Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to you all and especially if you live in one of the country’s where it was celebrated today. Here in France it is not La Fête des Mères yet.  It is usually the last Sunday in May but it is moved to the first Sunday in June if that day falls on Whit Sunday/Pentecost, which it does this year. So it is on Sunday 7 June this year and will revert back to the 31st of May in 2021.

A few other countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May, today Sunday 10 May, including New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the US, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Belgium, India, China, Japan, the Philippines, Kenya and South Africa. In some countries such as Argentina and Ethiopia it is celebrated in autumn.

Confinement In France

I received a few messages from friends and family in New Zealand wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day, which was lovely and unexpected.

We have had a lovely light rainy day here in Aix-en-Provence today, though thunderstorms are forecast, I now love the rain, it being such a rarity here, and it is the eve of #DeConfinement. We are in the green zone so must follow guidelines accordingly. Sadly Paris is still in the red zone.

Tomorrow we are allowed to go out without the printed attestation (certificate) that declared our name, date and place of birth, address, signature, the time and reason for leaving home, which for the last 6 weeks for me had been limited to supermarket shopping (I’ve been twice) and walking up to 1 kilometre from said address. I take my hour every day, a small liberty for which I have immense gratitude. I haven’t been able to work for 6 weeks, tomorrow that changes.

I think I will write a whole post about my daily walk with images as it has been an interesting experience, almost like a little short story, so perhaps I will create that before things change too much.

I’ll begin by sharing this one image, which is a hole in a wall on my walk, where there is something hidden inside, a little mystery that I partially solved and have a theory on, but I will save that for another day and leave you with just this clue.

Making Simple Graphics

Something I have recently discovered and will share in case anyone else is interested is how to create simple free graphics using Canva. They make it simple to use and you can use your own photos or their templates and backgrounds. I created this image below today and shared it on twitter with a quote from the book I am reading, just for fun and to acknowledge the serendipitous event of reading it on Mother’s Day.

On Chapel Sands

On Chapel Sands is written by Laura Cumming the art critic for the Observer (an excellent Sunday newspaper in the UK). I haven’t finished the book yet, it’s a memoir and it’s brilliant, unlike anything you will have ever read, as she brings her art historian talent for interpretation of the visual image into her investigation of her mother’s life.

It’s brilliantly done, especially if you appreciate having art works explained to you by a knowledgeable guide or expert.  And she keeps some of the mystery back, making it a slow revelation of the past and finding out what really happened when her mother went missing from the Lincolnshire beach when she was three years old.

Today is about appreciating and remembering mother’s, so I leave you with a quote from Laura’s book about her mother Elizabeth and her grandmother Vera, in remembrance of all mother’s.

“To commemorate Veda’s life, Elizabeth planted thousands of daffodil bulbs in the grounds of Chapel school for the pupils to pick on Mother’s Day each year, so that no future mother would ever be forgotten.” Laura Cumming, On Chapel Sands


24 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day

  1. Happy Mother’s Day, Claire. Sounds like your confinement has been stricter than ours. We haven’t had to have papers. A few things have opened here this week — nurseries and hardware stores and apparently next week other retailers will be allowed to open for curb-side pick up only. I am fine with this slow and careful approach, to be honest. Better safe than sorry. I wish more accurate testing and contract tracing was available. Enjoy your freedom and be careful out there!


    • Our confinement has been strict and perhaps easier to manage because the rules have been very clear, no need to interpret. Though I walked every day, I never got stopped, but in the cities people did and got the hefty fines that went with that kind of attitude.
      It’s not complete freedom yet, but a cautious approach, my son won’t return to school until June 2nd, primary returns tomorrow and then it’s a staggered approach for the rest and universities won’t go back at all until September. Thanks Fransi, staying safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds an interesting book, thanks for the tip. I am so looking forward to tomorrow when instead of riding my home trainer, I’ll actually be able to go out for a ride – providing it stops raining! Otherwise, it’ll be pretty much same old, same old albeit without the paperwork.


  3. What a beautiful post. Happy mother’s day to you, because it is today here in the states, which you point out. I got to visit my own mother at her retirement facility, from behind plexiglas and wearing masks. But at least I was able to spend an hour in her company, for the first time since mid-February. Loved what you shared about your walk and thoughts. And your visual clue. Have a delightful day.


    • What a relief to be able to see your mother Carmel, that must have created much anguish I’m sure, those facilities have been through terrible times harbouring so many vulnerable and families unable to do anything.
      Thank you for your comment, it’s a grey day today, about to go on the walk again, see if anything has changed with our new freedom, I doubt it, no sun today, a day people are less inclined to go anyway.


  4. Hello Claire, this Mother’s Day, now or in June, must be incredibly painful for you. I have seen many acknowledgements in the Mother’s Day media of the sadness we feel when our mothers have passed away, but I have not seen anything about how the day impacts on mothers who have lost a child.
    I hesitated before commenting like this, but I have not forgotten your daughter and I realised that nothing I might write would make you cry more than you must already be doing. The loss of a beautiful person like Allia Jen deserves many tears. From across the miles, please imagine me by your side, holding your hand while you cry as much as you need to, and then making you a restorative cup of tea. We are not close friends, we have never even met, but you are part of my life and I care about you.
    I wish you courage, and beautiful memories,
    Lisa xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Lisa and please don’t ever hesitate to be open with me, I appreciate the thoughts and kindness and intentions that go with it. My Mother’s Day wasn’t really sad as I was kept company throughout by my son and Laura Cumming’s memoir, which is all about mothers and daughters and reminds me of the gift it was to me to have a daughter with whom I had a special and loving bond, unlike anything I’d ever experienced in being the daughter of too many mothers to be honest (birth, adoptive, step). I miss Allia but feel her presence and attitude all around me and either they already existed or I have endowed her with magical powers to assist me, as my many appeals to her continue to be answered and resolved. That said your kindness brings tears, not of the loss, but of the joy in feeling the support and safety of knowing there are people who continue to care and send messages that require courage to write as we feel for each other without ever having met. I am deeply appreciative of you all for that, thank you for your courage and for that cup of tea, the ideal mother’s day blessing.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I’m so pleased to know that you have reached the point where thinking about your daughter can bring you joy as much as sadness. You must have worked so hard on enabling yourself to feel positive. I’m impressed, and happy that you seem to have achieved some kind of peace.


  5. At first, I felt slightly jealous of your being in Aix-en-Provence, then recalled the astonishing heat on my trip there a couple of summers back (didn’t make Aix) when it was 35 degrees in Arles, and decided that lockdown in such heat would be unbearable… it will be interesting to read about your experiences. And, following your suggestion of a pile of five books to read, I can report that I am now on number 3…


    • Yes, we are prone to the occasional heatwave in summer, but it’s not like that in winter or spring, cold and dry in winter, but high sunshine hours and spring is pretty ambient, the occasional rainy period but very agreeable in all. It’s been really glorious weather these past six weeks, watching everything bud, blossom, bloom and turn green, neither hot nor cold, no need for heating or warm clothes, ideal for practicing gratitude.

      I like the summer heat, except when the children were small and it was too hot to go to the park, that was quite strange and the French habit of closing shutters and living in darkness to keep the heat out. I never subscribed to that and have found my own solutions that don’t include keeping the light out.

      I’m glad you followed the TBR 5 suggestion, it works a treat and provides such a sense of fulfillment at it’s end rather than a feeling of randomness.


  6. I’ll look forward to further words and images from your walks.

    And both tips, I’m grateful for. I do appreciate knowledgeable people explaining works of art to me! And otherwise the book seems appealing, too. Canava is intriguing and I will like to look into it. I’m always saying I’m not a designer – maybe that site could help me out 🙂


    • Exactly Gretchen, until wordpress came along making a website was it for technology inclined and now Canva has made making simple graphics easier. Finding the right background is hard not really having an eye for it, but by trying out different backgrounds, when the one arrives that looks fine it’s quite a thrill.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Mother’s day,Claire. We marked the day on May 10th here in Kenya. My first Mother’s day so it was really special ❤

    Iinterested in reading about your walks and seeing the pics. The hole in the wall seems mysterious. Curious about the note.

    Stay safe x


    • Oh, Happy Mother’s Day to you too Diana, how wonderful for you to be in that magical role now too. I will add Kenya to the list! Thanks for letting me know and sharing your new status. 🙂
      I shall have to work on that story about the note in the wall!


    • Thanks Sylvie, I’m happy to acknowledge it more than once, though I admit I wasn’t aware of it until I received the messages. In France that wouldn’t happen be wise the children all make poems at school, which become beautiful keepsakes. 🌸✨


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