Sunday, 17 July 2016

Pat, the party girl and Liz, the dancing queen

It's true what they say, I am turning into my mother. My daughter always points out that I could be turning into somebody less attractive, less likeable. It was anniversary of my mother's death this week and I went to her grave to leave her a claret coloured rose. She loved flowers but she once had a gardener who was addicted to fuschias and he put hanging baskets everywhere. She cursed him as the summer went on and she went around watering the damned things every day.
My mother unfortunately was a lot better looking than I am, I have the broad flat face of the Gills and my mother was Irish looking, we have Irish ancestry, so much so that when she was born her dad said, 'What a little Pat,' and she remained Pat all her life even though she was christened Bertha Anne. She had waving black hair and keen blue eyes whereas I have brown hair and green eyes, just like my dad.  It was like the old song, 'your Daddy's rich and your Mamma's good looking', we were lucky that way. I blame my mother, if she'd given me a hideous childhood I would have been a better writer but the trouble was that we had such a good childhood the rest of my life hasn't really lived up to it and I go around grumpy and resentful, that I don't have a rich respected husband, a beautiful house with lots of help and I can remember when my parents went to dinner dances, my father wore tails and black patent leather shoes and my mother wore glorious glittering dresses.
Those were the days. People don't dress up nowadays. I do. I find it fun to wear pretty dresses and coloured shoes and if I stick out from the rest well, all the better. It was good for my  mother and it's good for me.
My mother was a party girl. Her favourite saying was, 'Let's have a party.' She loved gin and tonic, she smoked cigarettes in the evenings and would sit on a bar stool or lean against the edge of the bar and I can remember my Dad winking at her from across the other end of the bar.
She got her own car when I was quite small. It was green. I don't remember my father ever driving it. It was hers alone.
One of the things I hate about my life is that for years now I haven't been able to go dancing. Like my parents I love to dance. Nobody dances any more, nobody dresses up, nobody drinks gin. It's all about giving up things and keeping fit and my God, it's dull.
There aren't many things that used to be better, I know that, but things like dinner dances, drinking, getting dressed up and all those beautiful cars are several things that didn't improve. What a sorry lot we are, going to the gym and drinking green smoothies.
I suppose that if you go through a world war you don't worry too much about dying, your priorities are not about living forever and being nine stone when you're seventy. To my wonderful mother each day was a party and lived her eighty five years like that. My God, I miss her.

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