Mother's Day

*I meant to post this in March... sorry it's late.

It was the Friday afternoon art class and as we all filtered in and took our seats, the teacher announced, “Now children I'm sure you're all aware it's Mother's Day on Sunday... so today we're all going to make Mother's Day cards.” A few of the kids put their hands up and said they'd already bought a Mother's Day card, however the teacher responded by saying there's nothing wrong with giving her two cards. On the board she drew an example which we could copy, or choose another idea.

As we sketched, scribbled and stuck yellow crepe paper to our cards, the teacher checked our progress, asking if we were going to do anything special on Mother's Day. Next to me sat Paul Dobson who just shrugged, claiming nothing special would be happening at his house. The teacher suggested maybe he should help her make lunch or something nice like that. Again he shrugged.

“That's very nice Peter.” she said looking at the gluey yellow mess of crepe paper splodged on my card. “Maybe if we add a little...” she suggested, before mending my mess and creating something which resembled the head of a daffodil. “And will you be doing anything special on mother's day?” she asked.

“Erm...” I hastily replied, “Er.... my Granny will come to visit and she always bakes cakes and scones...”

“That sounds nice... and will you be doing anything special for your mother?” she replied.

“Er....” I gulped. “I'll help granny serve the cakes and scones... and maybe help mum make dinner.”

“Well that's very nice of you.” the teacher replied before moving onto the next desk.

What I didn't tell my teacher is that as usual, I’d spend the whole day wearing a pretty dress whilst pretending to be the daughter my mother never had. Each year mum buys me a new dress and each year she makes such a fuss over it. This year's monstrosity has been hanging in my room all week and I'm dreading having to wear it.

Life on a small island

I was mostly brought up in in a small town a few miles outside of Bath. I lived with both parents and my big brother. He was fifteen and I was eleven when my parents dropped the bombshell that we were moving to the channel islands. And when they showed us which one, we weren't impressed. My parents had bought a house on Alderney, one of the smallest islands in the archipelago, and thus begun the most tedious and boring years of my life! Our parents are very successful IT freelancers and mostly worked from home. This meant they can easily carry on their normal working lives, retain their earnings and live on a remote island away from the hustle and bustle.

My brother and I hated the idea, but nothing we could say would deter them from their selfish dream. They wanted a big house, a sea view, tax breaks and plenty of time relaxing. They hated having to socialise with friends and acquaintances every weekend, having to visit their respective relatives every month or so and figured island life would stop all that. They could work and relax and do little else. My brother was much more vocal in his opposition to the move than I, but our parents made it perfectly clear that it was not our decision to make. So as soon as I finished Junior school in July, we packed up and left. I was looking forward to going to high school in Bath with my friends from junior school. It was far more appealing then going to a high school in a small town on a tiny island where I’d have to make new friends from scratch.