This mum wasn’t always a bread baker you know

Romantic - Saddam Hussein

CLIVE SMITH: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn about Valentine’s Day

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The discovery of some old videos of myself and my husband, circa 1994, prompted some interesting reactions in our house the other day.

As my husband and I laughed and reminisced between the two of us, we barely noticed that our three children were staring aghast at what their parents had been up to, years before they came into the world.

It is very difficult to imagine your own parents having had a riotous life, even in their younger years.

Who’d have thought that my own mother, an avid Archers fan and active member of her local WI, had acted improperly whilst abroad?

As a young woman she had gone on a trip to Rome with a friend, attracted the attention of an Italian man who then pursued her through the ancient city.

Once she got fed up with the chase, her response was to push him into a fountain and run away.

And my own father, a mild-mannered New Zealander who would consider returning a library book back late as a heinous crime, once ran away from home, got on a train and then had his glasses stolen by a monkey.

At least, that’s the story he tells us. And he was only three at the time.

A friend of mine, now in her 60s, told me that in the 1960’s she went to Woodstock, complete with flowers in her hair.

She told her mother, however, that she had gone to Nottingham for the weekend.

But meeting her, you would never have thought that she could have been so flighty.

And her mother doesn’t know the truth to this day!

To our children, we are these paragons of domesticity and responsibility, providing food, clean clothes and a reasonably varied programme of entertainment.

We are weighed down with financial worries, concerns about elderly relatives, and fears for the future of our own offspring.

We act as their role models and as such must avoid any scandal or impropriety.

So although I was quite proud to show them the videos of me playing Frisbee against the Swedish Women’s team (which, I can report, we won and then ended up fourth in the tournament), I am not so sure I would be so willing to share with them some of the other tales of my youth.

They needn’t know the legendary incident that took place in the Chinese takeaway in Leamington Spa, nor the close encounter with the Dutch Ultimate Frisbee team in Nantes.

And as for the drunken party in the forests of Uganda with home-brewed beer made from fermented bananas...

But I do want them to be aware that I wasn’t always baking my own bread and growing courgettes in the garden; that I did know how to have a good time, got into scrapes and managed – somehow – to survive them.

However, I would like to think that they have learned that tucking your T-shirt into your shorts was a very 1990’s thing and shouldn’t be repeated, whatever sport you play.