First published in the Portsmouth News, 18/03/2014
Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all. The older I get, the more like my mother I become.
I tell my children that they have to eat broccoli because it is good for them. Nothing wrong there. Until I confess that, nowadays, I actually like the stuff myself.
I have also invested in a slow cooker: the oven of the middle-aged. How I once guffawed at my mother for putting an entire meal in a slow cooker at the crack of dawn, a time of day when even a glass of water made me gag. Now I find myself knuckle deep in shoulder joints whilst gaily chopping raw onions at 6.30am weekdays.
I also read the labels on food whilst shopping. I used to loathe my mother doing this. Every week we would do the food shop, and every week she would take approximately a lifetime longer than necessary due to an obsession with scanning the labels.
I find myself waxing lyrical about the likes of chia seeds, goji berries and raw chocolate. Consciouschocolate.com for example is heaven: free from dairy, soya, gluten and refined sugar. Practically calorie free, no? I try to tempt the children with chocolate covered rice cakes instead of doughnuts, and they look at me as though I have proffered a dog poo.
Another thing I am noticing is that I, like my mother, now moan about the length of dressing gown sleeves: they get in the way of my domestic duties. I even invested in a dressing gown with a zip and not a tie, known affectionately by my husband as The Purple Spotted Shroud. Sadly the zip broke at neck level recently, leaving me naked, trapped at the head, and having to cut myself out.
I have even started wearing vests. (I’m really selling myself, I know.) I have not yet graduated to thermals, but at this time of year I ensure that I have a vest top underneath a jumper. To put this in perspective, I used to leave the house in an LBD, heels, and not much else in the dead of winter. Now my thumb aches if the weather is cold. Why, why?
My friends and I recently met for coffee and, clearly a bit high on the caffeine, mooted the concept of an evening jaunt. “Out?” said one. “What, at night?” said the other. “Maybe just the cinema?” said I.
Bingo it is then.