As a writer and occasional freelance editor, not to mention a grumpy old woman, I find myself constantly irritated by errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation, particularly in the media. I manage to keep my opinions to myself (most of the time) but I decided to put some of the most common errors in writing, in the hope that some people might find it helpful. I know not everyone had the benefit of an education in the fifties and sixties, along with parents who actually read for entertainment.
Did I mention we had no TV? Not that that was a choice–in country Australia there was no television reception until, I think, the mid-sixties. On our rare visits to my grandparents in Sydney, over six hundred miles away, I associated the somewhat unusual smell there with the TV, and therefore didn’t mind it at all. It wasn’t until years later, when I inherited some of their books, that I realised it was the musty old books I smelt as a child!
Their house was full of books and the TV was rarely on. My grandfather had been a ship’s chief engineer and he was a stickler for rules when it came to children. We actually spent a year living with him after my grandmother died and experienced a little, perhaps, of what my mother’s upbringing had been like. He was a good man though and he and Nanna had a very close and caring relationship. I was only beginning to get to know him, as an adult, when he died.
My mother is still doing pretty well, considering she just turned 93. She still lives in her home, with just some weekly help with the heavier chores, and hopes to keep it that way. I live hours away from her but my siblings are quite close so I don’t worry too much. I do speak to her quite often. She is the only grandparent my boys have left now. My father died when my youngest son was a baby but the others remember him. One regret I have is that we didn’t get around to making a family video until a couple of years after he died. In those days we had to hire a video camera–a huge cumbersome thing but we do have some great footage. These days of course, you can video on your mobile phone, although I prefer a camera. My grandchildren will have pretty much every day of their lives on video!
I hope all the mums out there had a great Mother’s Day. All we really want, if our kids have left home, is to hear from them, right? Three of my boys live out of town and I had one send a gift and then ring for a lovely long chat. My eldest brought his baby and spent the day with us on Saturday and my youngest turned up on the doorstep on Sunday night, having driven for hours, to spend an hour with us. Our dog, who, technically, is his dog, started whining the minute he heard his master’s voice, so he had to visit with him for a bit too. My local sons also managed to pop in so, all in all, it was a lovely Mother’s Day for me.
‘What Did You Say?’ is free at Amazon from May 14 to 16. Let me know what you think and please post a review if you like it.