipher the word 'car', rambles on.

I realise he enquiring about my ancient VW Beetle, my pride and joy, my primrose yellow cabriolet peril, my 1969 bundle of loveliness, which I have just advertised for sale.

'What can you tell me about it?' he says (well, I think that's what he says).

'What do you want to know?'

It goes on like this for a bit longer and then the doorbell rings. I get to the door, can't find the keys and look out the window. It is Celebrity Farmer's mother. I knock at the glass and indicate that I can't find the keys and I'm also on the phone.

I rush off to get the keys while the Welshman in my ear says: 'Well, what's your best price?' and Russell Crowe says with a laugh: 'You knew Marcus Aurelius?' and Oliver Reed says: 'I did not say I knew him. I said he touched me on the shoulder.'

I think in my head that the man from the Rhondda Valley is actually meant to haggle and then I'm thankful Mr Grigg isn't here because he'd charge double the asking price just because the man is Welsh.

I find the keys, struggle with the lock and open the door.

Celebrity Farmer's mum says something about the church boiler not working and the congregation needing a kettle for the Mothering Sunday service.

Still on the phone trying to do a deal, I gesture to her to follow me to the kitchen where I hand over the kettle.

She goes out, saying : 'Thank goodness for the Griggs', the Welshman rings off and I'm desperate for a cup of tea. But there's no kettle.

The phone goes again, it's Mrs Bancroft ringing me by mistake but before she can put the receiver down, I yell out: 'Can I come over and get a cup of boiling water?'

'Yes, but you'd better be quick,' she says. 'I'm off to church.'

I dash out in my friesan cow-print pinny, carrying pink spotty cup aloft as the bus does its peeping three point turn around the square.

I come back, settle down to write this blog, cup of tea in hand, and then the doorbell rings again.

'Bugger off,' I say out loud. 'It's Mother's Day and I'm not in.'

Then having visions of the Interflora man turning away with a huge bouquet because he can't deliver it, I get up, only to find an ex-neighbour at the door with a dozen posters advertising a Hot Cross Bun morning in the village on Good Friday.

So now I'm finally sitting down, with cup of cold tea. It could be worse. I could be in Elysium, and already dead.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. That you have an Aga made the post interestingly interesting.

  2. I LOVE 'The Gladiator', too! I often play the soundtrack as I clean house. Have not played the DVD OR the CD in awhile so - thanks to your delightful post - I shall do so this afternoon!

    Hope you enjoy a lovely 'Mothering Day.'

    Here it is celebrated on May 7th this year. So - to quote another line from The Gladiator - "Not yet."

  3. So that's how Mothers' Day is celebrated in your parts.

  4. I love this post! I love the beauty of the descriptions, the humor of it, the way you bring this place to life. And I find myself, despite having finished my second cup of coffee, wishing for a cup of tea. Hot tea.

  5. I love the way you spent your Mother's day, here in the US we do our mother's day in May, I wonder why we have in different months, do you know? I love reading your post, it sounds so lovely and I wish I could move to your village and enjoy everything you talk about. Thanks for sharing your world with us.


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