Summer days

I just opened all the is 07.17. Somehow it is not as quiet as last week and the heat hit me as soon as I opened each window. This is a very different scenario from last week..from just 7 days ago. I can already hear quite a few cars on the road. Perhaps some of the drivers could not sleep with the heat so started their usual Sunday slumber by going out of the house. Who would blame them? Temperatures are hovering around 37 degrees this weekend.

Today, I do not appreciate the sun and heat and I put it down to ‘growing older’. As a child, the story was very different. Mum, you took us swimming every day and summer was sweet heaven. We learnt how to swim, jump, dive and made lots of friends, always under your watchful eye. Looking back I realise what alot of energy you had and nothing fazed you. You met your own friends at the club we were members of and your friends were ‘aunties’ to us. We had lots of ‘aunties’! Today children call their elders by their names which is something that strikes a chord. I do not believe that this should be so and that respect towards your elders is appropriate. However, the younger generation scrapped all this and treat everyone the same.

At 4.30pm it was time to shower and dress so we would be waiting on the kerb as Dad drove up to collect us. Coaxing children out of the sea when they are having fun is not an easy task but we always obeyed. You were assertive and strict in a gentle way…most of the time. Your tone of voice was enough to get our attention, but it was never raised. Today I realise how obedient I was….most of the time :).

One summer I broke my elbow. I was six years old and it was a hot August. I had a very traumatic stay in hospital where mum and dad were not allowed to stay with me except for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I cried for 3 long days, afterwhich I would not leave your side. I realise now you must have given up your swimming days because of me.

One thing I do remember clearly, especially as I grew a little older, is the effort you made to keep your weight down. You had the tendancy to put on weight and I remember you ‘always’ on a diet. Of course, this is the predicament of most women I know, except for the lucky ones who are born with genes that keep them so nice and slim. I am my mother’s daughter and have followed your trend. Except for one thing. You took lots of appetite suppressants. I imagine they were silly, simple tablets promising miraculous powers that took away the urge of eating lots of summer delights such as ice cream, cakes, sweets and Maltese bread! I have to say that you loved ice cream and you made lots of it.

I treasure your recipes, which most of the time, remain in the book and not in practice for the simple reason that I will put on more weight if I make them. My husband doesn’t share my sentiment.

Isn’t all this so confusing? What did those pills do in reality? Did they work? I never asked you. In fact, I do not think I ever asked you much and certainly never about the pills. Did I? I have no recollection. Why cannot I remember these details? Why did you have to ‘switch off’ at a point where I could have picked your brain on so many subjects? Did these pills work, Mum? Did they harm you? Why did you resort to pills? You walked so never drove. Advertising certainly works and you read about these ‘miracles’ every day in the pharmacy.

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