My mother: was as neat as a pin. Unfortunately, I didn’t take after her. She never got messy, and if she met me from school, I was always proud, because she wore clothes well. She made several pairs of plastic cuffs, edged neatly with bias binding, which she wore to do the washing up, lest her cuffs got wet. “ Don’t put down, put away, ” she would say, and she always promised that when I had a home of my own, she would come and mess it up the way I messed hers up. She taught me to love words [rather unfortunate, because I never shut up] but next to flowers, I love words. She made me look up a word in the dictionary every day, and if anyone said, “different to”, instead of “different from,” she would go on for ages about poor grammar. Sometimes it was as though she was lifted from her school chair and set down in the kitchen. She wasn’t overly clever, but very pedantic. “You look like a Piccadilly totty”, she would say if I wore a lot of make-up. It’s funny the way we differ from our parents in some ways yet are the spitting image in others. I don’t do family- trees, but I love to compare the family I know, one with another, little traits coming out of the woodwork. If I eat a bowl of soup in front of the TV, I’ll be spattered in soup in no time. I invariably have to change my jumper. I need a bib like my mum needed her cuffs, but then my mother would never have eaten soup in front of the TV, she would lay the table for just bread and cheese.” “I don’t know where you were dragged up”, she would say!