Trafalgar day

I was slowly coming to this morning and some burbling correspondent on the radio said it was Trafalgar Day. This celebrates Nelson’s victory in 1805 at the eponymous battle when there seems to have been a fair bit of man love going around what with ‘Kiss me Hardy’ being the catch phrase de jour (note: now the Archaeologist is back with us, having survived death by a thousand router wires courtesy of BT, he will correct all historical inaccuracies here – I could attach a wiki link but frankly he’ll be more comprehensive and accurate – just glance in the comments, people).

So a big day all round for lovers of cannon and derring-do on the high seas. It also happens to be the 90 anniversary of my mother’s birth. And it sort of bums me out that I needed a goon on the radio to give me the nudge to remember that. Both mum’s and dad’s birthdays are celebrated days here – dad’s is Armistice Day – but I invariably see his coming and have a little reminisce. Not so with Mum, it seems.


Which is a bugger because as time passes I can see a lot more that I gained from her in her quiet ways than I appreciated at the time.

She was a firm advocate of the Maya Angelou school of resilience

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t moan.

She didn’t ever hector to get her point across. She never shouted. She used a rigorous logic to debate her point and knew what to do when she was arguing with a brick wall – it hurts you more than the wall to keep hitting you head against it.

She enjoyed other’s pleasures so much that seeing others happy made her happy. She never sought the limelight but ensured it fell on others to show them to their best advantage.

Best of all ‘can’t’ wasn’t a word in her vocabulary. Back in the 70s we weren’t well off. Not poor but no fripperies. But that didn’t stop her. As a teenager I wanted to have my own clothes, but affording anything fashionable was a no no. So she made them for me.

My friends at the time will tell you I was a fashion disaster but the choice of style and cloth were mine, the craftsmanship hers.

97100002 (2)

see, those trousers were cool.

She fixed the car exhaust when it blew and was under the bonnet with dad’s best friend trying to learn from him what to do to keep the family Ford on the road.

And she never embarrassed me (well apart when she had me steal for her but that’s in another post) but rather went out of her way to see things from my point of view – something my father would never have attempted.

So to mothers everywhere, thank you for the unquestioning support you give those around you. Today is my Mother’s Day and I hope it is a good one.


About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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28 Responses to Trafalgar day

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    I can see your mother in you, Geoffle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pretty glamorous, indeed

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lucciagray says:

    Having a sensible and understanding mother in the 60s and 70s is something not many can claim, at least not many I know, including myself, so Congratulations! Your mother sounds wonderful, and beautiful. Great hair!
    There was a really big generation crater in most families! Fortunately, today there’s just a little gap 🙂 How did we learn to do that? Talk about the value of negative evidence…

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      There is something about reaching maturity pre and post the 60s revolutions that shifted the gears – and the advent of teenage empowerment, initially as a spending force and latterly as opinion and cultural mood shifters that have brought the generations closer. Language music clothes food politics we all share a lot of similar tastes unlike those with parents from the 50s and before.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lucciagray says:

        I’ve just finished a novel set in the East End in Post WWI, about how people coped with trauma, daily struggles and strife. When we are taught history we learn about facts and figures, but literature tells us the real story; how people felt, coped, and survived. It’s not surprising that their outlook on life and priorities were not ours. Then came post WWII babies, and then the baby boomers. They’d say we had a cushy number, and we probably did, in comparison… I’ll be reviewing A Kiss From France tomorrow on my blog. Yours us working it’s way up my TBR pile 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        Thanks luccia. Yes they did live through extraordinary times

        Liked by 1 person

  4. gordon759 says:

    On point about mum’s tailoring ability you didn’t mention was her unerring ability to hide pins in trousers. Often in very intimate places, sometimes they were so well hidden that they escaped detection until the garment had been through several washes. Then, of course, mum would be cross that the pin was so rusty she couldn’t re-use it.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. rogershipp says:

    I admire resilience!!! A difficult skill to attain mastery!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d forgotten trafalgar day. It’s big in Gib at the Traf cemetery. I went a couple of times but it was too reminiscent of my father and his RN days.

    His mother had an October birthday. ‘You know what important date is soon?’

    Yes, he replied, Trafalgar Day …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. willowdot21 says:

    Oh!you do look like your Mum! Great post enjoyed reading it very much, love the Rupert Bear trousers…. Your friends were just jealous!…….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. noelleg44 says:

    A lovely tribute, Geof. And your Mom is quite the fashion plate. She’d be good today!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your mum looks like one of those glamorous silent movie stars. Not silent from what you say, but full of very good advice. I take my hat off to her, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anabel Marsh says:

    Your Mum shares a birthday with mine, who was 89 yesterday. I never forget it is Trafalgar Day because she always reminds me. On a sartorial note, my Mum also made me large, baggy trousers – not with checks, but they did have turn-ups. I had a friend at school who always wore checked bags, similar to those of Rupert Bear as noted above, and was known by everyone as Rupe as a result (his name was actually David). So, maybe not cool, but entirely typical trousers for the era.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Charli Mills says:

    A great lady, and one who had fashion sense. I like the plaid pants! Had a pair of my own that I wore in the 70s. Nice to be able to let the subtleties surface, too, the little details we often miss in someone we love but recognize with our own maturity.


  12. Sacha Black says:

    What an amazing woman. An inspiration to us all. And don’t u look the spitting image of her?!

    Liked by 1 person

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