Saturday, March 25, 2017

Mothering Sunday

Mum & DD, April 2012. I don't have a recent one #rubbishphotographer
Tomorrow is Mothering Sunday in the UK. Traditionally the second Sunday in Lent, it's about going home to pray at your mother church as well as visiting your mother and bringing her gifts. In the US it has turned into Mother's Day and is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. In Israel we celebrate Family Day (which used to be Mother's Day) on the Yahrzeit of Henrietta Szold who had no children of her own but saved 22,000 children from Hitler in Europe. This year it was on February 26th and I think I missed it.

Anyway, as I grew up in England's green and pleasant land, this post is honour of Mothering Sunday, even though I have no mother church to visit.

Six Things My Mother Did That I Don't Do:

1. Ironing. I don't buy thin cottons and I hang our clothes carefully on the line so that they dry smoothly. And if there are a few creases, body warmth soon deals with them. In fairness to my mother, she did have four of us wearing daily button-down shirts: my Dad, my brother, and even us two girls had to wear them for school uniform.

2. Make a three course dinner every night. You have to feel sorry for women in the 1970s as they were caught in the middle of old fashioned housewives on the one side and women's liberation and a severe economic depression, on the other. My mother went back to work full time when I was about 10 but she still felt that she needed to make a three course dinner every night. Sometimes we would be still eating at 9 pm. In hindsight, it was completely crazy.

3. Host Mid-Week Dinner Parties. Nowadays, especially in Israel, we entertain for one of the meals over Shabbat (Friday night or Saturday lunch). But I think that even in the UK, people tend to entertain mainly at the weekends. We go out to a film or a concert mid-week but having people over not so much. Our lives are too busy and we're too exhausted after a day's work, children's activities and homework, and preparing more work for the next day. If we do go round to friends mid-week it's called a light supper and usually comprises of soup, pasta and a salad.

4. Knitting. I can knit and crotchet but, as my mother herself pointed out, it's more expensive to buy the wool these days than it is to go out and buy a jumper or cardigan.

5. Wear make-up every day (including foundation) and go to the hairdresser once a week for a wash and blow dry. I just don't and my mother still does.

6. Make fabulous desserts - Lemon Cream Gateau, Black Forest Cherry Cake, Chestnut Pavlova, Eton Mess, Cheese Cake, Steamed Syrup Pudding, Lockshen Kugel, Bread Pudding, Cherry Shissel, Apple Strudel, homemade biscuits, and the list goes on. Well I'm doing Keto aren't I? But even before I discovered the keto diet, I was never a baker - too much like chemistry lessons if you ask me. My forte is pastry and salads. (Obviously the pastry is now off the menu.)

Four Things I Do That My Mother Didn't Do:

1. Take photos. This was Dad's job and the camera was his. My mother only got her own camera when her first grandchild came along. I'm a rubbish photographer and I often forget, but if I don't take the photos, there aren't any so I have to.

2. Write and publish.

3. Speak two languages. My Hebrew is rubbish but I can use it for everything I need. Mum told me that she once went on a French exchange and stayed with a family for a week. By the end she says she was pretty good at French. She'd forgotten it all by the time we used to go on holidays in France.

4. Wear leggings and ankle boots as part of my 'uniform'. Mum never wears anything less than proper clothes as opposed to what she describes as going out in pyjamas.

Four Things We Both Do:

1. Go to bed extremely late. We are both night owls and not larks.

2. Play cards and Scrabble. She plays Bridge. I'm a Kalooki girl - up to 150 points and you can come in twice. We're also both up for a game of Rummikub, which is a sort of card game with tiles.

3. Watch Escape To The Country and read The Daily Mail.

4. Love the social side of religious life but make up our own rules about the ritual.

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