Posted in Books, Life and Family, My Cats

The Trials of Moving in with Mother

Coffee tastes better with salty food! Is it just me? I like my coffee slightly sweet but not too much, and I’ve heard melon has more zing if you put a little salt on along with the sugar. We used to put salt on our porridge as well as sugar; our cousins thought that was a horrible idea.

Maybe it’s just us, then.

Yesterday I was taking more stuff to the charity shops. I was positively cheerful as I climbed in the car, and said, “goodbye to Thomas Hardy!”
“You should chuck him out,” responded Mum. “Nobody will want him.”
“What?” I said, horrified – “students will want him. I think.”
“Naaaah,” said Mum.


The cats are unsettled by the uncanny way this house has of getting emptier. Every time I start filling bags, Sharky races out of the house with his tail in the air. I wonder if he worries that one day I will leave the house with a final trolleyful of goods and never return; and they will have to drink from puddles and eat snails, and sleep in the cold darkness of a silent house.

They’ve lost their appetites.

Sharky has clambered onto the sofa with me. I was supposed to ditch my sofa – but won the battle to take it with me. I’ll have it upstairs in a sitting room of my own, so that, when we fall out, Mum can brood over her TV set while I brood over mine.


Mothers being mothers (and daughters being daughters), the moving and redecorating isn’t without certain hitches and glitches.

“You can have everything just the way YOU want,” says Mum, both generously and admonishingly.
“Why did you put the books there? All books must go up in the loft!”
“All MY books are in the loft.”

Hmm, well, fair enough. She’s had to make room for me. [Removes books from bookcase. Carries bookcase to the foot of the loft ladder].
“Where are you taking THAT?”
“Up in the loft…?”
“Why? We need it down here.”
“You can put all your bears in it.”
“But it’s a BOOKcase. Where the books go, IT goes.”
Mum recognizes from tone of voice that Diddums has dug her heels in.

I can have my bookcase (with books in it), but in a different corner of the room. Still, the next time she says, with a patient sigh, “don’t ask me; YOU put it the way YOU want it,” I’ll laugh, cry, and collapse in a twitching heap.

Edit March 2008: Comments to this post when it was on the old site:

1. Timorous Beastie wrote at Mar 1, 2007 at 14:41:
I like my porridge with salt too. I admire your bravery, moving in with your mum. Good luck with the move.

2. Pacian wrote at Mar 1, 2007 at 22:34:
Good luck with moving both yourself and your belongings! 🙂



I live in the UK with two cats -- Samson and Delilah.

3 thoughts on “The Trials of Moving in with Mother

  1. I’m not sure I could move in with my Mum…she is a neat freak and I wouldn’t be able to find anything…:)
    I think it would be like getting married or moving in with someone. Jay and I purposely moved to a new place when we moved in together so we could unpack things together and not try and squish in our things around someone each others. It sort of worked…although we both have a few things the other really hates tucked away in our own “rooms”. I love having my own mad scientist room where I can leave my stuff out…not everyone appreciates my scientist action figures like I do 🙂

  2. Sometimes I’m not sure what belongs to whom – only yesterday I gave Mum a shirt saying she had one, and I had one, and because I couldn’t tell them apart any more, she could have both. And most of the books are sort of ‘ours’ now. She certainly ditches quite a few without asking…

  3. Geosomin’s words suddenly hit her. Scientist action figures? Do they look like Steve Austin in a white coat?

    Urgh – cat pong is hitting! (Runs for the scoops).

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