Part of a series: "A Life of Less Liberty" by Jeremy Bamber.
I wanted to dedicate some time to think about my Mum, owing to Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday 15th March. I think about Mum all the while as she had such a huge impact upon every aspect of my life and who I am today. It would be possible for me to chat about Mum for hours, but it’s better if I stick to three topics that I am hoping will show you how eclectic and diverse Mum’s interests were.
Before I start, on the News tonight, someone had taken a photograph of a weasel clinging
to the back of a woodpecker. It had jumped onto its back and the bird had taken flight with Mr Weasel clinging on. Mum would have loved seeing such an amazing sight, but like me she would have thought, “looks more like a stoat than a weasel”. This is just the kind of thing that Mum and I would have spent ages chatting about.
I’ve spoken before about Mum’s love of wildlife and all things ‘countryside’, which meant more to her than any of her other interests. There was a programme I watched on BBC 2 “Natural World” about Owls. It was a beautifully filmed piece that described the powers Owls have. I can recall as a little boy, of about seven years old, Mum saying to me that we had something exciting to do. She had already inspired a love of nature in me. We shared so many intimate and exciting moments together. Often being quiet as mice and peeping at some wildlife doing its thing, both of us would be fizzing with joy of that shared moment, for instance, watching Mr and Mrs Fox and their cubs. When we enjoyed that time of wonder together, it would often end in us giggling and we would take furtive glances at each other, as if to say, “Did you see that?” and of course each of us had, but we still did the glances and this would cause us to giggle – the slightest noise and the wildlife would scatter but trying to keep our poker faces made us laugh.
So Mum was always enthusing over something. On one occasion we got our torches and Mum had some off cuts from our rabbit stew lunch she was preparing. She put them into a little bag and off we went into our straw walled Dutch barn. The walls of the barn were made of stacked up straw bales to help keep the frost off the potatoes when they were in
One of Mums other interests was her love of movies, something which she explained to me had come from her being posted to India during the War as a member of the Auxiliary Nursing Yeomanry. She’d been stationed in Calcutta. Mum explained that it was so hot and humid that to escape the heat the girls would all go to the cinema, one of the few places with air conditioning – that way they could have some respite from that infernal, relentless heat.
Mum was never one to splash out money on herself, it wasn’t about being frugal, she
I think Mum should have been a teacher as she loved explaining about Geography and History and the moral aspects of films. She was genuinely interested in what Sheila or I thought about a particular issue and we had many discussions after our visits to the cinema.
We continued to catch a movie or two with me, Sheila and Mum, but by my twenties it
And so to baking.
Mum loved baking and was very good at it, cooking on an Aga which can take some adjustment, but Mum took it in her stride when moving to White House Farm and always produced delicious sponges. She could make cakes to die for and taught Sheila and I how to bake. Bless my dear Mum, Happy Mother’s Day. I shall bake a Victoria sponge on the day in her memory and remember her with real love.