Saturday 5th January 2013

Christmas is over and...

I'm organising a Christening, a 3rd Birthday Party and a Golden Wedding Anniversary. Who the hell do I think I am? Pippa Middleton? I don't even think her book "Celebrate" can help me out of this one. It's definitely the Roman Catholic in me; the metaphorical whips of self-flagellation are beating my back furiously!

Actually, I really love organising parties and things. I've been on the Middleton's party website and I think I could give them a run for their money even though I don't have venues such as Buckingham and Windsor Palace to hand (more like Snakes and Ladders in Ipswich).

I want to get the bulk of the kid's celebrations sorted over the next week (you know, on top of washing, cleaning, cooking, feeding, contemplating my naval etc) as I am taking my mum to Paris in two weeks time as a BIG, MASSIVE thank you for being well...just brilliant.

There are several reasons I adore my mum; here are just a few of them:

1. She is hardcore. A woman brought up in inner city Manchester and a bonafide Mancunian (without the nasal accent).
2. She has some fantastic sayings such as "Always respect a chip pan" and "Never trust a man with their eyes close together" (whilst wagging her finger at the same time).
3. She didn't know who Cath Kidston was until I bought her one of their floral peg bags last year for Christmas.
3.She is the Kofi Annan and Ban Ki Moon of our family.
4.  She gave birth to five children naturally with little more than a bit of gas and air (and probably a couple of paracetamol knowing her). And, fellow Alpha Mums, there wasn't a website or book in sight! I honestly don't think she would know what a 'Parenting Author' is and it's totally refreshing.
5. My friends love her and unlike the legendary Les Dawson, Rob actually really loves her too. Plus, she actually gets on with her daughter-in-laws as well.
6. We have sooooo much fun together. When I was in Edinburgh as a student, she often came up and once, a taxi driver thought she was a mature student. I wanted to leave a pub in the Grassmarket but she said, "We can't because Kathy has got a round in".
7. Through the miscarriages, the operations and the bereavements she has been there to carry us and support us unconditionally with a focused attitude. When Bethan was ill and I was in pieces, it was my mum who was by mine and Rob's side. Poignantly, she had been through something very similar when my sister had been born 40 years earlier. It was not the first time she had lived on a neonatal unit.
8. She is unassuming and modest and would probably kill me if she knew I was writing this. (Probably with a chip pan!).

Yes, Paris, here we come. And let's be careful because once when we went to London for the day she nearly got stuck on the tube train. As the doors were about to close, I had to drag her off by the lapels of her coat. The thought of her travelling around the Circle Line all day is too much to bare. Let's hope a similar thing doesn't happen at the station in Pigalle. Knowing my mum, she would find herself headlining at the Moulin Rouge.