If you feel like a weekend spent reminiscing over Old Times, watching old family movies, and sharing stories which have been told several times over but still merit re-telling – well, it’s a sister you need.
And it’s just such a happy weekend we have spent with my Little Sister and her Other Half!
We had not just one, but two bracing walks over the
course of the weekend and Young Emily, who was also staying the weekend, was chatted up by the elderly chap we’d asked to take a photo of us all. We closed ranks around her to keep her safe from his attentions.
We found and watched the film of our joint Christmas 1993 when we were all so very much younger but every bit as silly. There was a great piece of footage where we were all sitting in the dark at the dinner table watching the Christmas
pudding being carried in, complete with fizzing sparkler on the top. “Oh, look, a photo opportunity!” I can be heard to exclaim in an incredibly shrill voice. Just at the very split second the sparkler fizzes out, the film captures the flash of
my camera. Photo opportunity sadly missed but a gem of a memory nevertheless.
My brother-in-law has found a story I wrote for my Little Sis when she was off on
Brownie Pack Holiday. I reckon I must have been 11 at the time and presumably I wrote it to stop her feeling home-sick, though I don’t remember anything about it it. It is a very moral tale, written in handwriting which Mr B says is much,
much neater than my writing today.
On Saturday evening we headed off to a charming, if rather expensive, restaurant called Splinters. Apparently it is called Splinters
because in the olden days when customers sat themselves down in the bench seats, they often found themselves with a painful accessory. We all sat down a trifle gingerly.
Before we were called to our table, we were able to enjoy our drinks and canapés in the cosy drawing room, complete with comfy sofas and arm-chairs, an old-fashioned radio and a wood fire. The menus arrived for our perusal, attached to small
planks of wood (which we handled very carefully. Just in case.) We discussed the Pope’s resignation, same-sex marriage and whether anyone could tell, just by looking at us, what relationship we all were to each other. It was what you might call
a free-flowing discussion.
Our most urgent decision was whether to have a starter and a main, or a main and a dessert. The three women in our party all opted
for dessert while the two men both went for the starter of scallops – only to find that those of us who were non-starters (if you’ll forgive the turn of phrase) were treated to a complimentary cup of chicken broth. Well, you can imagine,
when it came to the pudding, Mr B and the Brother-In-Law plagued our poor waitress for a complimentary ice-cream – “Fair’s fair!” She gave in gracefully. Bless her.
We finish our evening out with coffee and petit fours, back in the cosy drawing room. The Brother-in-Law asks the other party sharing the drawing room with us if they can guess what relationship we are to each other. They get it all
wrong, marrying me off to my brother-in-law and my sister to Mr B and completely failing to see (until it is pointed out) the familial resemblance between my sister and me. I think they were pretty good sports to play the game in the first place.
We talk about who was the first and greatest influence on our early lives – the Brother-in-Law is taking a course on writing family history and this is his next
topic. He’s going to write about his father, he says.
And then my Little Sis, whose birth is my very first memory, who was ever my best play-mate, said that
"obviously" the first and greatest influence on her early life was – her Big Sister. But, hey, that's me!
I am touched beyond words.