Old School

Old School

My mum is 84 and moving to Liverpool. She came to this momentous decision in a very short space of time. She currently lives in the pretty Hertfordshire town of Ware. ‘Where do you live?’ – ‘Ware’. ‘Yes, where do you live?’ –‘No, Ware’. So goes the conversation on a regular basis. She was born near there, went to school there and has all her friends and support mechanisms there. So what has made her decide to move?

I guess an unexpected emergency hospital admission has increased her awareness of her fragility, and speeded up the process of her recognising that she wants to spend more time with her extended family (here in Liverpool). Even so it is surprising. My sister (who lives in London) and I have both cross-examined her to check she has fully counted the cost, but she seems adamant!

I salute her courage to start all over again at 84, to make new friends, learn a new language (scouse) and get to know a whole new part of the country.

But trying to get her to decide where to live has been altogether another question. Over a 24 hour period we viewed about 8 retirement apartments, all with wardens on site. Perhaps this was a mistake to give so many options, because by the end she really couldn’t remember which one was which. Thankfully I had the foresight to video most of them so she could review which one was which.

The problem however was in trying to persuade her to choose the flat that she wanted, not the one that we wanted for her, or that we might think was most convenient for us. And here is my point. After a life time of serving others – as most mothers do, us children, her mother in law, her mother, my dad up until his death 15 yrs ago, and more recently the less fortunate neighbours on her estate, my mum seemed incapable of just thinking for herself. It took a great deal of subtle questioning, and devious psychological approaches to figure out exactly which property she preferred.

Perhaps she is just ‘old school’. And maybe ‘old school’ is actually a lot more preferable to our current culture of ‘me first’ greed and self-centredness.

I think we got there in the end and hope to see her moved up in the next couple of months. No doubt it will lead to many more reflections on family life and the like!

This entry was posted by nic on Monday, April 30th, 2012 at 1:00 pm and is filed under Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Hannah says:

    Lovely to hear about your Mum. I can imagine she is quite a woman ! Hoping the move goes smoothly and you enjoy many cups of tea and chats together in the coming months :)


  2. personal growth And Development

    Old School – Nic Harding's Blog

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