Living near my mother

For most of her life – probably since the age of three, when she first got left behind and had to avoid falling off a cliff and find her own way home – my mother has done, and fixed and sorted most of everything in her life for herself. Whatever she could not manage – rooofers, plumbers, electricians – she paid for. Even a supremely competent Queen’s guide needs some help, sometimes.

She is, in so many ways, a hard act to follow. But, since she moved into her own flat round the corner from us, after 20 years living more or less alone in rural France, I have found it a boon and a blessing, firstly, to spend time with her and secondly, to be useful to her in ways that previously, were not needed. I enjoy her company, and laugh a lot where previously – possibly because of an inferiority complex that neither my mother or I could help – I might have growled or brooded or stomped. No-where is my own personal progress more obvious to me than in this. I feel content, and I love to be useful in small ways, as I notice how my mother adapts to life at a slower, more meditative pace.

I have been incredibly busy of late, and have learned a lot about life, council tax, telephone bills and utilities providers. But none of that has affected my work rate, which, instead of sinking under the weight of new responsibilities, has actually acquired a new speed and focus that I relish. Because I no longer have time for extraneous ‘stuff’, I have to prioritise, which means I do what I enjoy, quickly, and with a great deal more decision than formerly.

All of which I see as more good news.

Thanks so much for reading.


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