My mum’s mum Sally Ann.

My mum Irene.

Dad’s mum Harriet.

Numbers of children – 7, 3 and 1

Numbers of grandchildren – 15, 3 and 3

One of these mums brought up her child whilst caring for her disabled mother.

One of these mums experienced extreme domestic violence.

Two of these mums struggled with depression.

All of these mums experienced poverty and discrimination.

Two of these mums did not get on very well.

Two of these mums were brilliant bakers.

All of these mums went on to see a little of the world.

And on Mothers’ Day, well you could say life is a beach.

Look into those eyes and seize the day. I will if you will.

We met when I was in my teens.

At first I enjoyed having you around thinking having you as a friend proved I was intelligent and interesting.

At college, you would wear me out sometimes and I would take to my bed for a full day.

That used to worry my other friends but I knew you and I understood each other and had our own business to attend to.

As life has gone on, you dip in and out.

You tend to turn up unexpectedly and sometimes I am not ready for you.

You got in the way a bit when I had a baby.

I think I am guilty of putting you first sometimes.

The truth is when you around, I find you irresistible.

At such times, I don’t really want to be with anyone else.

Your words are more cruel now.

You tell me just how fat and ugly I am.

When I explain my hopes for the future, you say I am deluding myself.

Even when I say to leave me alone, you keep catching up with me and telling me that nobody else wants me.

I have online friends now who tell me I am OK.

Some even use words like intelligent, funny and interesting.

They send me virtual hugs in times of crisis.

You say they would recoil if they met me in real life.

And I wonder if you don’t feel the way they seem to why you want to be my friend at all.

I had a sudden memory of me railing at my mother many years ago probably as a sullen teenager.

“You can’t expect me to be grateful. I did not ask to be born and I did not ask you to adopt me. You did it because you wanted to”.

I stood outside school this afternoon watching children with their offerings for their mums for Mothering Sunday. Bags with little gifts and very individual cards. Some brandished them with pride and others had them hidden ready to “surprise” Mum on Sunday.

Ah yes, Mothers’ Day the one day of the year when it is possible although by no means guaranteed for Mum to be put first.

I get my mum more now that I am one.

I think most of us sign up for the motherhood deal not really knowing what it entails and then some of us just have sex and go “Oops” when the penny drops that there is a bun in the oven. Or maybe I just hope that is the case or else I am up for the worst mum in the world award.

Maybe it is just me but there are some aspects of being a mum I do not like one bit.

Having to be vigilant about the children all the time so that you really don’t have time to care for yourself too.

The parenting police and constant research surveys telling you loud and clear you are doing it all wrong.

The way that ear wax can appear in ears and stains on jumpers seconds before the school run begins.

The way you constantly have to remind them what should be pretty basic like “Please flush the loo” and “If you could clean your teeth, it would make Mum really happy”

The obsessions with all things gaming that I get approximately not at all.

The things you find under sofas and drawers

The monotony of school runs

Looking back, I have this sepia image of myself as a good girl. The sins I admit to are ..

Hiding poo in a wardrobe once – yes really.

Ironing the stairs for mum and leaving the iron there so that my Mum fell down and had a bad arm for life as a result

Obsessions with stamp and doll collections.

Breaking two valuable ornaments and gluing them together and painting them with a kid’s paint set to hide my crime

Moodiness – some things never change!

Not introducing Mum to friends at Cambridge. I did not mean anything by this but it hurt her.

Dear Mum

You took on someone else’s baby when you were in middle-age and could have given yourself a much easier ride.

You said on your deathbed you had spent too much time cleaning. As you know, I feel this already.

You cooked the most amazing meals on a daily basis.

You went out and cleaned for other people so that I could have little treats.

You always bought me a gift after dental appointments.

You told me I would never be lonely so long as I continued to read books.

You taught me to aspire.

You fought my corner however powerful the authority figure.

You introduced me to Cointreau on the Rocks.

You were amazing and it might be a little late but I hope you know that whether I “should” be or not, I am very grateful.

Somehow I have to work out a new way so that I am good enough to be your daughter.

And suddenly Mum is my ear saying “They won’t come knocking on your door. You’ll have to get out there and do something about it”

Once, twice, three times a lady – that was my Mam.

I am in a funny old mood today.

I can spot some of the reasons why.

I saw on Facebook that it is the anniversary of a peer from school’s death at the age of 21. She was a talented actress and would probably have been at the Savoy do on Sunday as a celebrity or an Oscar winner like Rachel Weisz had she lived. We were not friends and I have reason to feel guilt at some of my reactions to her. So I feel self-aware and uncomfortable with the darker side of myself.

I feel also that I am living a life that is not mine anymore – in the wrong house and town, doing the wrong things and going nowhere particularly fast. Socially, saying thanks to the lollipop lady is as good as it gets. I also feel my blogging has suffered this year and I resent that as it has been a safe sanctuary for many years. I want to look at my blog again and what I want it to do. It has to be more useful than my general ramblings on life. In fact, those ramblings would be far better put to work in my novel.

We thought we had found a house and now the landlady is thinking things over so we are in limbo once again. I am getting heartily fed up of life being on hold.

So let’s dig deep for my reasons to be cheerful.

1. I went to the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards and had a lovely time. Apart from a slight wobble a the start, I felt confident enough too. I did not do my hiding in the loo bit once. Get me!

2. I know that when we feel a bit out of sorts with ourselves, it sometimes means we are reflecting a lot and that good things are just around the corner.

3. My daughter snuggles up close every night.

4. My teenage son keeps me well supplied with hugs and is being so helpful whilst his Dad is away.

5. My youngest son continues combine his comic genius with sensitivity when required.

6. We had another huge repair bill on the car and my brother paid for it. He has been so very supportive in recent months.

I feel like I need someone to come and give me a good shake.

Is that cheerful enough?

I arrived at the Savoy on London in a lovely car courtesy of Tesco.

A man came up to the driver and asked who his passenger was. He did not know having scrubbed my name off his white-board earlier. I told the man my name and he asked “Are you Red Carpet?” I was almost tempted to say that I was and have the red carpet moment but thought better of it and was driven direct to the door of the Savoy.

I was rushed in and there were so many people and cameras around.

I was greeted warmly and directed to the champagne reception. As I hit the top of the stairs, I came across other bloggers checking out the table plan. I had one of my “I don’t fit in” wobble moments so went into the champagne room to see if anybody wanted to play with me. I spotted a lady on her own so started there. What a treat. She was really friendly and shared her story of motherhood so openly. She helped me feel at ease and we had fun spotting celebrities as they arrived. I was so thrilled when she said “I wish we were at the same table for lunch but I bet we aren’t” You mean somebody actually enjoyed my company – this day was amazing already.

We were called to lunch where I knew I was going to be sitting next to Actually Mummy. I have never really got to know Helen before so it was wonderful to have a little time to get to know the woman behind the blog.

As we found table 9, Jason Merrells came up with his companion Emma and introduced himself in a friendly fashion. Jason plays Declan in Emmerdale. As I took my seat, I spied the place name next to mine was Sue Cleaver the actress who plays Eileen Grimshaw in Coronation Street. She arrived with her lovely mum. Natalie who plays Alicia in Emmerdale and Nadia who played Zainab in EastEnders also were suddenly joining our table along with their lovely guests.

I have to say that the celebrities were so not up themselves and so warm with us non-celebs. They shared some personal information and also showed a keen interest in learning more about the blogging world. We had a very pleasant lunch including things I love such as guinea fowl and a very rich chocolate dessert. Needless to say the wines went down very well although I was careful to keep drinking water too.

Every so often I would glance around and see famous faces including Brian McFadden and Vogue sitting alongside bloggers. I did not even realise just how many celebrities attended until I checked out the highlights video later.

It is funny but because you see such faces on the telly you did sort of feel comfy with them already if that makes any sense at all. I had a fun moment with Nadia popping up and waving as we could barely see each other due to the huge floral display on the table. She took it well and giggled along with me.

I am not going to say too much about the awards ceremony itself as I am hoping you will watch it on Sunday on Channel 4. I can promise that you will be moved and inspired by the Mums of the Year. Check out some highlights.


I loved hearing Sam Bailey sing and also seeing how very human and ordinary she is whilst of course being totally extraordinary.

At the end of the evening, Boyzone almost made me miss my train but there was not way I was leaving until I had seen them perform their songs.

I had a car waiting to whisk me back to Kings Cross. As I raced down the platform, I saw Natalie waving at me as if we were old friends. Such a lovely lady inside and out.

I felt so upbeat after my day out and seeing my children racing down the platform to greet me on my return was the icing on the cake.