It seems we are all destined to become our parents | Verity Lush

Mirror, mirror on the wall, it seems I am my mother after all.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 7:00 pm
Verity Lush now scrutinises food labels in the way she once loathed her mother for doing. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The older I get, the more like my mother I become.

For example, I tell my children that they have to eat broccoli because it is good for them.

I Nothing wrong there.

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Until I confess that, nowadays, I actively like the stuff myself. Ditto cavolo nero and sprouts.

Years ago I invested in a slow cooker: the oven of the middle-aged.

How I once guffawed at my mother for putting an entire meal in a slow cooker at the crack of dawn, a time of day when even a glass of water made me gag.

Now I find myself elbow deep in shoulder joints whilst gaily chopping raw onions at 6 am weekdays.

I also read the labels on food while shopping.

I used to loathe my mother doing this.

Every week we would do the food shop, and every week she would take approximately a lifetime longer than necessary due to an obsession with scanning the labels for rogue ingredients.

Another thing I am noticing is that I, like my mother, now moan about the length of dressing gown sleeves: they get in the way of my domestic duties.

I once invested in a dressing gown with a zip and not a tie, which my lucky husband referred to as The Purple Spotted Shroud.

Sadly the zip broke at neck level, leaving me naked, trapped at the head, and having to cut myself out.

I also now sport a thermal vest from about the end of October right through to the end of March, and cocoon myself in a hat, gloves and scarf up to my eyebrows.

To put this in perspective, I used to leave the house in a little black dress, heels, and not much else in the dead of winter.

Now my thumb aches if the weather is cold.

When my mother and I went shopping last week we were both bound up like mummies (no pun intended) to fight off the February chill.

We couldn’t hear a word the other had said under our double-layer hats but at least we were warm.

The government has been slow to act on the coronavirus

It’s been quite a week in the news as regards to the coronavirus.

Is it just me, or does the UK government seem especially slack in comparison to other countries? The fact that others have closed their borders to flights from China, yet ours remained open, seems somewhat remiss on the part of Boris et al.Not awfully suggestive that Brexit will mean much either, given that some who voted for it did so on the basis of closing our doors to others.We won’t need Brexit at this rate, we’ll just need to hibernate and try to hide from a virus that Dr Hillary Jones, he of morning telly fame, has claimed is more deadly and transmissible than SARS.Best of British to us all.

Take time to remember the optimism of childhood logic

Was there ever a month so long as January? By the final week of it, it was as though the date was the 234th of January and Christmas didn’t happen.

It is both wonderful to have a mid-winter celebration that involves bright and light, yet also such a downer – because once it’s over, we have only the persistent gloom to tide us over until lighter evenings are ours again.According to my children, this is all made better by pancake day which, aside from sweet naivety, also goes to show that kids generally just have a better way of looking at the world than embittered adults who’ve probably seen too much of it!I like the optimism in children’s logic – we should try to replicate it.