Mothers and Sons...manners and more...

The Moore River, flows into the Indian Ocean

Ruby exploring among the vines

Last weekend was spent with my son at my beach house at Guilderton.  The late autumn is a wonderful time of the year;  the countryside is slowly turning from burnished beige to tentative green;  the vine leaves are dropping;  the  summer wind has gone somewhere else to wreak it’s fury;  the sun is gentle but persistent after about mid morning;  and the chilly awakenings are conducive to enveloping clothes and warming cups of tea and coffee.  

The part of me which almost continually thinks about things culinary turns to slow cooked meals, dredging up recipes from past and also recent European adventures .

St Luke's Anglican Church, Gingin, 1860
We went exploring in the region of Gingin.  There is a wonderful old church in the town, or at least old by Australian standards! We took the dogs for a walk through the cemetery behind the church, taking time to reflect on the amazing tenacity of the early English settlers in colonial Australia in difficult circumstances.

An original wooden headstone, nestled under the trees
The arid autumn landscape at the vineyard

My son has extensive experience with wine tasting and so I introduced him to a local vineyard, Riseborough, which has a Grenache Rose and Chenin  Blanc which I particularly enjoy.  We tasted, enjoyed the banter with the well versed sales assistant and walked around the vineyard. 

Delicious winetasting
With regard to manners however, it was a weekend of reflection. My son is 26. We can talk about almost everything.  As with my daughter, my son and I have a great friendship. 

Our manners, over the years, have developed.  While I would like to think that both of us have deported ourselves in an exemplary fashion over nearly three decades, the truth is that we are very similar and we have clashed on quite profound levels at various times. We have had to question our respect for each other, but our affection and most importantly love for one another, has never been impacted.  We now know each other well enough to understand when to  “back off” , to let the argument rest. Invariably when it is revisited there is no ill feeling and a respectful discussion…in which we sometimes  “agree to disagree” .

The Indian Ocean seen from the house...a 150m walk
When we are mothers of young sons, I don’t believe that any of us can envisage this emerging relationship, with these ”other men” in our lives, becoming one of our substantial, mature relationships.  However, if the relationship is well nurtured, with a  mutual desire for respect, in the long term it will become one of the most important relationships of our lives.
The arid landscape of the Riseborough vineyard in autumn
 I know that when my son finds his soul-mate, he will take the verbal arguments and affectionate makeups with his mother into his vital life relationship.  I hope that the respect he has for me, and his older sister, will ensure he is an open minded, compassionate companion and sensitive father.

Yes, my son is a lot taller than me!

I was bought up in an almost all girls’ family…my father despaired that even our dog was female!  My mother was one of three girls;  I have one sister;  I went to an all girls’ boarding school at age 11 and then to an all girls’ grammar school.  To have a son in 1985 was a wonder  for me…and confronting.
To be able to share a weekend with my son, full of laughter, good conversation, some healthy disagreements…and cooking…is a source of enormous pleasure…


  1. Wow, Your son is really tall ... and very handsome. Did you know that he has your smile? Lovely photo of the two of you! Martine

  2. Yes, he is tall and as you can see Martine I fit neatly under his arm. And yes, his smile is similar to mine!

  3. Thanks so much for your visit and your comment, much appreciated. Sounds like you had a great weekend with your sons.

    I have only been around the vineyards in Adelaide but I love Australian wine. Cheers Diane. "Manners maketh man"

    1. Diane, thank you for your comment. Maybe one day you will have a chance to visit Margaret river in the south west to sample some stunning wines...if you can bear to leave France! I enjoy your blog immensely...


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