Jaqui's Daily Blog

Sunday 2nd December

Today my dear Mum would have been 100 years old. Imagine that!


I'm sorry she missed out on a birthday card from Her Maj but she would have been chuffed to bits to know that my brother, sister and I met up today to celebrate - and remember - her birthday. Our "Brothers and Sisters Day" is an annual occasion, always as near as we can make it to Mum's birthday - but obviously today was Extra Special. One brother, recovering from hip surgery, understandably couldn't make it down from Bonnie Scotland but phoned to have a chat during the afternoon.  Mum, who for ever so many years organised her own Brothers and Sisters Day for her siblings, would surely have been smiling down on us.


Regular blog readers know quite a lot about my Mum by now. You know about the Usher Gene; you've doubtless read, on my Cook Book page, her recipe for Bread Pudding (or what Mr B calls Rubber Plonk); you know she liked to think she was of Scots descent, quoted Rabbie Burns at length and called everybody "lass" or "laddie".  You also know how she served up rice pudding every single day - hence the nickname "365" we gave it.  My thoughtful sister-in-law served up "365" for pudding today, along with a cherry pie. I had both. It would have been rude not to...


I've managed another three Advent Adventures today. First thing this morning I turned everything out of my bedside drawer in order to find my Christmas Brooch.  This brooch is an enamel Father Christmas in the shape of a star - OK, I know it possibly sounds a tad tacky, but it's actually quite tasteful.  It was given me, years ago, by a girl who used to work for me and ever since I have worn it all through every festive season. Today was its first outing for Christmas 2012.  Then, visiting my brother for Brothers and Sisters Day meant we could hand-deliver our Christmas presents and cards for my brother, sister and their families. If that's not an Advent Adventure, I don't know what is.


Finally I bought my first poinsettia as a gift for our hostess, my sister-in-law.  Christmas just isn't Christmas till I have bought a poinsettia. Mr B hates poinsettia with a deadly hatred. He says they are a waste of space and likes to remind me how I always keep one on the window-sill in the kitchen, watching in post-Christmas despair as one scarlet leaf falls off in turn, till I'm left with a few green stalks in a pot.


But I just love the story of the poinsettia - the tale of the little Mexican girl who had no gifts to offer at her church's Christmas Eve service but a bunch of scrawny weeds she had gathered. As she laid the bunch at the foot of the altar, the weeds burst into bloom - the bloom of the bright red poinsettia. I'll never convince Mr B but I guess it's just another of those things on which we must agree to differ. What's a poinsettia or two between friends?


So that's another three Advent Adventures and I'm a little concerned that I might have set off too quickly. Is it possible that I may run out of steam before too many December Days are passed. Have I set myself up to fail?


But it's OK, I can just hear my Mum's voice, in her best Scots accent: "Dinna fass yourself, my lassie, it'll be fine."  Happy 100th Birthday - and many thanks - my lovely Mum!

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Mark Sutton | Reply 02.12.2012 23:13

Happy birthday Nanna xxx. I'm so pleased that the Usher siblings celebrated together.

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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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