Wednesday, January 28, 2015


..."Family Hold Back"...the old expression used in Britain when there were unexpected guests and not enough food to go round.  You held back, pretended you weren''t hungry, so the guests could eat well.

In today's Daily Telegraph, there is a wonderful interview with the daughter of the founder of Abbeyfield, the network of care homes for the elderly. She recalled her father, Richard Carr-Gomm  - a soldier, decorated for bravery in WWII -  who raised his family in a household where unexpected visitors could include ex-prisoners, homeless people and - on two occasions - Mother Teresa.  On one of her visits, Mother Teresa was too frail to manage the steep staircase, and Carr-Gomm gave her a piggy-back ride.

Carr-Gomm's daughter recalls not only  "FHB" being announced by her mother at meals when sudden hungry guests turned up, but also the whole atmosphere of a house where service to others was regarded as the norm and her memories are warm, loving, and's absolutely the reverse of so much of today's fashionable thinking on child-rearing and instant gratification - and it's an inspiration. Do read it.

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