Things My Mother Taught Me: James Fox

His ten engines always revving, this fantastic Fox brings the heat like no one can. The only word to describe him is inimitable. I’ve said it before, but his is the most impressive display of personal style. He can’t help it. Always original. Always a wild animal. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. James Fox.


My mum is the kind of mom that ensures children can make kedgeree, salad nicoise, and give bottles of champagne as presents. I refer to her as Oma on 10engines, but long/short she was a gym/swimming/dance teacher from a Scottish family of teachers who changed tack about 15 years ago and started a career in marketing. Babytalk, even from babies, is not permitted, nor are pre-tied ties on men [same thing right? -ed.] That all sounds a bit hard, but really she is far from that.

Mum lived through a golden age of cocktail parties in London, Africa, and New Englan. And while she may know all about the decorum, designations, and regulations for horse racing, for military parades, or for a shoot on the heather, in her famous words, “Life is too short for cutlery.” She has that preppy affliction of scrimping here (“No, it’s not cold, put on a sweater”) to splash out there (she harbors a serious luxe candle habit). All kidding aside, farm auction quilts, blankets, and furniture filled our old house. I don’t think mum paid retail or big ticket for anything until about 1990.

A single mum with three kids, a teacher, living in rural Scotland, she said she would quit tennis if I ever beat her. Not yet. Now that meine mutter is an oma, it has been fun to watch her interact with the grandchildren Foxes; letting them wield knives and forks at age two, which they do fine, wanting them to fly solo to Scotland to see her, which they’re dying to do. Getting this post together I realised that the father’s day round of posts was easier to pin the sartorial stuff to, but Mum was responsible for showing us manners. Manners count kids.