In fact, I think this one was given to me by my mum. Last time she came to visit, she said, that window ledge is too sunny. It won’t flower if you put it there. So I moved it and there we are, she was right.
In my life, I’ve complained a lot about my mum, but I do realise she has good points as well. I suppose half of me comes from her, and we do have similarities, which I have picked up. As well as being a good keeper of orchids:
1) My mum is a really hard worker and I picked this up from her, just by watching her. It was as if there was no other way I could imagine being when I was younger. This has good and bad points. The hard work is partly driven by an insecurity about being good enough and having to prove ourselves all the time, that we are worthwhile people. But I do appreciate being given the idea of ambition from my mum.
2) My mum makes the best of situations. Her family were refugees from the revolution in China and from having a comfortable life, they arrived in Macau with nothing. When I was a child, my mum decided to give up her job and work from home as a piano teacher, and later as a tutor, so that she could look after me and my sister. I don’t know if it was what she wanted to do, but it was what she thought was for the best. This has its good and bad points too. Practicality is good too, but I think it’s best if it’s balanced against knowing what you want for yourself too. That way other people around you will be happier.
3) My mum likes to look nice and have nice clothes. When we were children, we didn’t have much money for nice clothes. When I was eleven, twelve, thirteen and beyond, this was really hard. It’s why I always want to be wearing something I love now, every day. It’s probably why my mum does, too. Anyway this is something we share.
Today, I went to help out at an Open Garden. I like doing this because it’s a group of the other mums and we get together to fundraise for the primary school. My Lovely Daughters don’t even go to that school any more, but I really like keeping in touch with the people I was friendly with a few years ago. One of the mums lives on a beautiful farm with her parents and they open the garden to charity several times a year, which is really good of them. They are generous enough to let our school have one of the slots, even though like me all their children/grandchildren have now left.
I made this chocolate cake:
I said to Lovely Daughter #2 while I was making it, “It’s a bit pale.” She said, “Don’t worry. Sometimes they just go like that.” I think she was right, because it turned out OK in the end. Although, as she pointed out, it was a bit wonky.
Today was a lot of fun. We got to chat and eat lots of cake. And as is often the case, there was lots of cake left over too! Depending on whether I have jam or cocoa powder in the house, the Open Garden scheme gets either a Victoria or chocolate sponge off me. Now I am almost the only mum who turns up at these bunfights with a Victoria-or-chocolate-sponge. We are usually treated to a variety of adventurous bakes including damp apple; blackcurrant and almond; peaky butter iced; gluten free fruity fun. So I bought up this plate of upside down pineapple cake and some swiss roll:
and was also given this home grown cucumber:
Which was all very moist and fruity and beautiful but I have to say that Lovely Daughters were most unimpressed with the swap.
When I got home, I tried phoning my mum. Unfortunately, she was out. I’d wanted to tell her my orchid was flowering. I’d had a mellow day and was reflecting about holding onto anger. Sometimes I do feel angry with things my mum does, and things she did, and things she won’t acknowledge. But it doesn’t mean that I should turn this into a default setting, blinding me to the positive things.
I will phone again tomorrow, and probably also finish Me Before You and get back to book blogging again.