Posts Tagged ‘mother’

A hot water bottle

January 29, 2013 12 comments
Hot water bottle inside a furry cover

Hot water bottle inside a furry cover

Clive’s lymphatic fever has thankfully gone, but he’s still feeling cold at night so I’ve been getting him a hot water bottle.

Every time I do so, I find myself flooded with sensory recollections.

When we used to arrive at our holiday home in the winter as children, my mother used to prepare us each a ‘hottie’ as we called them. Other times as well, but it’s from those nights that I remember them best.

First there was the drill-like noise of water pouring from the kettle into the bottle, and the comforting smell of hot rubber.

Then a tiny clucking, gurgling sound as she squeezed the bottle to exclude the air.

I nursed my hottie all the way up the stairs.

It went into the bed before I did, creating a welcome warm patch.

I clutched it as a lifesaver before finally pushing it into the freezing depths of my bed with my feet, to lead the way.

In the morning it was useless; quite cold. But I woke up feeling as if I’d arrived in heaven.


March 7, 2012 Leave a comment


Violets are possibly my favourite flower. I never realised before how much evidence there is for this:

  • I gave the name Violet to the doll I played with most (although I didn’t like dolls much)
  • Violet is the name of the heroine in my novel ‘Queen Anne’s Lace’
  • I used to draw stylised violets all the time
  • I secretly carved a violet into a piece of old floorboard
  • My mother put violets on my birthday cake and my grandmother ate them
  • I still have the tiny bottle of violet perfume I bought at Lulworth Cove many years ago
  • I bought a cake of violet soap to give as a present but used it myself
  • I used to look for violets in the woods wherever we went in Spring
  • I thought the white violets in our orchard were literally magical

The violets in the photo were under some bark mulch and survived the snow while others perished.