Sunday, December 23, 2007

Charlotte Lamb

The novelist Charlotte Lamb - and me, sporting a dazzling pair of cerise earrings - on holiday in France, early 80s

It would have been my mother's 70th birthday today. She died in October 2000. I've posted this photo and blogged about it on the memorial site I run for her over at

What would my mother, author of over 150 published novels, have said about my sloth in finishing my current book? She'd probably have thrown the local paper at me and told me to get a job as a waitress instead - her usual riposte whenever I discussed my writing with her.

Happy Birthday, Mum! Wherever you are ...


Sorlil said...

That's such a sweet picture, how exciting it must have been growing up having a novelist mother!

Jane Holland said...

Touring America with her in my teens was fantastic. Limos at every airport and pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast! We flew Concorde to New York - how many people are able to say that? It was one of those whirlwind tours, 12 US states in 14 days, plus three days in Canada.

My mother could be a very difficult woman to live with, very controlling. But it was a great lifestyle, especially when I was younger. We lived in a tax haven, holidayed every year in the South of France or on Med. cruise ships, and went Christmas shopping in London where we always took one of those big corner suites at the Ritz for the whole family.

Astonishing times. All over now, alas. These days I live hand-to-mouth in a rented house with a broken-down car, tons of kids underfoot, and get excited when I actually sell a poem. I can't remember the last time I bought myself something expensive to wear or had dinner in a proper restaurant.

But that's life ... up one minute, down the next. This time next year, we could be millionaires!


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!

Julie said...

Jane, called in to wish you all the best for the New Year - and was moved to read the tribute page to your mum.

Mine died of CJD fifteen years ago
heck of a shock at the time; Dad died suddenly on Xmas day 2000.

Have you written about your past as an auto/biography or novel?

Keep checking in, and look forward to reading more.


Jane Holland said...

I do feel for you, Julie. Such a hard time you've had of it. Hope 2008 brings better things for you personally.

My father is still alive, though living in distant parts, and my relationship with at least one of my siblings is such that, were I to write an account of my early life at the moment, either factual or disguised as fiction, I would probably end up being crucified in the law-courts.

It's an even more colourful history than most people could imagine. But the novel version will have to wait for a few years yet, I'm afraid ...

Julie said...

Mercifully, the old variant CJD was pretty swift, and it could have kicked in years before it did at 79.

Can imagine some of the autobio difficulties under circumstances! All the best with your poetry in 2008.

Bo said...

Your site for your mother is fascinating, Jane.
You've been very everything ok?!
x bo

Jane Holland said...

Sorry, Bo! Just a case of Xmas break, internet overload, plus the pressing need to sort out my third collection asap.

I've also been translating the A.S. poem 'The Wanderer' (i.e. into prose) prior to writing my own verse translation of it. Almost finished the hard work side of translation (after not doing AS for about 8 years). Now for the creative bit! Far more fun, though rather more stressful.

I will get this blog back into order, however. I've just returned to blogging at POF after the holiday break, so I guess this will be the next project - writing up the stuff I've promised to post on Raw Light.

Hope you're well. Maybe seen you soon? Jx