Thursday 15 April 2010


This blog was meant to be about my PhD but it seems to have been hijacked recently by life. Having said that it could be argued that my PhD is my life, my raison d'etre, so maybe I am not going that far off topic. As you will have seen from my previous post my Mummy lost her fight to live. And yes we were expected to call her Mummy as Mum was common, as was watching Magpie and having a Barbie doll. (do me a favour though, don't ask my daughter about Baby Born - she still hasn't forgiven me). This has left a huge hole in my life as for everyone except for me it isn't just the hole of a mother who has left. I have lost the person I cared for. Towards the end she even started calling me 'Mummy' which I found unbelievably difficult. I would cook for her - again the term cook is in the loosest sense of the term as she only like ready meals from Marks and Spencers or Waitrose but apparently when I eventually had to give in and have carers do her lunch for her as I was working she told me I was the only one who presented the food properly. Plus they didn't give her a glass of wine...

I would do all her shopping for her. Nothing would delight her more than me walking in with a cornucopia of bags for her to look through. We were pathetic and called it 'hopping', I have no idea how it started but it made her laugh. Even on the last morning when my sister and I walked into the ward with a bag of drinks for her, this very frail voice said, 'You've been hopping.' She then winked at me. She did a lot of winking at the end, it was her way of letting us know she heard and agreed with what we said when it was too much effort to talk.

I did all her washing, ironing and cleaning for her but never as well as she could which she wouldn't hesitate in telling me. She wasn't being nasty just being my mother. In the same way that when my sisters and brother would all come and stay with her to give me a break...but she would wait until I got there to ask for something. Her ability to be tactful definitely left in the last few months. She could have a vicious tongue on her which we have all felt at times. It would be like a verbal slapping.

I suppose what I am trying to say, and taking a long time to get to, is that my life for the past so many years has been spent clock watching and planning everything around her. As a great friend pointed out she was like my life partner. And suddenly I don't have to think about her. I have freedom. Those who are all very close to me are saying now is your time to live, which is true and wonderful. But what if I don't do it properly and I waste that time? Worst of all what if I let people down by not being what they think I should be. Bit of a confession here, in case you hadn't worked it out, I think I am a little scared.

The picture above is me in my Icarus moment as I fly free(though hopefully I won't fly too close to the sun) and in a way a thank you to two of the many friends who have been very kind and there for me but who will recognise the link immediately. They keep me close to the three intellectual reprobates in my life that keep me focused on my PhD - Messrs Baudriallrd, Bourdieu and Foucault. I love you all.

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