1. Her cwtch a panad can solve everything.
A cup of tea and a hug solve most of life’s problems, and there’s something about a cwtch you just can’t get from a hug.
2. She’ll hate you sitting in your coat.
One of mam’s biggest worries is any of her children sitting down with their coat still on, because you won’t feel the benefit when you go back outside. Just take it off, come on now.
3. But she’ll be constantly concerned about you having it when you go out!
But an even bigger worry is anyone leaving the house without a warm jumper, coat, gloves, hat and boots. If the whole family’s round it can take up to an hour to get out the door.
4. Mam’s the only one who gets ill.
It doesn’t matter to her though, it’s only a cold. A week later, on her hospital bed, it’s still only a cold, and she can’t understand what all this fuss is about — a hot toddy and she’ll be fine.
5. Her Sunday dinner is sacred.
Assuming you live within 30 miles of home (and it will always be home), mam’s Sunday dinner is simply unmissable, and God help any girlfriend/boyfriend who visits and sits in the wrong place.
6. She’ll think Tom Jones used to be alright.
Every time he comes on the telly — which is all the bloody time — you hear the same old story: “He’s always on the bloody telly now, look at the state of him. All the girls used to fancy him you know, before he went daft.”
7. Her tree goes up two weeks before Christmas and NOT A DAY before.
You’re driving through town in late November and mam spots a Christmas tree in a window: “Those needles won’t last till Christmas Eve, she’ll be hoovering them for months, silly cow.”
8. For mam, funerals are a community get together.
There were times when mam disappeared for a day and came back slightly tipsy saying things like: “I’ve been to Meic the Meat’s funeral. Hell of a turnout, fair play. Doris was at the back, what a cheek. HER turning up after all these years? I don’t know who she thinks she is.”
9. Unexpected visitors to the house can cause uproar.
After years of training in tea and biscuit etiquette, an unexpected knock on the door can turn your world upside down: “OH MY GOD WE’VE RUN OUT OF POSH BISCUITS — CLIMB OUT THE BACK WINDOW AND RUN TO THE SHOP. NOW! GET BLOODY CHOCOLATE HOBNOBS.”
10. And if the biscuits go uneaten…
“Who do they think they are, anyway?”
11. She’ll expect all meals to come with meat.
Any meal, whether breakfast, dinner or tea, served without any meat results in inevitable raised eyebrows: ”Is it Lent? Or have you gone transvegan now you’ve moved to the city? You should be careful dear, Mr Evans down the road died of anaemia because he couldn’t eat meat, except for turkey dinosaurs.”
12. If it snows she’ll be off to the mountains!
When it snows mam will announce a family outing to the mountains to build a snowman. After three hours of getting dressed, she’ll panic about everyone getting cold and we’ll go to the pub to warm up, then head home for hot Ribenas.
13. It doesn’t matter what you do, mam will always defend you.
She’s like a forcefield protecting you from baddies, and from your own mistakes — at least publicly. Behind closed doors she’ll sit you down and sort you out.
14. Every person you ever met as a kid will be introduced as an auntie or uncle.
Sometimes you see them now you’re grown up and even though you recognise them, you know they are not related to you or friends with Mam anymore. But they still stop you and say: “Look at you all grown up, I remember when I used to push your pram down to the butchers. He’s dead now, Meic the Meat, died of a broken heart after Glenys went, I’m telling you. I didn’t see your mother at the funeral. It was a hell of a funeral, Iesu Grist, hell of a turnout, fair play.”
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