Mother’s Day How a nation found new ways to pay tribute
It was a Mother’s Day unlike any other. There were to be no hugs, kisses or even a cuppa as Britons were told not to visit loved ones. But in the grip of the coronavirus the UK came up with innovative ways around social distancing. Some left cards and presents at the doorstep; others turned to FaceTime to catch up with their families.
Pamela Foulis, 56, went one step further. The hairdresser, from Dunfermline, recreated a scene from her favourite film, Love Actually, when she surprised her 83-year-old mother in Edinburgh. To the sound of Wet Wet Wet’s Love Is All Around, Foulis spelled out a message to her mother, Helen Murphy, from the end of her drive.
Displayed on one card at a time, the message began: “We all wish we could give you a hug and a kiss … But due to the virus, we will just give that a miss … sorry we aren’t out eating, drinking and having fun … but hopefully by next year this will all be over and done.”
A video taken by Foulis’s daughter Lily had been viewed thousands of times within a couple of hours of being posted yesterday afternoon.
Foulis said she wanted to do something special for her parents, who are self-isolating and worried about the virus. She said: “She was very emotional. I usually see her every week but I’ve not seen her for a fortnight now. I was trying not to cry because I knew it was being videoed and I thought if I start I’ll set my mum off. She was getting emotional anyway. I was biting my cheeks.
“I just feel for my mum and dad. They’re getting older now and my mum’s really worried so I just thought it would cheer her up.”
Foulis said she had just been told the barbers where she works was closing because of the virus, and was on her way to submit her CV to supermarkets for a part-time job when she spoke to the Guardian.
As the UK faced its first weekend behind closed doors, many turned to video-calling apps such as FaceTime, Houseparty and Zoom to mark Mother’s Day or to share a Saturday night in.
The celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay shared a video message to his mother as part of ITV’s Britain Get Talking mental health campaign, which has relaunched in response to the outbreak.
He said: “Social distance, yes, is important, but even more important is social communication – talking. I promise you, we are going to get through this. Please don’t overcook that beef. I love you. Take care.”
▼ Ben and Isaac talk to their grandmother as she and her husband self-isolate at home in Knutsford
▲ Olive Trotman, 76, receiving a visit from her son Mark, his wife, Denise, and his sister Kelly Pamela Foulis (above right) took inspiration from Love Actually for a tribute to her mother, who is self-isolating at home
▲ Many people used video messaging to get in touch on Mother’s Day. Above, Helen Walters chats to her mother, Gillian