Jaqui's Daily Blog

Parental Guidance and a Horrible Warning

As parents we all like to believe that we are setting our children a good example, presenting them with fresh ideas, showing them the way when life gets challenging. Even when (or perhaps especially when), they are all grown-up.


In our family, however, we seem to have turned this First Principle of Being a Parent upside down. My Foursome are only too eager to pass on their good ideas to me, to advise me on my (many) short-comings and to set me on a new path of discovery. In particular, since my return from the Middle of the Darling Daughter’s home, after a whole week of Faris Watch, I have found myself introducing a number of her processes and practices into my own everyday life.


  • I have changed our brand of coffee because both Mr B and I decided we liked her choice better than ours. Mr B likes the caffeinated version and I prefer the decaffeinated version. At the moment both are on offer at Tescos though I’d better not advertise it, as I don’t want my readers to think the Daily Blog has somehow turned into Supermarket Watch.

  • I have started adding sliced up avocado to my salads. The Middle of the Darling Daughters tells me that some people resist the temptation to do this because of the fat content in avocados. However (she says and who am I to disbelieve her, she’s my daughter after all) the fat in avocados is “good” fat as opposed to “bad” fat. I nod, as if I know what she is talking about.

  • I have bought myself my first ever pair of nail clippers, having tried out the ones I found on her bathroom window sill.  You might be thinking it’s a bit cheeky of me to take advantage of her nail clippers, lying there on the window sill minding their own business? Well I must excuse myself by saying that the Middle of the Darling Daughters always encourages me to travel light when I visit her, urging me to use whatever I need / can find on her bathroom window sill, airing cupboard or wherever. The nail clippers were a revelation in that they enabled me to cut the nails on my right hand as well as my left hand. Usually I have to ask Mr B to do this for me. Having your nails cut by Mr B is an alarming experience. He doesn’t like it when my hand quivers as he snips away, getting as close as he can get to the skin of my finger. “Stand still!” he orders, testily, snipping away as I shake uncontrollably. Sometimes he forgets that he is wearing his reading glasses while performing this delicate operation which is doubly worrying. Now I have my nail clippers, I will need him no longer. Only as far as the nail cutting is concerned, you understand, I’ll keep him for everything else.

  • I have also bought myself a mini-chopper on her advice. I haven’t used it yet but I have read the instructions and now know how to use my mini-chopper to make mayonnaise, French dressing, smoked mackerel pate and avocado dip (the latter will be useful if I have any avocado left after preparing the salad. You probably thought of that before I did.)


The Middle of the Darling Daughters is not the only one of the Foursome to be ready with good advice. The Eldest of the Darling Daughters is always ready with good advice about books I should read; the Youngest of the Darling Daughters (pictured with me, above) keeps an eagle eye on our health and well-being and is forever telling me I look tired and need to go to bed when I am staying over at her’s; My Boy is our travel advisor, constantly sending us details of new holiday deals usually involving luxury boats or five star hotels. He thinks we should shape up and live a bit.


The big question is, when did they stop coming to us for advice and start dispensing it to us instead? Has our store of Parental Guidance finally run dry? Or have they simply found us out after all these years?

I’m comforted by the words of George Bernard Shaw: “It is better for a parent to be a horrible warning than a good example.”


Well, that’s alright then...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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