Since my eldest son made his Communion I cannot stop thinking about how quickly life is passing by. I was born and raised in the north city centre is an avenue of houses similar to what you might see on Coronation Street. Life seemed to be so simple then when we were happy out on the road skipping, playing rounders and waiting for the ice cream man to come. My Dad was a painter and decorator by trade, he went off to work each morning with a freshly ironed shirt, trousers and polished black shoes and he came home the very same way. His motto was that no one should know your trade from your appearance. It was hard for people not to know what his trade was though as our house was the best kept on the street. He would spend his two weeks annual leave painting, varnishing or wallpapering somewhere in the house, which really was a labour of love.
I always remember certain events in the household which caused great excitement, the purchase of our first video recorder was one of the most memorable. Blank tapes were bought galore and newspapers scanned to help decide what we would record. I still remember the feeling of huge disappointment if the end of certain programmes were cut before we had a chance to see it! One of the big events in my mothers life was the purchase of a new cooker, a ceramic hob, a small top oven and a big fan oven all combined to make her the envy of everyone on the avenue. Neighbours and relations all came in to admire it! There are probably even some family pictures of us standing in front of it instead of the obligatory ones in front of the fireplace in the 'good' sitting room! There was a recipe book that came with it and for years every time my mother made anything this book was referred to so that she would use the correct oven and temperature! One of the recipes from this book was for a Gingerbread loaf and it was delicious. I asked my mother last week to look up the recipe for me as I would love to make it. The following morning the recipe arrived in the post, cut straight out of the original book. I was delighted to receive it but sad that my mother no longer would need the recipe to make it herself. She is 77 now and lives alone. She is in great health and we are so lucky to have her like that but it must be so sad for her to sit in the house that was once full of the hustle and bustle of a loving husband and four children with only memories of what once was. I guess the reason I am writing this is because I am here in the middle of it all, raising children, making time for our marriage, friends, work and sometimes its not easy but if we manage to raise our children to feel as loved and protected as we always did I will be carrying on the great job that my parents did. I cannot ask for much more than that. We didn't have luxury holidays or meals in fancy restaurants but what we did have was an amazing father who lived just for us and a mother who is still doing just that.
Watch out for the Gingerbread recipe because its a good one.
PS: The oven is still going strong!