It’s my sister‘s birthday today – we were born 18 months apart, which was, really, a mixed blessing when we growing up. It meant we always had each other to play with, and squabble with, but it also meant that when we were teenagers she couldn’t get away with very much (for example, I told our mum and dad that she had been seen smoking on the bus. I’m still not sorry). And over the years our relationship has gone through some peaks and troughs, and we’ve had some difficult things to cope with, particularly when we lost our dad. She is the kind of person that everyone warms to instantly, and she’s a brilliant mum to her three children. Here are a few of my favourite anecdotes:
1. When I was about 13 I had a mad crush on a boy who used to ring me after school for hour long chats (this was before mobiles, and txtspeak). One day, during one of our phone calls, my sister picked up the extension phone and yelled down it ‘MY SISTER USES FOOT POWDER.’ OK, I did have a little issue with cheesy feet at the time, but honestly, the shame.
2. My sister asked me to do a reading at her wedding. It was held in a church, but I’m not remotely religious, so I said OK, but I’ll find a poem or something similar. In the end, we agreed on the theme from Friends, by the Rembrandts, because my sister and I have always watched Friends obsessively. I stood up in front of the church, and started to read, but I didn’t even get as far as ‘I’ll be there for you,’ before I started sobbing. She now has this hysterical crying woman on her wedding video.
3. When she announced she was pregnant with her first son, we were all thrilled… but I had to sit on a secret of my own for about a fortnight, because I was pregnant, too (it took my mother a while to get over the shock). Having bumps at the same time, apart from causing great hilarity in our family, made us very close, and our babies were born two weeks apart.
So Happy Birthday Catherine. I’m so very proud of you xxx