Duggie’s Ramblings March 22
My iPhone names it Mothers’ Day, but my WH Smith diary keeps the traditional English name of Mothering Sunday. Why the two titles? A clue, Mothers’ Day is celebrated in the USA on the second Sunday (why a Sunday?) in May but it was only introduced recently, in 1949. Is this another import from the USA, which partly explains its popularity in England in recent years, albeit at a different time to the USA?
Mothering Sunday cards are difficult to find on the shelves, which are swamped with cards entitled Mothers’ Day. To many mothers, ‘Mothers’ Day’ is every day. More seriously, many people, young and old, have no knowledge of their birth mother, or have experienced bad times giving little, if any, reason to be thankful and ‘to honour and love their mother’. Equally, some mothers have been abandoned as an inconvenience by selfishly minded offspring. For the mother, Mothers’ Day can be a galling experience. Mothering Sunday has a radically different focus (clue lies in nine months before Christmas). The Mothers’ Day cards? Mostly, nauseating sentimentality that, from my experience as a son, does not accurately describe the daily loving mother’s routine as we grew up and since then.
I recall my grandmother asking my father, who had previous lengthy wartime experience in life threatening theatres, why he was not wearing his raincoat! My father was then in his early fifties! Is this an experience familiar to many sons and daughters?
Meeting basic needs
At present life is a struggle for the basics for many families. In 2019 the Rowntree Foundation found that 1.8 million households were unable to meet their basic needs and parents were making sacrifices in order to be able to feed their children. Another 500,000 have been added since then. The energy price cap will be raised from April. Recently I was on an escalator on the London underground where some of the theatre advertisements had been replaced by appeals for assistance for Ukraine. There is a long and honourable tradition in this country of helping the people of other countries. Will it extend further to our own people? The Well in Kibworth is meeting local needs as best it can thanks to voluntary contributions.
On a lighter note, is it too late for suggestions of things to give up for Lent? One couple, feeling the middle aged spread coming, weighed themselves on Ash Wednesday to set themselves the target of losing 10lbs by Easter. Another couple chose to wear only twelve items of clothing (excluding pants, knickers and socks) during Lent. Why? To draw attention to the fast fashion industry which releases more carbon than all the aeroplanes and cargo boats put together.