Happy Birthday Mummy Duggers

11 Jun


Today my mother turns fifty-nine, whatever her Facebook profile may say.

A few years ago my Godmother (unofficial, more an oh-God-mother) took Mummy Dugs to the Isle of Wight for her birthday.  They stayed with some old friends for the weekend and went to the festival on the Saturday.  I was not invited.

She drank and flirted with a bunch of students sitting near them.  It all kicked off when she set fire to the newspaper one of them was reading. His friends and my mother found it hilarious. He, I hear, wasn’t quite so impressed.

They helped her record a video on her phone for me of the Rolling Stones playing.  This was two minutes of their faces and lots of shouts of “No! Turn it around!”

She crashed in on Sunday morning at six am, still drunk.  I thought there was a burglar in the house until I could hear her singing Jumping Jack Flash to the cats.

My mother seems to have got all her partying out of the way in her twenties and thirties, so the IoW story was a bit of a shock to be honest.  I can’t pretend to be Saffy from Ab Fab, but I am starting to think I’m somewhat of a disappointment.

By the time she was my age she had left Belfast and lived, or was living, in Greece, Turkey and Germany, travelling around with her boyfriend and his band.  I’ve heard stories about the steering wheel coming off his MG as they were driving, a famous actor helping my long-haired hippy mother push the car while his disapproving wife looked on, ghost sightings, sun burn and adopted stray dogs.  Never mind the naïve young band member they subjected to a night at a German sex show.

I live at home, read a lot, watch Midsomer Murders and my love life tends to veer more towards the Royal Hospital Chelsea than it does musicians and artists.  I seem to have also developed an upsetting predilection for Marks and Spencer’s cardigans.  Sometimes I can see the despair in her eyes.

Over here my mother worked in cocktail bars and was once taken to tea with Trevor Howard by Eddie Chapman.  She became an estate agent, showed Maggie Thatcher round houses during her premiership, dated one-eyed Americans who stalked her (and also, strangely, the voice of The Price Is Right) and opened her own estate agents.

She finally agreed to a date with the unrelentingly keen property developer working around the corner from her office after he left a plank across her windscreen with a penciled message asking her out (again).  A few years later I arrived.

I couldn’t be more in awe of Mummy Duggers for all the adventurous, wild and clever things she’s done in her life and I’m very proud to be able to call her my mother. (Or scream it up the stairs to get her to clean up the cat sick in the living room. Whatevs.)

"I loved you then." - Mummy Duggers

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One Response to “Happy Birthday Mummy Duggers”

  1. guess January 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    I thought this was fake until I read the caption of the photo.

    What an amazing person.

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