This weekend it is Mothering Sunday in the UK.
This annual event, brought to you by those nice people at Hallmark and Interflora, is an opportunity to say a big thank you to our mothers for all they have done for us over the years. And quite right too.
The vigilant reader may have noticed the use of the words “in the UK” in the opening line because it is this that has caused me a few problems in years gone by during my extended stay Down Under.
Unlike those other stalwarts of the calendar (Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter, Valentine’s Day and so on), Mother’s Day has never been unable to establish a global standard when it comes to fixing dates.
The UK’s early March date contrasts with Australia’s mid-May anniversary, which is confusing to say the least if you happen to live on the other side of the world to your mother.
Which date should you celebrate? The one where you live or the one where she lives?
The added challenge for an Aussie-based Pom is the fact that the UK date comes first each year and can easily slip under the Aussie radar without the customary blitz of emotional guilt trips laid on us by the advertising industry.
Meanwhile, the UK-based mother, reeling under the annual ad assault may have had her expectations raised to an unreasonably high level by the time the day comes around, only to be greeted by a big silence from her blissfully unaware son in Sydney.
But then, two months later, and with the UK retail industry’s focus having long moved on, a certain doorstep in the UK might be randomly brightened by an out-of-the-blue card and bunch of flowers (hey, it’s those Hallmark & Interflora guys at work again).
In all the time I lived in Sydney, I never quite worked out the best approach – in truth, neither felt ideal.
But the good news is that this year, I don’t have to worry about that dilemma any more.
So, tomorrow, for the first time in ages, I will be able to wish my own mother a Happy Mother’s Day. On the right day. In the same time zone. In person.
Now, that is a cause for celebration. In the UK anyway.