Leisure and Living: Splash out for Mother’s Day

MOST mothers out there would no doubt see the irony in the fact that Mothering Sunday was originally the name for the day when domestic servants were allowed some rare time off.

Indeed, the “mother” referred to in the day’s title was actually a person’s “mother church”, which they were expected to return to on a Sunday in the middle of Lent.

Children – many of whom held full-time jobs in the 1700s – returning home would often pick flowers to present to their own mothers, and the day was also seen as a rare opportunity to visit family and friends.

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The holiday became less popular in the early 1900s, but during the Second World War it came back into fashion again, something often attributed to the presence of so many service personnel from the US and Canada, where a similar holiday was, and is, widely celebrated.

However, if you think some flowers picked from a nearby field might not quite cut it this Sunday, the Evening News has plenty of ideas on how to impress your own mother – and earn some major brownie points.

For mums who are into making and doing, there is a choice of activities to bring out the inner crafter, including Doodles Ceramic Workshop in Marchmont Crescent, which is offering a glass of bubbly and 20 per cent off the bill if you bring your mum or gran along to paint this Sunday.

Potter Around, the pottery painting studio at Overton Farm in Kirknewton, West Lothian, is also offering £5 off for those who come along to celebrate with their mum.

Honey Pot Ceramics is offering a cream tea for the special price of £3.25 when you bring mum along to try her hand. There’s also the option to make your own cosmetics, soaps and bath bombs. And if you really want to feel the benefit of a nice hot bath featuring your new handy wares, why not take advantage of the fact Honey Pot Ceramics is based at the Edinburgh International Climbing Area at Ratho?

There are climbs to suit all levels of skill and fitness, and instructors are available for beginners, all adding up to the ultimate bonding experience for mother and child.

Not feeling quite up to putting your maternal relationship on the ropes? If a bit of pampering is more up your street then the Chamomile Sanctuary Spa in Alva Street is offering £21 off a manicure plus afternoon tea and champagne for two.

If your mum has previously said she’d like to be treated like a queen, why not head to Edinburgh Castle and meet lady of the Queen’s household Mary Edmund?

She’ll be discussing how life was for medieval queens, though this may involve more conquering things and beheading than your mother probably had in mind . . .

If human royalty isn’t your thing then why not check out the animal kingdom? Edinburgh Zoo is offering a champagne afternoon tea for £14.95 per person or traditional three-course Sunday roast at £22.95 per person and £9.95 for children. Entry to the zoo itself is included in both packages.

Deep Sea World is also holding a Mother’s Day Weekend including themed talks and feeding demonstrations illustrating how maternal instincts manifest under the sea. And if you did fancy a bonding experience but heights aren’t your thing, why not try going under water instead? Shark dives will find you getting up close and personal with the hundreds of different types of fish in the North Queensferry aquarium, including 15ft tiger sharks.

For mums more into flora than fauna, the 2013 Scottish Snowdrop Festival is being held this weekend at the Royal Botanic Garden. There are 19 different species of this popular flower, including the common snowdrop, the Crimean snowdrop and the giant snowdrop, which unusually is generally smaller than the Crimean.

Sometimes family gatherings can be a tense experience, but if you subscribe to the philosophy that laughter is the best medicine – and suspect your mum doesn’t fancy cooking this Sunday – then The Stand Comedy Club in York Place could have the answer. Whose Lunch is it Anyway? offers free award-winning improvised comedy from resident duo Stu Murphy and Garry Dobson, plus hot food.

For mums who are always jumping through hoops, Strange Bird Zirkus aerial hoop courses are being offered at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall this weekend. Performer and choreographer Lucy Deacon will teach the technique, positions, transitions and use of momentum on the aerial hoop, though experience is required.

Ain’t got that swing? Let The Pasendena Roof Orchestra provide it instead. John Arthy, who founded the band back in 1969, may have retired back in 1997, but the group is still going from strength to strength, working with world renowned artists such as Robbie Williams and Bryan Ferry.

The orchestra is currently fronted by Duncan Galloway, who has been compared with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby by American fans. The gig, at the Regal Community Theatre in Bathgate, begins at 7.30pm.

Just fancy a good meal and like to plan ahead? The Living Room in George Street is offering everyone who brings their mum in for a meal on Sunday a special voucher entitling them to a free meal on Father’s Day in June. Call 0131-226 0880 to book.

And if you’re having to commit the ultimate sin and miss Mothering Sunday due to unbreakable commitments, soothe the savage beast with tickets to the Harvey Nichols Fashion Show, being held in store this Wednesday, which promises to feature key looks from this year’s spring and summer collections. Tickets are £15 and include a “sparkling drinks reception”.

And remember, Mothering Sunday may only come once a year, but it’s important to appreciate her every day.