Sunday, July 24, 2011

Listography - Lessons I learned from my parents

Last Sunday evening as I sat on a balcony in Spain sipping red wine with my sister we inevitably got onto the subject of our childhood and the valuable lessons we had learned from our parents.

Now I'm not talking about the 'don't fart in a swimming pool' type lessons either (though they do have their place) - I'm talking about the real deal - the lessons that you want to pass down to your own children too. Which of course got me to thinking (dangerous business I know)....

So this weeks Listography is Top 5 Lessons I learned from my parents.

Mine are:
1. How to cook.
I'm not quite sure how my mum turned out to be such a good cook. She grew up an only child whose parents had maids and cooks, and then went off to boarding school. So by all accounts she should have been a spoilt little rich kid who didn't know how to boil an egg. But she wasn't, and she does. Our childhoods were filled with the smells of homebaked bread, chocolate cakes, pans of bubbling marmalade, roast chickens, whole salmons, pies, quiches, curries and yes, even boiled eggs. We all learned the art through watching her. Greatest gift ever.

2. Never judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes.
Actually I have shamelessly robbed this from my sister but only because she vocalised it better than me. I remember my lovely dad always making sure we gave people the benefit of the doubt when judging them, so the lady who had been really rude to me in the supermarket became the lady who had just had some really bad news and the drunk on the side of the road became the boy who grew up in care...And who was I to point the finger from my nice comfy middle class life?

3. That trust is a powerful thing.
As the forth of five children, by the time it came to my teens I think my parents were too bloody knackered to try to start enforcing rules all over again. So lucky me was allowed to do and go pretty much whatever and wherever I liked. The thing was I never really did or went anywhere I shouldn't. There was nothing to rebel against so I didn't.
When I first started smoking about five minutes after starting university my dad agreed to pay me £500 to give up - £250 after six months and the other £250 after the next six months. So I stopped. My friends couldn't understand why I didn't just say I had quit and then collect the dosh. But of course I couldn't, 'cause the smart fecker had guilted me into it by trusting me.

4. That homebrew really is very strong.
Getting your ten year old to siphon your homemade wine into bottles by sucking through the tube is NOT a good idea.

5. That success isn't related to money.
I grew up in a big beautiful house with a big beautiful garden, but my parents drove old bangers and we were always the last on the planet to get any new mod cons or technology into our house (though I do remember playing table tennis on an old Commodore64....but that was probably only a few years ago). Anyway - my Dad always said to me 'Success is happiness'. Simple but true. He was a wise old soul my Pops.

So there's mine. Now it's your turn to delve into the depths of your childhood and drag forth those life lessons that made you who you are today. Write your post on your own blog and then come back here and add your details to the linky below.

Can't wait to read them!

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