My neighbour, we’ll call her Ann, popped in for a chat the other day. She and I have a lot in common, but foremost we both have sons in the navy. Mums are often the forgotten female in this scenario, wives usually being considered first when their husbands go off to sea in some highly dangerous area that the 6:00 News warns is a tinderbox begging to ignite. Wives often have other navy wives to rely on for support and understanding and a cup of tea, or a case of vodka. Mums just sit waiting for their daughter-in-laws to put their minds at ease because more often than not the Navy restricts communication with the ‘outside world’ unless it’s a family emergency. There’s the occasional email but it’s a long and worrying wait before a mum hears her son’s voice.
Ann’s son is shipping out to the waters floating with Somalian pirates. We drank tea, not with the pirates but with Ann, and I listened. This is her son’s first deployment, and I understand thoroughly what she’s going through.
So Ann knocked on my front door, and I opened it and smiled. She sniffed the air as she stepped inside and said with a pained expression, “What’s that smell? It smells like a teenage boy’s bedroom that hasn’t been aired for a month.” We both know what that smells like: she has 2 sons; I have 2 sons. And Ann is from Yorkshire, and she’s a lass that speaks her mind.
I gave her a rumbling harrumph from the base of my throat, and led her to my two bowls of apple cider vinegar. And then I proudly introduced her to MOM, and all the other bacteria that demand my attention (2 sourdough starters at different hydrations, fermenting apple cider, bowls of mother of vinegar, etc.).
My friend Ann is bacteria-adverse. She’s a nurse. Her husband is the local doctor. She opens doors by gripping an antibacterial wipe in her hand. I doubt that my new hobby is one that she’ll take to with any enthusiasm.
A Happy MOM swimming in cider
And this is the lemon juice experiment that quite frankly I’m hesitant to let anywhere near my lips … but it still smells lovely and fresh and lemony, so maybe it’s okay. I still think that’s some form or another of Mother of Vinegar, although I have no idea what’s feeding it. Maybe there’s a garden gnome in the cupboard tossing sugar at it….