I’ve got a husband, five brothers and three sons and James (my Sunday name) is the most selfish of them all.
Never mind that I’d driven her and her sister up from my home in Co. Wicklow to her homestead of Co. Donegal.
Or that I was standing just feet away from my cousin when she was giving out.
On this Mothering Weekend these are our travails.
God’s (and her) Own Country
Ireland: And for my Dear Old Mum that’s Donegal where she grew up in a hotel in a rural hamlet, and holds court every time she goes back.
Of course the Donegal natives go along with her Diva-like behaviour and indulge her.
It gets us a free pot of tea every time we go back to the now renamed Ramblers Inn.
The Queen of Queens
There’s an advert which the Irish are all too familiar with where two old ones batter the heck out of each other because each wants to pay the bill.
It is quintissentially Irish and it annoys the Scottish half of me to boiling point.
Of course when my Dear Old Mum is with her own siblings and relatives her need to show her largesse goes off the scale.
And so when we went to my cousin’s wedding in Queens in New York she berated me in front of my extended familly and insisted that she pay for the pre-wedding meal.
Before bossing me around Manhattan. Well, I didn’t ask her to wear high heels.
A wee break in Scotland
And I can’t even get that.
Anyone who has been to a major golf tournament (2000! Open, St Andrews) will tell you that the queue for the Portaloos is long.
And that when you eventually get in then you will make the most of it.
Of course, too long for my Dear Old Mum, who sent a random spectator to knock on the door and ask how long I was going to be.
She obviously wanted to see Tiger.
But of course I got my own back and outran her, and jumped the Swilcen Burn with the crowd to see him lift the trophy.
Piping up: In Glasgow
One of my favourite trips was when I took her into her adopted city and my homestead of Glasgow to see the World Bagpipes Championships.
Another particular quirk of the Irish is to be dumbfounded that you could ever by hosted by anyone else. She, of course, wanted to pay!
And one that got away
My brother, that is who emigrated to Canada after meeting a Torontonian.
I broke the habit of a lifetime by being responsible and putting my studies before a few days in Canada to see my brother get married.
But my Dear Old Mum didn’t forget me then and brought me back a Davy Crockett type hat which became my signature look from then on in my student town of Aberdeen.