She was diagnosed with aggressive and widespread cancer back in March, and fell steadily downhill afterwards.
I'm grateful I had the chance to tell her You did good, Mum
Mum wasn't much of a cook I'm afraid, though she did get better - I like to think with a bit of encouragement from yours truly :)
She was a genius for getting the dinner onto the table in time for the Archers though - every day growing up; sit down for dinner, on comes the Archers.
I have no idea how she did that!
While I don't honestly remember spending much time actually cooking with Mum
(well until our famous joint Christmas dinners in recent years - she did the best
she was the one who first started me off cooking
and always supported my cookery even back when it wasn't exactly fashionable for young boys to be spending too long in the kitchen.
She bought me my first cookbook, shared all her best recipes
and most of all shared my deep love of food.
Apart from our mutual enjoyment of murder-mystery TV series like Marple or Poirot,
the things we could most bear to do together without driving each other mad were watching episodes of MasterChef, and eating out in fine restaurants.
Most of my foody memories of Mum revolve around the kitchen of the house we moved into when I was twelve. The house I most remember growing up in.
Mum's last house.
The house we had to clear after she died.
It's particularly difficult for me to look at the photo of Mum proudly showing off her new cooker there -
when we first moved in to the house the kitchen sported an old Victorian range, and much as I hated having to clean it out every day, riddle the ashes,
and fetch coal from the yard to feed it I kind of missed Mum cooking on it when she finally got her real
stove and had the range pulled out.
The cooker is still there though.
Mum's passing has left a hole in the world.
I know that eventually time's sand will fill it, but it will never quite disappear - there'll always be a hollow there.
Where my Mum used to be.
Cooking With Mother Through The Ages...