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. 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.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.