Marmite Mothers


Marmite Mothers

I’m at that stage when I’m Proving I’m Independent. I hope those superfluous capitals convey how irritating I know the stage is for my family.

But today I realised how un-independent I am; all because of a bag of crumpets. I was standing at the bread bin, proudly ingesting those carbs. (After 5pm! #rebel!) I was busy heaping on the marmite and thinking how independent I was becoming (reheating for myself!) Then I realised that my Mum did exactly the same thing.

And she did it because her mum, my Granny, had done it too.

All of us had leaned against the bench, crossed our arms, chewed noisily, and smacked our lips at the yeasty sting. I was a mash up of all the marmite mothers from before me. I was just a conduit waiting to pass on the sticky blackness.

But the Marmite contained more than 40% of RDI for Vitamin B. It had in it all the things I got from my Mum. Stubbornness.  Determination. A fondness for righteous anger and incomplete sentences. Just as I got them from Mum, Mum had got them from Granny.

Today my Granny is going to be immersed in another blackness with similar powers of division. It is her funeral. But today I realised that you’re not really leaving Granny. You remain in my Mum, and in me.

Today is your funeral Granny. And today I shall eat Marmite crumpets. 


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