The handywoman’s hat

My son and I looked at the fishpond,
“You must get that sorted,” says I.
“‘Cause the water is green,
And the fish can’t be seen,
And they need TLC or they’ll die.”

So my son took a look…it’s not easy,
‘Cause his eyesight can’t make it that far,
“We need to act fast
Or the sturgeon won’t last!
Can you get a new pump in the car?”

Now, being as I am not Samson
And the filter and pump weigh a ton,
He priced up and shivered
But got it delivered,
“We’ll just set it up and we’re done.”

Now, that’s all well and dandy in theory,
There is more to the business than that,
I sought clips and hosing
(While he sat home dozing),
Then put on my handyman’s hat.

I fitted the plugs to the wires,
And assembled the pump at first try.
The next bit meant putting
The pipes on and cutting,
“You do have a hacksaw?”says I.

He did, but I first had to find it;
It was blunt and as bent as could be.
The effort was drastic
To saw through thick plastic
And all the cuts looked like a ‘C’.

I cursed and complained and I ranted,
And, when that did no good, then I swore,
I did all the slicing
And sorted the splicing,
My fingers all battered and sore.

I hauled the stuff out to the garden,
‘Cause the pond was at last in the shade,
Then, cursing the weather,
I put it together,
And switched on the system I’d made.

I am holding my breath as it gurgles,
I look at the filter in doubt…
But a piddling leak,
That just needed a tweak,
And the water starts all churning out.

I wear many hats as a mother,
From taxi, to cook to P.A.
I’ve been electrician,
And piscine physician,
And gardener, all in one day.

The fish looked much happier later.
The results were all that we desired.
But I’d just like to say
That I dream of the day
I can say, “Sorry, son, I’m retired!”

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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64 Responses to The handywoman’s hat

  1. willowdot21 says:

    Talking of hats , which you mention
    I feel you do so with a smile
    Your bravery needs our attention
    You mange his needs all the while.

    I know we all do this as mother’s
    To a larger or lesser degree
    But you are a light to us others
    You soldier on whatever, relentlessly.

    So I am raising my hat to you
    And leading a huge round of cheers
    You are to us all, an inspiration Sue
    Let’s raise a glass to retirement years.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. willowdot21 says:

    Ps. I love that photo of you in the bubble it says it all! πŸ’œ


  3. jenanita01 says:

    I have the feeling that no one has ever told you that mothers can never retire, we just fade away quietly in a corner… Picking my corner as I speak…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Not often that I read a story,
    and imagine it’s all about me
    but on this occasion
    I found it amazing
    I find I’m described to a tee

    Liked by 2 people

  5. joylennick says:

    What a great poem, Sue. Loved it! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jennie says:

    What an β€œadventure”!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliant, Sue. A fabulous poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ritu says:

    Again, Sue you managed to nail it
    Describing mums lives poetically
    All the hats that we wear
    Time off is just rare
    Yet we continue, smiling manically 😁

    (or is that just me?!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You missed out wonderwoman Sue…and it would be well deserved.. xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jwebster2 says:

    They’ll give you an afternoon off on the day of your funeral πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful, Sue! πŸ™‚ xo

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It won’t ever happen. Dream on though πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. dgkaye says:

    You should have one of those hats in every color Sue. ❀ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Widdershins says:

    You are a fish-superstar! πŸ˜€
    β€œWe’ll just set it up and we’re done.” – famous last words. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Eliza Waters says:

    Oh, the hoops through which you jump! You are amazing, Sue!


  16. I’ve not followed for long enough to gather the full situation – is your son at home? It seems you two get into all sorts of adventures!


    • Sue Vincent says:

      My son, then 25, was stabbed through the brain in a random attack nearly ten years ago. He was left in an alley and in a coma to die, but was found quickly by strangers who called the ambulance. The police had launched a murder investigation by the time we had driven the hundred miles to the hospital… but he’s stubborn and refused to die. πŸ™‚
      It took a long time to break free of the coma. When he finally woke, he was paralysed down his dominant right side, could barely see…and what he could see was double and bouncing continually. He couldn’t speak or do anything much at all.
      As I said, he’s stubborn πŸ™‚
      Since then he has moved into his own home, travelled to far-flung places, raised thousands for charities on his trike, been honoured with a national award, jumped out of planes and off volcanoes…
      He was left unable to walk unaided, still with problems with eyes, mood and memory, and needing a fair bit of daily help, so I am now employed as his carer for a few hours every day…but spend far more time with him than the official employment will cover, of course.
      He calls me the ‘house-hobbit’…
      I call him a good few things we won’t mention here πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

      • An official carer? That sounds like something we need here in the states! I know plenty of people (almost all women) who give tons of care to those who need it, but never get any payment or assistance.

        Good on your son for surviving! I’m so glad he’s around for you to have adventures with. I bet he gets frustrated a lot – I do that with my body, and I’m able, so I bet it gets rough for him at times. I’ll keep you both in my prayers, if that’s something you dig!


        • Sue Vincent says:

          For those who are assessed as needing a certain level of care, a budget is put in place so that they can employ help. As my son doesn’t live with me, he was able to employ me for three hours a day (though I can be there eight or more, seven days a week). It is not really enough for me to survive on… but any other carer would only deal with his physical requirements, where I can be his memory bank too, as well as Mum and knowing all the things he needs someone to know.
          It is not an ideal system by any manner of means… but it is far better than leaving people without the help they need while their families earn a wage elsewhere.
          But whoever thought letting a son employ a mother really didn’t think the family dynamics through πŸ˜‰
          And thank you. We would both appreciate your prayers.

          Liked by 1 person

          • No problem!

            I think letting a son employ a mother is exactly the idea. If you had to take off work or cut back on another money-making activity in order to care for him, your income would be stunted, and the hiring would hopefully help out a little.


            • Sue Vincent says:

              From an exceedly well-paid job to desperate scrabbling to make ends meet at first… but we managed. It is not much better now, but the alternatives don’t bear thinking about…at least I can be there for him πŸ™‚


  17. I bet you’ll never say that πŸ˜€


  18. Dale says:

    You are a warrior mother, Sue!


  19. noelleg44 says:

    I’ve been counting the hats you wear, and they are considerable, but this is a new one! Congratulations. I usually leave anything mechanical to Hubs, but if he is puzzled, I put on his muzzle … and do it myself (which doesn’t rhyme).


  20. Bravo, Sue. If the fish could talk, they’d probably say the same. πŸ™‚ — Suzanne


  21. macjam47 says:

    You may retire from anything else, but you’ll always be doing what we mothers do best. There is no retirement in sight for you. πŸ’•πŸ€—πŸ’•


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