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Julie Goodwin's Essential CookingI am the absolute worst as I rarely send anything specific to my mum for mother’s day…living so far away from the motherland (I’m Irish now living in Sydney) it's often really cost prohibitive to send anything beyond a scarf…I think I have filled that lifetime quota by now. Does the complete lack of gifting count as truly awful?  I prefer to totally spoil mum when we are together by treating to afternoon tea or buying the outfit she falls in love with while we are out shopping.

The book to make up for it: Mum had really admired the original Australia Masterchef Julie Goodwin while she was visiting here and I have always sent her a copy of this book so this year I will be sending Julie’s new cookbook JULIE GOODWIN’S ESSENTIAL COOKBOOK.

Christine F

Stars Across the OceanThe worst present I ever gave my mum was a voucher for a car wash, which sounds pretty generous really, except I wrote in really small letters on the back that it had an expiry date of the following day, and pointed this out to her when she tried to redeem it a few months later. Sorry, Mum

The book to make up for it: To make up for it, I would get my mum STARS ACROSS THE OCEAN by Kimberley Freeman, because she loves to be kept up at night with an emotional rollercoaster of a page-turner.

Kate S

A Letter From ItalyThe worst present I ever gave my mother was a clear Perspex tissue box holder. She sort of snorted when I gave it to her and said ‘What am I supposed to do with this?’ I thought it was an improvement on the frilly variety, but she did not.

The book to make up for it: I would give her A LETTER FROM ITALY by Pamela Hart. It’s really beautifully written and complex in its portrayal of both war and love, which my mum would appreciate.

Laura B

Her Mother's SecretIn my mother’s kind words, I gave her ‘crappy potpourri that was like bark kindling from the school’s mother’s day store and an ugly dish to put it in’. I remember buying this with my $5 and thinking, I was the best daughter ever because ‘everyone loves potpourri’ – imagine my outrage when I texted her twenty years later to get this response.

The book to make up for it: I would give mum HER MOTHER’S SECRET, in honour of the cold hearted secret she has kept all these years about my fabulous potpourri bowl.

Jemma R

Little Breton BistroI cannot remember giving something awful, but do remember receiving.  As per the Sherwin tradition, I get chocolate cake in bed for Mother’s Day.  Mabel ate so much of it she made herself sick and threw up all over the bed.  Not sure if that is helpful.

The book to make up for it: I’d really like Mabel to give me a book.  And I think I’d plum for A LETTER FROM ITALY because it’s amazing that Australia had one of the world’s first female war reporters and I want Mabel to know she can do anything.

For my mum, I think she’d love an escape to THE LITTLE BRETON BISTRO.

Louise S.S.

Song of UsMy worst Mother's Day gift was a clay coin dish I made in Year 7 Art class. A dish so well-made that it didn't even sit flat on a table.

I also chose a lovel colour palette of puke green and salmon pink with a smiley face engraved at the bottom. You're welcome Mum.

The book to make up for it: This year I'll be giving her THE SONG OF US with a bunch of flowers and a fancy lunch. No clay monstrosities in sight!

Sarah H


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