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  • I remember when I was at school, people in my class used to bemoan their relationships with their Mothers. 'My Mum is so, like, annoying. She doesn't understand me. She keeps, like interfering, giving me advice. I so don't need her advice. What does she know anyway?.' I sat there in silence, racking my brains for something to add. Because having a parent you hated was really cool. And I needed to be really, or at least, partially, cool. But I was called to attend the 'Loaves and Fishes' club and talk about the Bible with Mrs Whitcer, before I could join in listing the 'Ten Top Things' I hated about my Mum. My uncoolness meant I never had to really think about hating my Mum. But more importantly, it meant that I never had to really face up to the fact that I didn't hate her, and I never had. And that was desperately uncool.
    So, I have nothing to lose and no one to point the the finger at my lack of coolness, I decided to write the 10 things I love about my Mum. Directly to her. The ten things I love about you, Mum.
    1) when I was 15 I was bullied. Life was awful. You told me to bide my time. To be me. Don't react: what goes around, comes around. We both know who we are talking about. Let's just say, I have my own flat, a good job, Caribbean holidays. And she, well, she wouldn't look out of place on 'Benefits Street'. You were right
    2) our conversations. We talk on text everyday and a few times a week on the phone. ('Christ, what do you talk about?.' -Dad). I relish those chats but I couldn't tell you, or anyone what they consist of, they exist, between you and me.
    3) you 'know'. I don't know how, you just do. Everyone seeks your advice, from postmen to friends of mine who need help 'what does your Mum think of this?'. And you know. You just do.
    4)Our holidays. Some of the best times of my life have been you, me and a rum punch in some far flung place listening to a drunk american trying to sing at the piano. We've laughed so hard, we have been asked to be quiet in nearly every corner of the world. People have questioned our relationship as a mother/ daughter and that it should not be so, well, close. A mother/daughter don't laugh like that, they don't talk like that, they don't go on holiday together because, well that's just uncool.
    5) you mend stuff. From buttons on designer suits, which after you have your hands on them never fall off, to my battered heart, which consciously or not, you have fixed many times sometimes without saying anything at all
    6) your eye for fashion and colour. I looked cool in your hand knitted jumpers at university. You made me feel like I had my own personal catwalk.
    7) you've told me everyday that I am beautiful. Now in my mid- thirties I nearly believe it
    8). Your own mother is fading with dementia. You take her flowers and play her music and try and revisit part of her happiness. This takes a little piece of you each time. But no one would know, your compassion and resilience is astounding
    9) you cook amazing food. You juggle pans of boiling water, cuts of roast beef, steamed vegetables, bubbling custards, while pouring sherry and asking whoever is there about their lives and jobs, remembering details of conversations past that should be long forgotten
    10) Because you made me realise that having you as my Mum and having the relationship I do with you, well that's just really, really cool.
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