My family are the centre of my world. They have been there through thick and thin, from my first swimming lessons to my move to Swindon. There was the time I baked a fruit loaf (“Alice that’s a brick”), the time I went through my side-fringe phase (“we were so relived when you got rid of that, it never suited you”) and this one time when I was six:
“Mum, India and I were playing builders and plumbers…” (side note, ‘builders and plumbers’? One for the feminists right there) “…and my arm really hurts”
“I’m sure it’s nothing dear, just a sprain.”
“Ow! Ow! Mum my arm still really hurts!”
“Fine! we’ll go to a doctor about it.”
“Your daughter has broken her arm.”
That aside they have supported me more than any daughter could expect. When my secondary school told me I wasn’t ‘academically able’ to even aspire to a Russell group University my family stuck by me and helped me turn statistical predictions of CCC into real grades of AAB. Tears, exhaustion and, finally, joy. Getting into Southampton changed my life and I have my family to thank for it.
Ok, so have you got the point about how key my family is to me? Good, I can stop centring this text now.
So, in homage to them, I will be writing a post on each of my close family. Given their importance to me I guess I should have done these posts sooner, but then explaining my housemates kinda took over in importance due to the blog title. I mean, “My Mother Is a Retired Part Time Teacher” didn’t really spring to mind during the 30 seconds it took to decide on a blog title.
Any who, here goes. Where better to start than with my dear mother, alias Lynn, alias Mumma, Bennett…
(Mumma Bennett and a Greek waiter. If she’d not been constricted by British values she’d have probably hit him for embarrassing her in the restaurant.)
The best way to sum up my mum is to picture Mrs Bennet. No, not my actual mum, but Mrs Bennet from the higher popular (God knows why) novel, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Mrs Bennet by name and nature, mum love to fret over things, especially her two daughters. She dispares that the pair of us will never find boyfriends or, long term, suitable middle-class husbands. Every weekend is spent with her asking me if there is anyone on the scene, and every weekend she’ll let out a little sigh when I say no. I’ll come back from a social evening out and the next day I’ll be asked “were there any nice guys there?” “Mum!!” “What?! I’m just asking!” She may not be as bad as Miranda’s mum from the BBC sitcom who tries any and every attempt to pair off her daughter, but give it a year and I’m sure we’ll be there.
Actually, take that back, having watched that clip I’ve decided she is Miranda’s Mum.
My mum is the head of the household. Dad may like to think that he rules the roost, but if it wasn’t for mum dad would be ruling more of a pig sty than a roost. A pessimist by nature, she is the force that keeps Mr Bennett from undergoing some of his wacky ideas, and believes that if a panoramic view is really worth seeing you won’t have to climb up narrow steps because it’ll be on an interpretation board at ground level. Winding Asian con-callers up is another one of her many skills:
“What can you see on your online banking screen madam?”
“I can see a frog”
“What sorry? A fr-og?”
“Yes, and it’s dancing. A dancing frog!”
“I’m sorry madam, I don’t understand. Can you go back a screen?”
“There’s now a rabbit on the screen. It’s smiling at me.”
“Please click refresh madam.”
“Oops now the screen is black. Oh well, this was fun, bye!”
When she’s not winding me or half of Asia up with her comments she’s running around fretting over something or someone. In Summer 2011 it was four months of “oh I hope you get into Southampton, don’t you?” “Yes mum, this time and the time you mentioned it this morning, half and hour ago and the 500 times before that.”
Spring 2014: “I hope you get this job with English Heritage, don’t you?” “Yes mum, although it’s been over a week now and I’ve still heard nothing.” “Yes, but I still hope you get it. Check you emails again!”
Summer 2014: “I hope India gets into Cardiff, don’t you?” “The weather is lovely today, don’t you think?”
We’re currently in a lull because India and I are happy and stable where we are, which bizarrely frustrates her because there’s nothing to worry about. This is probably why the boyfriend topic is making a come-back. Poor guy, if and when I do find someone she’s going to stalk them to oblivion “Show me a picture. What does he do? What did he study and where?” She does this with my current friends and I doubt she’ll ease off for any partner of mine or India’s.
Photo wise there’s always very few of her. Like me, she believes the camera is her mortal enemy and therefore prefers to act as photographer rather than model. That said, none of the Bennett clan are about to be Britain’s next top model and when forced into it she can put up with the odd photo:
For all her fretting and pesamism though, mum is one of the key rocks that keep our family strong. If you can tolerate Deal or No Deal and have a special place in your heart for Kirsty Allsop and Phil Spencer (Phil on his own is ok. but anything where Kirsty is on her own is the work of the Devil) then odds are you’ll get on. Do you like tea? If you didn’t before you met mumma Bennett you certainly will after a day with her.
So that’s mum. More on my other family members to follow.
To be continued…
Oh, mum also does this indescribable movement that’s half walk/half run and does it up and down the house. She also randomly jumps up and down in the kitchen from time to time. No one knows when these random actions started or why she does them, but it’s her thing. I wasn’t really sure where I could fit this nugget of information in, but I felt compelled to say it.
3 thoughts on ““You’ve started a blog. That’s nice, but can you actually earn any money from it?” Mother Bennett”
This is a really sweet portrait of your mom.
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Thanks Jay, mumma Bennett disagrees with such comments (of course) but I’m glad others feel I’ve summed her up well.
Oh my god I’ve found her and she hasn’t changed a bit! Still as lovely as she was in 1979.
My name is Mair and I’d love to have a cup of tea with her. Please ask her to look at the message I sent you on your face book page