Mum Talk: Messages from our mothers

In celebration of Mother’s Day, it seemed only natural to turn to our most loyal fans and generous patrons: our mums. As we grow older the adage that ‘mum knows best’ only rings truer and truer. So, with a postcard penned by Sabira Khakoo and some life hacks from Pauline Grady, we turn to them for a dose of scintillating wisdom and love that only mothers know how to give.

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The Cottage

Orley Farm

26/3/17

When Alina asked me to write a small something for mother’s day all I could picture was this painting of the Mexican woman hugging a whole bunch of trumpet lillies.

To me, each of you represents a stalk of this lily. Sturdy and forthright yet stunning as a collection.

I wish each of you an enormous motherly hug and lots of luck and prosperity in your life.

Cambridge Girl Talk Mama

Sabira Khakoo xx

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11 Things I’ve Learned, by Pauline Grady

  • If you are confident you don’t need to be noisy and rowdy. The loud people are often the ones who lack confidence. It is better to have sufficient self-belief that you can operate with the world in a calm and measured way.
  • Always trust your instincts. They aren’t random but your mind quickly making judgments as it processes past experiences.
  • Being cool means nothing. It’s easy to wear the right clothes and listen to the right music. The people who don’t bother with all that usually have more to say and are probably more worthwhile investing time in.
  • Despite everything going on, the times you’re living in are the best of times. People look back on things and say they were better, but they weren’t. Appreciate how far things like equality have moved forward in such a short space of time.
  • Be careful about what you throw away. Album covers are now collectors items, letters your friends send you, newspaper cuttings, shopping lists. Less is always more though.
  • Rituals are so important. Invent them as you go through life. Have things you do every year.
  • Find out about your ancestry before your mother is old and senile. Ask your grandparents about their childhood. Write down your mother’s recipes.
  • Become an expert at one thing. It could be really mundane like knitting or gardening. But just have an encyclopedic knowledge about it – it’s a great party trick. I can answer any question about Anne Boleyn.
  • Keep in touch with friends.
  • In my eyes you will always be three years old. I will never stop feeling responsible for you and checking you are okay. A mother can only ever be as happy as her least happy child.
  • You can teach me as much as I can teach you.
    Thank you to Pauline Grady (left) and Sabira Khakoo (right) for agreeing to help with this article (and for being the best mums in the world).

(Main image: Diego Rivera, The Lily Seller, 1942 from the front of Sabira’s postcard)

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