These days, we all have far too much stuff. So I'm not going to compile any sort of gift-list ahead of Mother's Day, as recent research has shown that people appreciate experiences much more than yet more material crap to clutter up their homes. You can either buy your mum a pair of tickets so she can go along to one of these events with a pal, or better yet, go with her, then she gets the best gift of all, some quality time with you! Here's my pick of some of the best forthcoming events that would make great gifts.
A circus life for me: Nell Gifford in conversation with John Mitchinson
16th April 6.30pm-8.30pm at The Idler Academy £20
If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know I'm nuts about the eccentric Cotswold's collective that is Gifford's Circus. You can read about one of my recent visits here, and you can also see an interview I did with Nell myself here. If your mum has a birthday coming up in the summer, then this would make a great two-part gift; the talk as a Mother's Day present, then tickets to the circus itself for her birthday.
(Nell pictured above. Not with John.)
11th March 7-9pm £65
Terrarium-maker and founder of Botanique Boutique, Alyson Mowat runs a terrarium making workshop with The Indytute, which I think would be a perfect mother-daughter 'date'.
This brings me to my latest project, which I thought I'd sneak in here, though I should have blogged about it yesterday for International Women's Day really. I've set up Occupy Me, a site which is designed to provide career inspiration for women of all ages, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the reality of more unusual jobs; the sort you don't get told about at school. Currently on the site are interviews with professional terrarium-makers like Alyson, beekeepers, hula-hoopers, astrophysicists, fire-scientists and more. It's a real labour of love so I'd hugely appreciate your feedback- you can follow us on twitter here.
How to Academy: How to Travel and Explore
17th March 6.45-8.30pm at the Tabernacle
Travel writers, historians and explorers recount tales of their adventures at this event- perfect for mums who might finally be starting to organise holidays of their own rather than always doing what the kids want!
5x15 and The Guardian celebrate exceptional women
12th March, 7.30-9pm £20 at The Royal Geographical Society
If you didn't manage to make it to any of the IWD events over the weekend, then this will make up for it. Featuring children's author and illustrator Judith Kerr, historian Jung Chang, forensic anthropologist Professor Sue Black, activist Nimko Ali and DJ Annie Nightingale.
The School of Life
I couldn't pick just one event here, as there are so many great ones, depending on what your mum is interested in. 'How to stay calm', 'How to disagree' and 'How to relate to your family' could all be relevant!
The Folio Prize Fiction Festival at The British Library, 20th-22nd March and Penguin's Little Black Classics at The Book Club on 29th March would both be great for bibliophile mums. If she's more scientifically minded, then try the next Salon London which celebrates science, art and psychology; the theme on 8th April is Revolution.
Let me know if you end up going to any of these events!