the business of kindness


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This is Anna Jarvis, the American woman otherwise known as the 'Mother of Mother's Day'. When her dearly-loved mother died, Anna resolved to pay tribute to her and all other mothers worldwide. The idea clearly took off, and Mother's Day (with its apostrophe as Anna wanted it) is now celebrated in many parts of the world.

Growing up in my family, Mother's Day always provided an opportunity to show appreciation...a chance to recognise all the kindness and love that had been bestowed upon us by giving something in return. That gratitude was expressed in a variety of forms - breakfast in bed, a cake cooked, or perhaps even a meal. A hand-made card was de rigeuer during the school years. A phone call if we lived in another town.

Simple expressions of love.

Over the years, I've come to realise that Mother's Day can also underscore immense feelings of loss, or longing. It's not all wine and roses, and that brings me to the subject of flowers...

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I've been a floraliste for almost a year now - it's a lovely word I coined for myself when a local grower wouldn't sell me red, green or white flowers at Christmas because they were being saved for the 'florists'. So I decided that if I'm not a florist - I'll be a floraliste, which is a far more creative, arty title don't you think.

As a floraliste, I've just experienced my first Mother's Day, and it really hasn't been pretty.

Hiked-up prices. Blooms that have been cool-stored and chemically-treated to look beautiful and fresh when you buy them, only to become what you see in the picture, two days later. Kindness has suddenly become a rather nasty business, and Anna Jarvis would quite possibly turn in her grave...

So in future I've decided I'll be offering Mother's Day flowers off-peak only - at least a week either side of the day. Or any other time of year for those wanting to show appreciation and gratitude, to anyone.

Just saying xx


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