Who Says Soul Only Has One Colour?

As some of you already may know my Mum, God bless her, has some random taste when it comes to colour co-ordination. She simply ignores all the usual rules “Red & green should never be seen except upon an Irish Fairy Queen” and “Brown and Blue will never do”.

These days, it’s not as much a big problem as when we were younger and she selected our wardrobes, however, it’s fair to say that we have been dressed in some very questionable outfits. In fact as children, my mother insisted that we were clothed identically right up until we were about eleven; although some may tell you, that’s a habit we still haven’t grown out of. benji boo 3 In fact, I can confide in you that my sister still emulates my style by regularly sneaking out to buy the exact same outfit that I have, albeit in a different colour. Yeah you’re so busted Beverley Big Pants, don’t you know there can be only one!

My mother could have kept an entire polyester mill in profit with the dubious outfits that we were forced to wear over the years. Once my sister snitched on me, for refusing to wear a particularly hideous ensemble. Subsequently, my Dad gave me a lecture on how there were children all over the world who would be grateful for these clothes. I advised my Dad to parcel them up and forward them on to the children in need. Suppressing a smile at my eight year old candour but nevertheless prompted by my mother’s outrage, he suggested I stay in bed and reflect on this matter. A little while later, he brought me a glass of hot Ribena (another of his famous comfort foods along with the banana sandwiches), no doubt as a gesture of solidarity as he too had been forced to wear one of my mother’s homemade knitted jumpers, in a colour one can only describe as radio-active. Frankly, it was a miracle that air traffic control hadn’t reported him as a hazard to low flying aircraft in the area.

I love F.A.D the best

I love F.A.D the best

The fact that he actually wore it in public, has led me to question whether mental instability is hereditary. Nowadays, it’s final resting place is in one of the cat’s baskets; Hobo ain’t fussy what he sleeps on and may possibly be colour blind as well. Result! A win-win situation all around.

On another occasion my mother bought my sister and myself matching fleeces from a national chain of mill shops; which advertise in the Saga Over 60’s magazine. My sister’s sported a picture of a Yorkshire terrier, similar to her little pooch Benji Boo, complete with the same hairstyle as his owner and stick-on tartan bow! Mine was a black cat with a stick-on tartan collar – just shoot me now! And the woman wonders why I was jilted! It goes without saying that Hobo is never going to be short of bedding whilst my mother is alive and shopping in Lidl.

Fortuitously, as I have been very vocal in my views on my mother’s choice of knitwear, I have achieved “ungrateful and difficult to please” status and said fashion items are no longer forthcoming. My sister, however, has not been quite so fortunate and as my mother has promised her something “unique” this year, she may want to resign herself to a life of singledom.

Benji Boo

Benji Boo

56 thoughts on “Who Says Soul Only Has One Colour?

  1. Oh dear…. one more thing we seem to have in common, except my mum would sew the most hideous outfits. Can’t imagine how we survived such stuff. No wonder you needed rainbows! That’s just where some of them colors belong! 🙂

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  2. My childhood wardrobe consisted of hand-me-downs from the neighbours and stuff mum either sewed or knitted (that’s growing up rurally in the 70s for you) – the odds I’d be able to successfully dress myself later in life were kinda stacked against me.

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  3. your mum obviously shared knitting patterns with my mum and went to the same dress parties do you remember those a bit like tupperware parties for clothes where they had several styles then you picked the fabric I was always in blue while my two sisters were in pink

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  4. I think I must be grateful to my lake of gratitude and my ‘wrong headedness’ as a child. I suspect I must also be grateful to the age I was born into, from the time I was about 10 onward I mostly wore jeans or hippie wear. My poor mother, while gnashing her teeth could do nothing with me.

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  5. I am so glad I was the only girl..not that my mother was beyond dressing me like a boy (preferable actually) but she was one of those rebel mothers of her day…she had a job! horror! Anyway, great story Tink…and you could always advertise on ebay ‘custom made dog bedding’ if the pile gets too high! xoxo

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  6. The things mothers make us endure, you were right to show resistance tho.
    My mother only once dressed up my brother and I the same, it was to please my grandma who has given us the “cute” handmade outfit, bless her soul.

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  7. Wish you hadn’t posted this, it’s bringing back the most horrifying memories! Luckily my mother hated shopping almost as much as me but being brought up in a rural community the choices were very limited. Cringemaking 😉

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  8. Love your blog! Been following for a while, and I can only say I would love to spend an evening with you and your family! Will you continue the honeymoon story soon?

    Please stop by my blog anytime xx

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    • Oh bless your heart – never a dull moment in my house! Funnily enough I’m going to be running some posts about how it all started ie. when serial shagging Simon got caught out later this week which of course, will feature my ever loving family! Think I may call it “in the beginning” and then will continue on with the honeymoon series which I’ve put to one side since I got back to the UK because (a) I was too sad to write and (b) I’m back working nightshift with the evil queen! Going to pop over and have a look at yours now as I’m feeling much more like reading today than writing! Thank you for your kind words – it means a lot!

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  9. I was hoping for some photographic evidence of your mum’s wardrobe selection for you and your sis, haha! I got to wear my older cousins’ 70’s hand-me-downs… in the 80’s, lol.

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  10. Luckily my mom never knit clothes for my sister and me. We did get a lot of matching outfits when we were young, up until I was about 9 or 10. My sister also had to suffer my hand me downs up until high school and she was very vocal about the fact that I always got new clothes and all she got was a pile of clothing that no longer fit me. Whenever we came home with new clothes for me, she would get all in a tizzy and scream, “What about me, what about me, what about MEEEEE???”

    A few years ago, my parents finally visited Ireland (my mother has Irish ancestry and had been begging to go for years) and my mother decided to buy my sister and me “traditional Irish cable knit sweaters.” While the thought was nice, the sweater was not. It’s this lumpy, shapeless, bulky thing that doesn’t fit me right. When I first got it, I kid you not, it smelled like it was straight off the farm! Now that it has been through the washing machine a few times, it smells fine. I only wear it inside the house or when I go skiing. I understand fashion is not important when you live on a farm and I am by no means a fashion forward person. But even I wouldn’t be caught dead in public wearing this sweater just for kicks!

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    • I’m still laughing at this one as my mum once bought my sister and her entire family matching arran cable knit sweaters ( yay – I got perfume that year) – they were ridiculous and they are so bulky even Heidi Klum couldn’t look good in one! But big brownie points to you that you even wear it around the house!

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  11. Mmm, hot ribena – did you think I should try it out on my kids? My mother who would look at a pretty dress in a shop and declare that she could make it for half the price. I had a black velvet dress with a (choking) peter pan collar that she made me that was particularly hideous! How I longed for something shop-bought. I think I’m still the difficult-to-please daughter.

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  12. You have ‘usual’ color rules? Seems very complicated, I have never been aware of these rules and I have to say ignorance is bliss 🙂
    So on the color rules I’d have to go with your mom, but yeah, there is a thing called style and she may not have that one down yet. Hopefully practice makes perfect? 🙂

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  13. Oh my gosh! I can relate so well to this. I remember one Christmas my mother bought me a hideous sweater with a giant flower on the front, and that was my only gift! When I gently suggested I hoped to return it for something else, as it clearly just “wasn’t me,” she told me it was a final sale item and couldn’t be returned. Not only bad taste but cheap as well. I was so angry, and hurt!!

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  14. Oh yes, despite being hilarious, this is terrifyingly familiar territory for me. My entire life, my aunt has been giving me wearable & decor gifts in all shades of orange. Of all the childhood treasures kept for me, was a hideous orange & brown suit Dad had specially tailored for me to wear to a wedding when I was 9. 30 plus years later I was presented with it, as a keepsake… for Gods sake. I still can’t contemplate the resurgence in popularity of corduroy, have spent far too much of my childhood dressed in various brown shades of it. What’s the saying? “What doesn’t kill you makes you stonger”… These days I wear a lot of black 😉

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  15. Another reason to love your dad: he brings you banana sandwiches (comfort food; Americans think I’m crazy, but then they eat jam and peanut butter on eggs, so who’s the crazy one, huh?).
    I loved that you described the sweater color as radioactive. So funny.

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