This was the setting for our school Swim Gala today, a crisply performed two-hour splish-splash for Years 3 and 4. In the UK we used to have an old-fasioned sports day, you know the thing: blankets and buggies on the track up at the Heath. A tinny loud-speaker, extra layers and waterproofs, the dreaded Mum’s Race, Dad’s wheelbarrow and then all off to the cafe for lunch. Here we sat poolside and bellowed at the little fishes who either displayed surprising panache for their ages or, if they had forgotten their goggles like a certain SmallPrimate, zig-zagged wildly for 25 metres before coming home with mild sunburn. I enjoyed it actually. Especially not having to do the Mum’s Race.
Sometimes the fact that things are carrying on at home without us is a good thing. Today was UK Mother’s Day, arriving to rather muted fanfare in a country that won’t celebrate until 12 May. I’ve spent the last two mothers days missing mine so it was nice to be in a place where no one was paying the day much notice. Mr PC got his prompt the night before during a dinner party and sweetly sorted out a squiggly card, tea and toast in bed, both lunch and dinner out and several lacy mentions of love from SmallMonkey as the day wore on. Very nice thank you please.
I loved Mother’s Day as a child and it’s lovely that I now get crumbs in bed too. It’s a funny hallmark of a day, though: great if you have a mum, brilliant if you ARE a mum, rubbish if your mum’s dead and dismal if you never got to be a mum but always wanted to. I score 2 out of 4, 1 up and 1 down, so I get the sad missing stuff and the loved-up family stuff, which puts me in the halfway position of those of us who feel a little sad but love getting all the attention. This low-key Singapore version was ideal.
I don’t talk about Mum much on here. If you’re reading this because I twisted your arm on Facebook or shoved a link under your nose, then you won’t be looking to swot up on my old life, it’ll be the new stuff you’re after. But it’s Mother’s Day, though. So what to say?
Sometimes I think about her and sometimes she is just, simply, here. And sometimes she isn’t. She popped by earlier on but not for long. She visits at the strangest of times and not just for something as plastic as this. And she doesn’t ‘visit’ – she’s not standing in the kitchen with big sad eyes making a cup of tea. She’ll just suddenly be with me in a way I can’t describe, nor do I want to try. She deserves an entire library of words and that won’t and can’t happen here. Her brief drive-by today was clearly a gentle acknowledgement of the date – no doubt she spent a long time with my sister later on. I hope she did.
Everyone had a mother. Love to you all.
• My friend’s newly hatched chicks from the bird’s nest on her patio got stolen by a large monkey that was spotted a few days earlier running across the outside wall of her condo. It’s a jungle out there
• Our exciting swamp-ish Easter plans now carry a Foreign Office caution thanks to rebels occupying parts of Sabah. It is highly unlikely that anything will happen to us but still: it’s not working out to be a jolly hike in the Norfolk Broads
• Our living room roller blind jammed and when I wiggled it, out fell a very flat gecko #flowerpressanyone
• Pulling the bookshelves apart to wipe down mould is a weekly chore
• The skateboard instructor is about two years older than my son
• The next six weekends are booked up. Only in Sing.