5 stars

I was interested to read this book, as I’d written a similar memoir regarding family memories and the relationship I’d had with my own mother. Geoff Le Pard’s mother Barbara was obviously one of those optimistic, no-nonsense salt-of-the-earth ladies who were eternally busy and coped with everything thrown at them, but unfortunately now seem to be vanishing with time. I could sympathise entirely with Geoff’s trials and tribulations of moving his mother into a smaller property, as I’d had similar issues with my own mother downsizing and not wanting to throw anything away. Also I know how difficult it must have been for Barbara to try and carry on driving when her eyesight was failing. Old age is not for sissies, as Bette Davis once said.

What I also enjoyed about this book were the poems penned by the author’s late father. These show his love for his wife and his thoughts and feelings on historical events of his time. It occurred to me after reading one of them that my own father was also stationed in Palestine in 1945 and our two fathers might have even met! Our fathers even had the same car at one point – a Hillman with the hinged door at the back.

There is laughter to be had in this book as well, especially when the author is going through adolescence and wishes to ‘hang out’ with friends’ and wear the latest fashions not made by his mum!

Well done, Mr Le Pard. Like me, you have wonderful memories to sustain you, and you have gained much insight into old age and what is waiting for us just around the corner.