It's about 18 months since my mother died. It's funny, the way sometimes you'll happen upon something she left behind and it'll be so typically her to be as though she never went away.
My mother came from the north of England. Yorkshire. God's Own County. And in a sense she never really left it. Yorkshire people are like that, they have a lot to be proud of. She impressed Yorkshire on me and my sisters as we grew up, my sister confided in me after the memorial service that she was in her twenties before she came to terms with the fact that she was from southern England and not Yorkshire. Funnily enough I had a colleague at my previous employer with a similar story, growing up in Germany with her German dad and Sheffield-born mother.
So we grew up with Wensleydale as the King of Cheeses, heather honey and Whitby kippers. It didn't bother me in the way it did my sister, going to university up there allowed me to be at peace with it all. I know Yorkshire from all four corners, I've walked its fells and moors, bathed in its seas, sailed its rivers and driven its roads. But I'm at home in the lower greener hills of my own county.
My mother's Northern tastes appeared yesterday, in the form of a pack of tripe I found in the bottom of the freezer. Dated 2011, but frozen solid and still good. Another taste from childhood, tripe and onions. My dad doesn't like it, so yesterday I was alone with my tripe and onions on toast. Probably not something I'll have that often these days.
There we are then, another little piece my mother left behind, gone. It's stupid, being sentimental about a pack of tripe, of all things.