Posted in Family

Like Peas in a Pod

My column from the June issue of the Hawkesbury Parish News

Photo of Debbie's dad by Land's End sign
No, he hadn’t just walked all the way from John O’Groats

When I posted a photo of my dad on Facebook yesterday, a friend who hadn’t seen him for decades remarked how similar we are. That’s nothing, I told her – you should see how much I resemble his mother. I added a picture of my Grandma, aged 60 when I was born, by way of demonstration.

Only then did I realise that my older brother is about to turn 60, and how much he looks like our father and our grandfather. When family resemblances are so strong, it’s easy to see why older people often call relatives by the wrong names. Grandma often resorted to a roll call of possible candidates, stopping only when she hit the right person: “Thelma, Sheila, Merna, Mandy, Debbie.” At least she didn’t include the cat, unlike my friend’s mother, much to her disgust.

old photo of my Grandma
My Grandma

When did my brother and I become this old? I should take comfort from recent reports that no-one should now be considered old until they hit 85. I prefer my own definition, which works on a sliding scale of my current age + 10 years. The elegance of this system is its “jam tomorrow” principle: by definition, I will never grow old.

I also recommend the ploy of marrying a Mr Young, another way to ensure I remain forever Young. It’s also a great incentive to avoid divorce.

With my husband on our wedding day
I knew there was a good reason for doing this…


English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

4 thoughts on “Like Peas in a Pod

  1. Love it. Yep, am beginning to look like my mother & now daughter is 34 (I think??!) she looks more like me than she ever did when she was younger! Love the wedding pic, proper Scottish wedding in ‘costume’! Did you have a ceilidh? Oh, and our sons don’t yet look like their Dad – but they sound like him.

    1. I think spotting similar mannerisms, voices and expressions can be just as striking as physical resemblances – my dad and both his sisters have exactly the same habit of closing their eyes sometimes mid-sentence, which is quite uncanny! We didn’t have a ceilidh despite the tartan, because our wedding took place in very unScottish Yate Register Office (next to Chipping Sodbury) – plenty of locals did a double-take seeing a Scotsman in full highland gear going down the high street on his way to the wedding! Reception was in our back garden, and of course you know how nice that is! 😉

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