14 January, 2011 / General

My mother’s Hobbs habit

Since acquiring Jack, our dog, my appearance (which was hardly Jules-Oliver-on-school-run-standard anyway) seems to have plummeted to new depths. Jack needs a walk around 7am, so I pull on yesterday’s sweater over my pyjamas – to clarify, they’re stretchy back lounge pant things, and not pastel pink and white stripes – and out I go. I come back all muddy and damp, get through the kids’ breakfast routine, then sit down to work. One of the good things about working from home is the lack of dress code. You can sit there, bashing the keyboard, covered in hair and filth with an unwashed face.

At the same time, my 75 year-old mother’s standard of attire has soared to new heights. Last time I was in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street, I paused to glance in through Hobbs’ window, drooled a little, felt a mild longing in the pit of my belly and swiftly moved on. Last time Mum ventured to Glasgow, she returned with fitted trousers, a gorgeous wrap dress and an elegant skirt, all Hobbs. How come Hobbs has disappeared from my life – apart from in a window-salivating sense – at precisely the same time that my mother has embraced it wholeheartedly, like some new-found religion? ‘Do you like it?’ she asked, holding the skirt against herself which I admired from her sofa. Of course I did. It was lovely. I also felt like a ‘before’ picture in a magazine make-over where the caption reads, ‘Fiona desperately needed our help.’

Then I asked Mum if I could possibly use her bathroom scales, as I was still feeling stuffed with turkey and stuffing and Christmas pud, even though it was almost mid-January. ‘Sure!’ she said, scampering upstairs after me. I hopped on, prepared for the worst. Mum was still clutching her fancy new skirt. ‘Oh look!’ she exclaimed. ‘You weigh more than me now.’

Before Mum goes on holiday, she plans to revisit Glasgow for ‘a few extra bits’ and to have her hair cut and blow dried. Top of my must-buy list is some Nitromors Stripper to get some spilt gloss paint off my son’s bedroom floor.



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