Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me..."

What do YOU wish your mother had told you....( Or hopefully, WILL still tell you , if she can....)

Hmm. I've bought this book as a Christmas prezy for someone. It's called (see its fabulous jacket): " Things I wish my mother had told me:Lessons in Grace and Elegance)"
I hasten to add that this someone is ALREADY graceful and ALREADY elegant but she'll love this book anyway. She isn't, however, into blogging so her prezy will remain a secret for the time being...at least to her.

The book is by Lucia Van Der Post; she writes regularly for " The Times". It glitters with classy advice...about luxury shopping, gorgeous dress shops, fabulous interior designers. It tells you how to look great, have a stylish home, buy perfume, get fit, think about plastic surgery(!) ...and much more.
It's certainly not my world. It's not "my thing" ( some of the "spending" I wouldn't dream of...even if I could, if you follow my drift..) but although lots of it refers to a glamorous indulgent world, much of Ms Van Der Post's musing is actually sound and helpful commonsense; it's applicable, for example, JUST as much to women shopping at M+S, East, Debenhams.... as it is to those shopping at Fenwick's, Chloe or Stella McCartney. ..
It's stuff that's often "obvious if you think about it", but it's nice to meet these observations en masse! It's a book you'll pick up for 10 minutes, then suddenly discover it's bedtime, e.g.:
There are thoughts on Marriage ( "All we know is that IF there's a formula, nobody's found it yet" ) and Friendships ( "Nurture your friendships; they matter more than you can possibly imagine") and our Homes ( "I love best the sort of houses that are particular and truthful...honest expressions of who the owners are") Money ( better miserable in comfort than poverty) and Work ( "Accept there ARE no magic bullets" )
AND YES, there's even advice on grandparenting: " Never forget that they're not your children. You've had your turn, now it's theirs" And this particular piece quotes Karen Buckman, on becoming a Grandma: " I'm too young. Grandmothers are old. They bake and they sew. I was at Woodstock! I pissed in the fields..."
Hmm again. Well, folks, I didn't go to Woodstock (even though I've always wished I had) but I saw the film and I DO know how she feels..

BUT PS ( back to beginning of post):
WHAT do you wish your mother had told you?? OR if she's still here ( and I hope she is)... what pearls should drop from her lips...
the "serious stuff" as well as the frivolous?? Your thought-provoking answers welcome...
Book available at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/ and, of course, all good bookshops ( including, no doubt, Tinners Rabbit, Ulverston..)


Blogger Suffolkmum said...

Wow loads to catch up on here - you have been busy! Loved the 'Don't's' for wives and Ulverston sounds very nice. Hmm, things I wish my Mother had told me - well I probably wouldn't have listened, because 'it's all so different from your day Mum', but I wish she'd told me that however liberated and independent I was before children, that those time-honoured gender stereotypes woudl raise thir provocative little heads when the children arrived!

3:50 pm  
Blogger Jon M said...

Where the family jewels are hidden!
How her father lost the family fortune...maybe not.

Actually, something I want my mother to tell me is all about her childhood. Which was probably quite ordinary and unremarkable to most people, but to me...

10:17 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Sure you're right.
And we don't always Listen to Muvver at the time...but stuff ( her very words) suddenly appears out of your OWN mouth decades later..

Yes, do that.
It's precious history but not something we make time for.
My eldest son has a wonderful tape of a chat betwwen my father and himself aged 10, discussing my father's childhood.
Talk with her NOW, today, this w/end....
And a swift mention of the family jewels just MIGHT be a good idea..!

8:41 am  
Blogger Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Sounds like a treat - and good common sense, which is what I'd expect from Lucia van der Post :-)

10:33 am  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

There's probably a lot - but it's water under the bridge now I'm a grandmother! I wish she'd tell me more about what life was like for her and for her mother (and her memories of her own grandmother ..) - which she is actually doing when we get together, so it is all good. (Except the get-togethers are far too infrequent these days with time running out and all.)

10:28 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Sounds as if you know her well!
I am intrigued...

Have a gettogether!
Talking , learning the Lore of Family...it's something you miss wnen it's available no longer...
Take my word.

5:36 pm  
Anonymous Clare said...

That's such a poignantly loaded question, really, isn't it? Except if exasperated I guess...

I have asked my mother about her childhood and written it down and it was interesting - to me, anyway.

1:42 pm  
Anonymous Susan said...

My lord, I could tell you a hundred things I wish my mother *hadn't* told me! What she didn't tell me was to smile. I'm only just learning how to smile.

9:01 pm  

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