Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Sad Post Today.............................

Today, I got some bad news. My mum, who some of you have come to know and love through this blog (and met personally) passed away. She had fought a long fight with cancer and eventually it just got too much. I am distraught to say the least as are George and the kids so I really can't talk too much.

So, instead of me talking now, I am re-posting two posts. One that I composed last June, and the final one is a guest post my mum did while she was here.

Through both of these posts, you can see the love, and know just what kind of person my mom was.

Courageous. Funny. Lovely. Kindhearted. Warm.

All the things a mum should be.

So, for my mum, think good thoughts and may she rest in peace.

My Post

I thought it was about time I introduced you to my mum, Brenda. Isn't she a hottie?


My mum is *cough* years old, currently lives in England but will be coming to see us for 2 weeks in July and I cannot wait, never mind the kids!

Now, growing up, my mum and I didn't always see eye to eye. In fact we hardly EVER saw eye to eye, but isn't that what the mother/daughter relationship is supposed to be all about? I KNOW I drove her mad just as much as she did me, and I know she could tell you a million stories about things I did that just drove her insane, and for that very reason, I am going to tell you a couple of things about me and her growing up, that she will want to kick my arse for when she gets here (but thats in July and she may have calmed down by then!). Make sure to check back in the comments section coz my mum may not know a lot about computers but she knows how to leave comments and she may very well leave her stories there!.

Anyway, my first one (and the one that just slays her by the fact that I tell everyone) is the washing up liquid story (dish washing liquid or whatever you Americans call it).

One day, she came home to find that one of her precious kids (like how I'm trying to soften the blow?) had squirted the aforementioned liquid all over the fridge. So, doing what every mother would do, she lined me and my two brothers (seen here with Spiderman in Scarborough) :


up against the sofa and turned facing the wall. She said "I'm only asking this once, who made that mess?" Obviously we all denied it so SLAP, we each got one. "I'll ask you again, who made that mess?" DENIAL! SLAP! next two rounds were the slipper! Next round was the belt!

(at this point I have to tell you that it WAS a pretty bad mess - this wasn't over something trivial!)

So, I see the belt and I'm all "It was me!!!!!!!!!!!!"

It wasn't - but I wasn't about to get the belt for something I didn't do.

Crack! The belt across my arse confused me for a moment, that is until she told me "That was for lying!"

Now, you'd think that knowing I had lied about staking a claim for the Fairy Liquid fiasco that would be the end, but no! She kept me in line till the culprit owned up. I have no idea who did eventually 'fess up, as I was losing all feeling in my arse and even back then, that was a mean feat! :) But someone did, and let me tell you, I kept a close eye on that liquid bottle from then on in. In fact, I can't even look at dish detergent without getting all tingly in my backside!!!!!

My bedroom was another thing that just drove her mad! Now, having teenagers myself I can totally see where she would get mad, but back then I was oblivious! Once she took a photo of my bedroom without telling me and when it was developed, she handed me the picture and I didn't know what it was. I thought it was upside down! You have to understand, back then, I could have made use of one of these:

Picture 036

as you couldn't see carpet, and if you stood on something, you weren't sure whether you would lose your foot! I had apple cores, empty pot noodles, pens, books, records, knickers galore on my bedroom floor. What was even worse? I think I did own a bin but just never used it!

But for all our spats, I know she loved me (whether she will after reading this who knows? :)

My mum taught me everything I know. The person I am today is the person she taught me to be. I was always told "Never let a man hit you", "Do everything you want to do", "Never let anything hold you back" and I never did. When she found something I loved to do, reading, she encouraged me. I was a voracious reader and still am. I speed read! When I told her I was moving to America and taking her grandkids with me she might not have been thrilled but that didn't stop her from wishing me all the best AND visiting plenty of times.

When it was her 50th birthday, we surprised her by sending her tickets to come and see us. She was happily surprised. Then, we told her I was taking her out for dinner and when the 'taxi' pulled up, she almost fainted when she saw the limo. Unbeknowst to her, we had also got her tickets to see her favorite person of all time "Bette Midler" in concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Now, my mum has this routine (as most mothers do). Every Sunday she gets all her ironing, and stands and irons for about 3 or 4 hours and all she watches are either Bette Midler in Concert or The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. On full volume! So it is safe to assume that she was fairly happy about this surprise.

Now, as the title of my blog says, like mother like Grand-daughter.

Take a look at these pictures.





Could they not look any more like each other? My daughter Georgia doesn't see the resemblance, and people say that I look like my mum too. I think I favour my dad but I have to say that Georgia is a dead-ringer. When I tell my kids stories about how my mum disciplined us when we were young they simply look in amazement at these ficticious statements, like nothing could be further from the truth. Their nanna? Are you kidding?

She makes them McMasons (just a personal take on the Big Mac), which they love, she tickles their feet for them (and yes, even my 16 year old!), she makes them whatever they want, and if they want a whole ton of butter in their mash potatoes, then by god they will have lots of butter. (I know thats what nanna's are supposed to do) Sometimes, I almost want her to be my nanna, but after living through her in the 'mother/daughter' phase, I think that will suffice!

I have so many stories about my mum and one day they will all be written down in some story and made-for-tv movie wherein Dame Maggie Smith will play my mum and Michelle Holmes will play me!

Maggie michelleholmes

But until then, we have a trip to plan for, and fun to have and a million pictures to take.

Mum I CAN'T wait to see you - July 9th!

My Mums Post

Hi to all Andi's Blogger Buddies from her Mum....

It is so nice to hear from you all on Andrea's blog site, and to read the nice things you say even though you don't know me, apart from what Andi has said.

There is so much I want to say about seeing Andi and George and my grandkids that it would take up days and days, so it is easier to say a huge thank you for flying me over to Mentor and that I love you all so very much.

The flights over were interesting! I went to the wrong terminal, walked for half an hour, luggage in tow, sat on the plane for 45 minutes before we took off and landed in Newark an hour or so late. THEN.... US customs loomed up in front of me, I stood in line for nearly an hour!!


An hour I tell you!

The flight was delayed, and instead of landing in Cleveland at 8.20pm I landed at 11.50pm!! All good fun, but it was worth it just to see everyone.

Andi's new house is absolutely lovely. The kids bedrooms actually stayed tidy for a couple of hours. (Apparently they had been tidied especially for me!!) Haven't we all been there?

We have been to the cinema a few times and one of the films was a kids movie in 3D (quite different for me). Here I am wearing my fabulous 3-D glasses!


We also saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Is Johnny Depp hot or what? It is ages since I have fancied any stars or celebrities (I am usually associated with Sean Connery) . This is where Kim is in tune with Johhny Depp - apparently neither of them can understand a word we are saying!! Here I am pushing him out of bed...... (NOT!)

My mom and 'dad'

One of Andi's blogger buddies is the lovely Kim. We (me, Andi, George, Georgia, Alex and Owen) went over to Kims for a drink or two and a couple of their other friends also came along with their kids. Geoff, Kims husband cooked a BBQ, the kids went in the pool, and later on Kim and a couple of others also had a dip. Apparently I embarrased Andrea by using an 'obscene' word - the 'P' word!!! I hasten to add here that the word means totally something different in England, but Andi put her hands over her ears and sang 'la la la la' to block me out. Kim was 'entertaining' me by making jewellery out of lighting bugs - YUK!! We had a great evening and Kim is positively the nicest person, thank you again for a great night.

We have done a lot of shopping and browsing and I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

One night, we got a couple of bottles of wine - just for a drink or two - like you do, and before we know what is happening, 3 glasses of wine later we are both drunk as skunks, pissed as newts, whatever - WE WERE DRUNK! A Good time was had!

Talking about skunks - how many of you have actually smelled a dead skunk??


I havent smelled anything as gross in my life. We were driving along the motorway, no skunks in sight, and I said 'WHAT IS THAT'? Andrea calmly said 'oh it is just a skunk, horrible isn't it'. Horrible? the skunk had been run over miles further down the road and we could still eat the wonderful scent! Stella; Just you wait. She has a sealed bottle all ready for you for when she is Zurich bound!

I have also had a special treat - I met the Mayor of Mentor on the Lake! Andi took me to her work to meet her colleagues and the Mayor was there. (You know Andrea, hob-nobbing with the rich and famous! - well, he was neither but for this story he was loaded with looks and money!)

Jon, how are you? I read your blog and also hear ALL about your from Andi - I *heart* you too!! and would of course HEART being your "I *heart* of the week!

Thats all for just now folks. I still have another week left and I am sure it will be as good and as interesting as my first week. You never know there might just be a 'guest blog 2'. I love reading all your comments and look forward to hearing from you all soon.

Andi's Mum

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