LESLEY KEATING: A sharp lesson on Mothering Sunday that I'll never forget

When I was 10, I forgot Mothering Sunday. To be fair, my dad had probably dropped a few hints, but I'd been far too wrapped up in whatever my 10-year-old self was fascinated by to notice.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 4th March 2018, 6:00 pm
Picture: Shutterstock
Picture: Shutterstock

On the morning, it dawned on everyone that I’d forgotten. I was mortified and, although she didn’t show it, my mum was probably a bit hurt. My dad instantly despatched me to the local greengrocers, just up the road, with 50p to buy a bunch of daffodils. On my return, I hastily made a card, rationalising that – as it was still Sunday – I hadn’t fully forgotten.

Some would say that, at 10 years old, my dad should have made sure I was prepared, but that’s another story. His annoyance was probably due to him forgetting too – media and advertising in the 1970s not being quite as full-on as they are today.

I felt awkward offering the daffodils – I remember them looking more like spring onions, they were so tightly budded and spindly, hardly flowering. Perhaps they actually were spring onions, how would I know? I was only 10 after all...

My mum was thrilled with them regardless and very gracious about her afterthought gift, but it was a sharp lesson I never forgot.

My wonderful Mum was my first friend and my first enemy, my staunchest fan and strongest ally, my most formidable opponent and my toughest critic.

I loved and hated her in equal measures as a teenager – dramatically slamming doors one moment, clinging to her the next. That’s how we were, arguing passionately before laughing conspiratorially.

We fought like cat and dog at times, yet heaven help anyone who came between us. How lucky was I to have someone so selfless, who loved and protected me fiercely, whether I liked it not?

Then, gradually, she and I somehow changed places. Eventually I became the parent, taking care of her, but probably nowhere near as well as she had of me.

I lost her in early 2014, just before the daffodils flowered. She’ll have some on Sunday though.

Somehow I think she’d approve.


Snow. It’s such a divisive subject.

Some people get very excited and can’t wait to chuck snowballs, trudge about the countryside knee-deep in the white stuff or throw themselves into the childlike enjoyment of making snow angels.

Others curse its inconvenience, the treacherous icy roads and the sheer, breathtaking cold, not to mention its white blandness. I know which camp I’m in.

Everyone on Facebook is putting up snow selfies or posting inane ‘it’s snowing in Leicester’-type statuses.

Already the supermarkets are being stripped by idiotic panic buyers and the media is pedalling misery and scare stories by the hour.

As my friend put it, you’d be forgiven for thinking we were on the verge of a zombie apocalypse, not a little bad weather.


Toys R Us has bitten the dust, blaming plummeting sales at Christmas. Partly its own fault, apparently, for not investing in online marketing or keeping its stores up together.

To be honest, it’s been a good few years since I was a regular visitor but, even then, I felt the stores were little more than garish warehouses.

Maplin has also crashed and burned. No surprise there either, to be honest – a grim and joyless store without a strong identity which can blame complacency and, in my husband’s opinion, a lack of quality, for its demise.

So, who’s next? My money’s on Debenhams which I feel is tired, uninspiring and in need of a good shake-up. Or a re-brand. Watch this space...