Wednesday, 27 May 2015

my mum

My mum wasn't much of a cook. If it wasn't frozen, came out of a can or could be fried, we didn't get it. I remember her joy in the 80s when individually wrapped cheese slices first came out. We got cheese burgers that night - from frozen of course - which would have been a lot tastier if she'd remembered to take the plastic off the cheese before grilling it! She was also a voracious reader, which often got in the way of her terrible cooking. Hence the years of kitchen fires and burnt offerings we were served for dinner.

When she wasn't reading, she was talking. She could talk to anyone, anywhere, asking questions no sane person would ask. She'd pry into their lives with a grin and a twinkle in her eye. A person's status in life meant little to my mum. When I graduated from art college in the fine art photography department. My mum handed the head of my department - an internationally renowned photographer - her tiny, cheap camera and demanded he take her picture with her daughter. He did it with a grin.

It was easy to make my mum laugh. We did it deliberately to get out of trouble. But if you didn't manage to make her laugh at your bad behaviour you had to move fast, or a flying slipper would get you. My mum had opinions on everything - even if she had to make one up - and she wasn't shy in sharing them. She also loved colour. Her wardrobe looked like a rainbow exploded in it, then a unicorn farted glitter all over it! She said black was for goths and satanists - which was a dig at my pretty much all black closet.  In her later years she was a Trekkie, a computer game addict and shameless evangelist. People on buses all over Glasgow heard all about one wee woman's faith - usually in a cheeky, irreverent manner.

My mum's sense of humour was wicked, often inappropriate and deeply hilarious. Laughing at the absurdity of life is something my sisters and I got from my mum. I have to say that there are very few situations where I can't find something to giggle about. Although, unlike my mum, I tend to keep a lot of these thoughts to myself. Which makes me look like a silent, grinning fool!

As you may have guessed, my mum passed away this month. As a writer I work through things with words. My words become little memorials to a time, a place or a person. That's why I'm writing this post. As a min-memorial to my mum. Her attitude can be summed up with this: in her last week in hospital, her room was flooded. The story made the newspaper. Instead of being irritated that her room had been filled with water and workmen while she'd been shifted about for the clean up, she was ecstatic about making the paper! She thought it was hilarious and hoped we'd frame the story after she was gone. I haven't done that yet, but I plan to. Unfortunately, the ability to procrastinate with flair is also a trait I inherited from my mum, so who knows when that will happen!

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