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Mothering Sunday


I would like to wish you all, wherever you are, and whether a mother yourself, or a daughter, or a grandmother, a very Happy Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday falls on the 4th Sunday in Lent when, traditionally, mothers receive presents from their children.  It is also called Mother’s Day but as someone, in a letter in The Sunday Telegraph today says, as Mothering Sunday can only fall on a Sunday we should be calling it by its traditional name, unlike Easter Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, which can fall on any day of the week.  Let us start now and drop forever the term Mother’s Day and bring back Mothering Sunday.

The plate above shows some pretty butterfly biscuits which our little grandson made for me (with some help from his mummy!) and husband and I will share these later this afternoon with cups of tea.  Elder son, our daughter in law and grandson also brought me a lovely bunch of flowers in pretty spring colours and they are now on the breakfast table.

Younger son is unable to see us today but he phoned me to wish me Happy Mothering Sunday.  Our other daughter in law does a local radio music programme on the 2nd Sunday in each month and she was away doing that so as they share transport, he was unable to come over.  But I never worry about such things, we see them both regularly, and Barry-the-dog, of course!

I had a lazy start to the day – husband heated up a lovely all-butter croissant which we bought in Waitrose yesterday and I enjoyed that with blackcurrant jam and coffee while still in bed (reading the 3rd in the Seven Sisters books by Lucinda Riley, The Shadow Sister).  Mid-morning, elder son, daughter in law, and grandson came to see us and that is when they gave me the flowers, a pretty card and the biscuits.

Eventually, I made a rather late lunch, something nice and easy today, a chicken curry, followed by black cherries and a dash of low-fat double cream (if that isn’t a contradiction in terms I don’t know what is!)

I don’t know how to make curry or a stew or a casserole look appetizing on a photograph (it always looks like tinned pet food to me!)  This is the best I can manage!  But it tasted good!  Perhaps next time I will use a metal ring and put the rice into that, as they do in restaurants, so that it forms a circular mound, with perhaps chopped mint on top!

And a very simple dessert of tinned pitted black cherries and, as I say, low-fat double cream. (We will use the remainder of the tin of black cherries with other fruits for our breakfasts this week – tinned lychees, and fresh raspberries, bananas and pears.)

After I tidied the kitchen and filled the dishwasher (although I don’t put our pretty 1930s dinner service plates into the machine, it would soon remove the design) I made a cup of tea and switched on the television and an old black and white movie was being shown (I missed the first 1/2 hr but soon caught up, it wasn’t too mind-stretching!) Laura, made in 1944.

The Radio Times states that it’s a Film Noir film (well, it is in black and white, ha ha!) and goes on to say:

” ‘I shall never forget the night Laura died …’ begins the narrator and neither will you.  This taut romantic mystery, in which New York detective Dana Andrews falls in love with an image encapsulates what film noir is all about.  Otto Preminger’s moody, stark direction is greatly helped by the casting of beautiful Gene Tierney in the title role, Vincent Price as a smarmy gigolo, and the incomparable Clifton Webb as columnist Waldo Lydecker.  It’s a rattling good thriller and bears watching time and time again.” 

The Radio Times gives it a 5* rating, the highest it can give. I imagine that when this film was made in 1944 it was a good film, but now, to me, it seems rather dated and the acting wooden.  But I have to appreciate that the cameras didn’t move around as they do today, so actors had to be static much of the time.  Unfortunately, it is impossible not look at these things with anything but 21st century eyes.  However, although it would’ve lost that traditional film noir ‘look’ had it been filmed in colour, how I’d have loved to have seen the sumptuous rooms in this film in colour, particularly the glorious bedroom that was Laura’s and which was something to behold!

But how lovely to sit and watch an old movie (husband was working on a project in the garage) with a cup of tea and slice of home-made fruit cake, on a dull and distinctly chilly Sunday afternoon.

Enjoying the film, Laura (1944) while having tea and fruit cake

Happy Mothering Sunday,

Until next time.

About Margaret Powling

Margaret Powling
Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

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  1. simpleliving31.blogspot.co.uk

    Happy Mothering Sunday, glad you have had a lovely relaxing day.

  2. Happy Mothering Sunday to you, Margaret. I have not heard of this day until hearing it from you. Here in the U.S. we have Mother’s Day. It is always a Sunday and it is always in May, on the second Sunday. I have enjoyed the movie, Laura, in the past – more than once. I do like old movies.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, Jeannine, Mothering Sunday is when young girls who were in service (scullery maids, house maids, etc) were allowed to go home to their mothers with posies of flowers on Mothering Sunday. Mother’s Day is much the same, but in England it was always known, until recent times, as Mothering Sunday and I’d like to see the old name returned.
      Yes, old movies are often good to watch.

  3. A belated Happy Mothering Sunday, Margaret. I can never work out time differences so perhaps I’m not late 🙂

    Those biscuits look lovely. I wonder how many your grandson sampled before final approval ha ha. I used to enjoy licking the bowl and spoon as a child. Waiting for items to cool before hey could be iced seemed to take an eternity. In Australia we celebrate ‘Mothers Day’ on the second Sunday in May. Mum and I celebrate by doing something together like going out for breakfast in a cafe. It can be a difficult day for those who no longer have their mothers or who were unable to be mothers themselves. It’s lovely that you were able to enjoy a visit from your family.

    I enjoy watching old movies. The fashions and hairstyles are often the best part for me. The ‘special effects’ can be cheesey by today’s standards – one that springs to mind is ‘The Birds’ by Alfred Hitchcock – but it’s unfair to make that comparison. The other thing I often notice is that there is often so much smoking – something you never see in modern films. Watching old films on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea sounds a lovely way to round off a weekend. Your lounge room always looks so inviting.


    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Lara, and you are OK, it’s still Mothering Sunday here in the UK, indeed it’s just gone 10pm. Yes, the biscuits were very nice indeed, he was so delighted to have done them and came rushing in with them in a box for me. Yes, Mother’s Day is celebrated in different countries on different days, but ours is the 4th Sunday in Lent, so is a moveable feast so to speak. What a lovely idea to go somewhere with your mother on your Mother’s Day which you have still to look forward to. Yes, I always think of those who don’t have children, but as I said, my good wishes were for mothers, daughters and grandmothers, so that included all women, I think because if we weren’t a mother, we were a daughter.
      Yes, the fashions and hairstyles in old movies are great to see, such as those wonderful clothes that were worn by Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. And yes, all that smoking! Thank you for saying our sitting room always looks inviting. It certainly was for me this afternoon, I had lots of jobs that needed doing, but the old movie and a cup of tea and a slice of cake were much the better option!

  4. From one Margaret to another Happy Mothering Sunday,I also had a lovely bunch of flowers from my daughter and lunch out.My eldest son lives in Scotland and my middle son was flying home from holiday but they did send me lovely cards.I wholeheartedly agree with Mothering Sunday and I feel mother’s day came across the pond from America! We need to keep our own traditions and not inherit others! Have just watched “call the midwife”last of the series.Enjoying a cup of camomile and two squares of green and blacks to the end of an evening. Take care.Margaret.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Margaret, for your good wishes and how lovely to go out to lunch, too. Yes, I think that we imported Mother’s Day and there has been comment in the paper that some cards were printed with the words “Mom’s Day” on them, which to us in the UK is unacceptable, as this is American. Nothing wrong with having “Mom’s Day” in America, but here in the UK it’s Mother’s Day or, as I would prefer, Mothering Sunday.
      It was the last in the current series of Endeavour, too, and it was wonderful, a really moving episode. We will really miss it, it’s one of the best things on TV at the moment. Well, it was one of the best things on TV, it’s now finished but we’ve been told that it will return next year.

  5. Happy Mothering Sunday to you Margaret and all Mum’s who are reading this.
    In the US we have our Mothers Day in May.
    What a pleasant day you had, thank you for sharing.
    How lovely that your family are close by, that is such a blessing.
    Pam in Texas.x

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you, Pam and I hope you have had a happy Mother’s Day in Texas. Yes, it is great that our sons both live close by, one only 100 yards away and the other only seven or eight miles away. We will be visiting younger son this morning, and it’s a pleasant drive there – we have the choice of a new by-pass route, or driving around the coast, with great views of the sea (you would call it the ocean, we call it the sea.)

  6. Belated Mothering Sunday greetings to you, Margaret.
    When I do those long walks with the dog, walking along well worn tracks through fields, between villages, I often think about servant girls scurrying along those very tracks, on their way home to spend a few precious hours with their mother and siblings.
    We rarely watch television during the day, but on those rare occasions when we do indulge in a daytime film, I must say that we both thoroughly enjoy it, I’m glad you enjoyed your afternoon.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you for your Mothering Sunday greetings, Elaine, and yes, I also reflected on those servant girls who had so little time of their own, visiting their mothers on Mothering Sunday. I tend to watch about 3/4 hr TV in the afternoon, usually Escape to the Country, as this makes me sit down with a cup of tea – by then I need both!

  7. It is Easter Sunday, not Easter Day, and def. Mothering Sunday, I think the other name is some ghastly American invention, enough said.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I stand corrected, Edna, regarding Easter Day being Easter Sunday. However, Americans have their own celebration of Mother’s Day, as do Australians and New Zealanders; I am sorry that you think it a “ghastly American invention”. Even if invented (for all such celebrations had to be ‘invented’) it was an invention for the good as it celebrates our mothers. We share a common love of mothers and family even if we do not all use the same words to express them.

  8. Mary-Louise Mielcarz

    Hello Margaret,

    Your chicken curry looks delicious to me. We are expecting a blizzard here in Boston and your curry would be the perfect snowed in meal. Could you share your recipe?

    Regards, Mary-Louise

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Oh, my goodness, Mary-Louise, a blizzard! I hope you won’t, as many experienced here when we had a blizzard the weekend before last, any power cuts. Keep warm, keep safe.
      I’m glad you think my curry looked delicious. It was very tasty! Yes, I will write my recipe for this for my next post. It is very easy, using left-over cooked chicken from the roast chicken we had a day or two previously.

  9. As a child I always had to call it Mothering Sunday and go to church on the day. We were usually given something like a daffodil to give to our mothers, but it was often my mum who was handing out the daffodils so I gave it back to her later! My children call it Mother’s Day and I don’t really have a problem with it but it IS a religious occasion so I do think it’s nice to stick with the proper name.
    I don’t automatically find Americanisms ghastly, as Edna suggests. Such names become absorbed into our culture only because we allow them to. If enough people want it, it will happen. However, we are all free to refer to it as we wish.

    I haven’t seen low fat double cream? Where did you buy it?

    I love those little butterfly biscuits. Well done little grandson!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      How lovely that that tradition, of the church providing flowers for children to take to their mothers was still taking place, Eloise. Yes, I like to keep the traditional name if possible. I just don’t want it to be called “Mom’s Day” although there are greater things in life to fret about; but in the UK we call our mothers “Mum” or “Mummy” and not “Mom” or “Mommy” (the exception being areas of the Midlands, where they refer to Mom, but it could be their pronunciation of the word rather than using the American diminutive for ‘mother’.)
      Yes, if people use a word long and often enough it will become acceptable. I’ve read recently that the word “toilet” is now acceptable for the loo/lavatory, whereas only a few years ago certain people (myself included!) would be sniffy (no pun intended!) about this word, it being very declasse.
      I bought the low-fat double cream (a thick double-cream) in Waitrose. It’s lovely on fruit or to add a dollop to cream of tomato and courgette soup to make it a ‘cream’ soup.

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