Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I was going to do a whole thing about the Mothers, and how generally amazing they are, and how they never get the credit. I had a whole riff about how there are no awards ceremonies for knowing all the words to The Wheels on the Bus, and singing it twenty times a day. I know that bringing up a happy human is reward in itself, but all those film actors get paid millions of dollars and sent free shoes AND then they get a little gold statuette as well. I was going to have a little rant about that awful collocation: only a mother. There shall be no only about it. It's really hard, and sometimes scary, and often baffling, and always unremitting. It's the kind of thing I watch in awe and wonder.
But then I went outside and there was my neighbour, a very nice gentleman, building a shed. Now, there is nothing wrong with a shed. I love a good shed, myself. But the shed is going BETWEEN ME AND THE HILL. They are taking away my hill.
The neighbour must have seen my expression of bemusement.
'Oh,' he said, diffidently. 'Do you mind?'
He was digging the foundations. It wasn't as if there was anything I could say.
'I talked to the landlord about it,' he said.
'Yes,' I muttered. 'Of course.'
'We discussed it,' he said.
'Will it be a lovely shed?' I said, sadly.
'It's just a shed,' he said.
This is the very definition of a First World Problem. It is not life and death. It is not fighting for democracy in the streets. It is not nuclear meltdown in the Far East. It is just a small building made of wood. I am ashamed to say I felt like weeping.
It's not as if I shall never again see the hill. I can walk round the garden and a few yards to the south and see it from there. It's just that it will no longer be the first thing I see when I walk out of my door in the morning. I shall see a shed instead.
It makes me sad that everything was done and dusted without asking. But then, why should anyone ask? Why should the landlord and the neighbour know of my love for the view of the hill? And how can it matter, in the scheme of things? I really must butch up and stop getting so sentimental. In the Chilterns, people are having to deal with the fact that an entire fuck-off high speed rail line is going to be built in their back gardens. That is something to weep over.
So I shall gather myself and send out love to the Mothers instead. My own mum got a bunch of tulips and anemones and eucalyptus. These pictures are the internet equivalent of a great big bunch of flowers for all you mothers out there.
The canine loveliness:
And my dear old hill, as stately and blue as I have ever seen here:
Happy Mothering Sunday.