With all this talk of empty nest syndrome, I may have created a somewhat false impression of my being totally devoted to my children. Although on rereading my posts, it struck me that thus far they haven’t really featured very much, if at all. Mothers’ Day yesterday got me thinking about all the other Mothers’ Days gone by, which I spent, not with my children but on my own at the farm. I used to come to the farm on the pretext of seeing my mother, but actually I loved being able to wake up on Sunday morning knowing that: there wouldn’t be a kitchen to clean if someone decided to cook me breakfast (unlikely I grant you, but there would still be a kitchen to clean even if they didn’t); there wouldn’t be newspapers and clothing strewn all over the sitting room to pick up; and there wouldn’t be the disappointment of a Mothers’ Day passing by without any acknowledgement of my presence, let alone my wonderful mothering.
So yesterday’s Mothers’ Day came as a bit of a surprise to be honest. First of all Peter arrived bearing chocolates from Florentines, a Belgian chocolate shop on the Midlands Meander which sells the most delicious chocolates (he must have read my last post). He then pointed out an advert in the Weekend Witness for an open garden in the Kamberg and asked if I would like to go. Once I had recovered from the initial shock, we took a slow amble out to the Kamberg oohing and aahing at the beautiful avenues of trees lining farm entrances and silhouetted against the Drakensberg. The Kamberg is much more of a farming area than Nottingham Road and to me there is something quite nostalgic about these farms. It’s a checkerboard landscape of brown ploughed land, green pastures and mealie fields, interspersed with old Pin Oaks, London Planes and Liquidambars, all shades of orange, yellow and red. It’s what farmland should look like.
We were given a guided tour of the garden by the very enthusiastic owner and I made lots of notes of trees and shrubs that I now must have in my garden for autumn colour. On the way back Peter very kindly commented that he thought my garden was just as good as the one we had just visited. I think he was worried that I would want to stop at one of my favourite spots in the Midlands, the Midlands Garden Centre in Rosetta, to stock up. However, I am in autumn mode and there will be no more garden shopping until spring.
When I got home my daughter, Kiera, called from China to wish me a happy Mothers’ Day, and blow me down if my son, Alex, didn’t phone as well. I expressed my surprise to Alex that he had remembered the occasion (never having acknowledged it before) and he said it was hard not to know it was Mothers’ Day because all his friends in res were phoning their mums. So, there you go, it ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings. I had given up on Mothers’ Day but my children and I had to leave home for me to have one of the best Mothers’ Days ever.