So when I was about 7 or 8 years old I moved down to the south of England. I’m grateful for this for many reasons the main one being that I didn’t cultivate the northern accent for too long!

On moving day the little old lady across the road brought over 2 spider plants. They were for me and my brother. This was very kind and also random! I mean there was a truck that was too big. My mum had the same attitude to this that she has to entertaining.

Mum… What if there isn’t enough food?

Me… Carrying sixteen shopping bags… I think it will be okay.

Mum… Do you think I should go back in and get more cream or ice cream or both?

Me…. Hmmmm no.

You get the idea.

So with the truck quarter full we waved it off while cramming ourselves into the car with the cat and the spider plants.

The spider plants were probably a shit. Y’know shifting around and spilling soil along with 2 wailing kids and a cat that meowed all the way. I mean all the way. I was young but had a certain respect for that cats persistence!

But really Mum loved those spider plants. They lasted for many generations. When my brother left home to join the army she tucked a spider plant into his backpack. He then grew a few generations of spider plants himself. I remember them in his kitchen.

Its only now I realise the significance of the spider plants. It’s not that Mum loves spider plants so much as it represents new beginnings, or memories. For every plant Mum has ever had I think there is a story. When she says the name of the plant she says it with a certain tone. You know she is not really talking about the plant but about something that is attached to the memory of the plant.

So she says ‘Oh you know my Oliander’ and then she gives the look. The look which makes you think… This is nothing to do with the Oliander, this is code for hysterectomy!

She talks in codes. In plant language! She’s kinda nuts but we all get it!

I really get it and I also dig it! Much admiring of a spider plant is memories of letting go, of leaving your parents, of new houses, of fear, emotion, elation, seaside holidays and wondering where you really are.

Its interesting right?! I think it’s kind of adorable.


I don’t really remember the old lady in the house across the road with the spider plants. I’ve made up many stories in my head over the years of who she might have been. This generally has some sort of glamorous background with all antique furniture and travels to places far and wide.

She was probably just a little old lady in her pinny though cooking her chops.

But I thank her and I think she was ace ❤️



Back to the 70s…

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