Celtic Chameleon
No Rest For The Writer
4 min readApr 16, 2024


colour photos were becoming common in 1971, but the cameras were far more expensive — me on the left, mum holding Jack, Allan on her right, at the seaside, maybe Anstruther, Rothesay or Millport, property of author

“It hurt something deep inside to hold her, limp and so terribly small. A lot has happened in the 17 years since I brought her home. So much loss. She was the last link to a part of my past that I never got to share with you.”

It’s coming up on twenty years since you left this dreary earth mum, and I have a question I’d like to ask you.

You used to say “Nobody loves you like your mother.”

You weren’t a sentimental woman, your early life was brutal. But you hung on to your decency, a nugget of compassion. Your love for us.

You deserved a better daughter.

We bickered, we often disagreed, but you were right far more than you were wrong. I’d concede every argument for another day with you. Another hour.

I have so much to tell you, mum.

Remember how we’d pore over the weird peculiarities of Australian life?Remember how you wanted to know every single thing about my goings on, my babies, my little victories? Oh, mum, a lot has changed.

Nobody sings the song of your life like your mother.