Sunday, March 28

A letter to Mum

Mum, it is spring. I wake up to chirruping birds and only need to wear a cardie to work. The daffodils are out, and the evenings are longer and every single shop is stacked with chocolate eggs.

I picture you on your hands and knees, prodding at the bulbs in the back garden in Norfolk. I can hear the 'snip snip' of your shears and smell the ozone in the air all around you. Spring was your season, and without you I feel lost. My daffodils wilted last week and I left them as they were for several days. Sorry Mum.

Sunday, March 14

Mother's Day

Mum's been gone over two months now, her death is still very raw and occasionally inconceivable.

I can't get over Mum's final days and hours. Dark images creep into my head when I'm on the Tube or in the bath, and I agonise for ages over these pictures which show her shrunken, yellowing and in pain. Questions rise like bubbles over the pictures: Did she know she was dying? Was she scared? Could she hear me? The bubbles rise higher, choking me, and it can take hours to recover.

But I had my first counselling session last week, which was great. The counsellor promised me that the images would recede, in time. Everyone keeps promising me that. But they haven't, they're still there, and while they're still there I can't enjoy any memories of Mum when she was healthy.

One way I'm trying to combat these thoughts is by trying to replace them with a happy pre-cancer memory of Mum, where she's smiling, or teasing me, or baking me a Victoria sponge cake. But it's a lot harder to remember those memories than the more recent, more painful ones.

I am determined to do Mum justice this Mother's Day and remember her as I know she would want to be remembered; laughing, always busy, and calling me a 'baggage'.

Happy Mother's Day, Mum. Love you.

Monday, March 8

So I don't forget...

The bereavement counsellor has just left. It was good, I cried and laughed and cried some more. And now I am eating Mini Eggs.

I thought I'd share another recipe, cos I'm all Mastercheffy, like...

Chicken and Chorizo Stew

2 chicken breasts
1 chorizo ring - sliced
2 sticks celery - chopped
1 medium onion - chopped
1/2 can chick peas - drained
3 garlic cloves - crushed
Handful parsley - chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tiny bottle red wine
Salt, pepper, smoked paprika

1. Sprinkle half a teaspoon of smoked paprika over 2 chicken breasts and seal for 5 mins over a hot griddle.

2. Slice the chorizo into slices no thicker than 5mm and use them to line a casserole dish.

3. Chop onion, parsley and celery sticks and drain chickpeas.

4. Crush garlic.

5. Place sealed chicken breasts over chorizo. Cover with chopped vegetables and garlic.

6. Pour over chopped tomatoes and wine.

7. Season according to taste and cook in oven (gas mark 5) for approx 90 mins.

8. Garnish with leftover parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Do Google searches and that...