I’m in a panic. You probably are too, if you’re a bloke. We’ve just got over the stress of Valentine’s Day, and now Mother’s Day looms on the horizon. I think the greetings card industry is run by sadistic women who get their kicks watching men squirm as they try to interpret the impossibly cryptic signals their partners/mothers send out in the run up to these events.
Well, I have decided, the only thing to do is to go nuclear. Buy a gift, certainly, (it would be suicide not to), but let’s break a few rules shall we? I’m getting my mother a power drill this year.
She is 78, and quite infirm, and frankly doesn’t do much now, bless her, apart from watch the shopping channel and make lists of tasks to put unnecessary strain on my father’s dodgy knees. However, if he does keel over, I think a Black & Decker will be very handy if she needs to open her bottles of pills herself, and she can stir her cocoa with it before bed. A Cath Kidston floral pinny, which many of you will be considering for your loved one, although more conventional, will be of no use at all. She no longer cooks, (my mother, not Cath Kidston) and anyway, she hasn’t, to my knowledge, worn any of the 24 aprons purchased by me over the last 25 years. (I forgot in 1990, boy was that a mistake).
Where was I? Yes, power tools. Don’t follow my lead, whatever you do. I shall plough a lonely furrow for you, as the lead member of the awkward squad advance party. You can adopt a watered down approach, but still buy your Mother something vaguely masculine this year. It will show her you’re not set in your ways, and are still capable of original thinking, which will impress her. How about this, a very fine limited edition print by Ed Lee, of this Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, lovingly recreated locally in Desmond Smail’s workshop. The car is sold, but it will live on in an exhibition of Ed’s photographs, at ICETWICE, over the next month or so. Your mother may love it, and even if she doesn’t, she can earmark it for you in her will, so it’s very nearly a win-win situation.
Now I don’t know your mother well, but there is always the chance that she has never been one for internal combustion engines. These women do exist, I am told. In that doomsday scenario, a book on fishing will be just the thing. This one is excellent.
May I go off-piste at this point? I realise we weren’t talking about skiing, but I just like using the term off-piste. I may? Thank you.
Inspired by this, ‘The British Seaside Holiday’, I have made representations to the council. No, that’s wrong. I’m ABOUT to do so. What we need in Olney, is a beach. For the summer, I mean, not now. Like the Paris Plage, but a bit smaller, obviously. I’m thinking the Market Place, or possibly about half the High Street north of there. We could have whelk stalls, and deckchair attendants, and a Punch & Judy man, and pedaloes on the river, and all manner of seaside paraphernalia. It would attract tourists. Wilson’s could do a roaring trade in buckets and spades and fishing nets on bamboo poles, and Much Ado could sell organic candy floss, and toffee apples, if there are no European directives outlawing toffee apples on Health & Safety grounds. My mother could come and stay, and supervise operations from her wheelchair, which has been specially adapted for sand (she lives by the seaside), and I think she’d let the workmen borrow her power drill to put the finishing touches to the beach huts. Am I getting carried away now? Surely not. I think Olney-sur-Mer has a ring to it.