Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Sometimes it's nice just to snuggle up to your sister, give her face a good lick and then settle down, nose to nose.

I don't speak personally, mind you. I have no sister, which in many ways is a great grief to me. On the other hand, if I had had a sister (and she would of course have been the ideal sister, endlessly supportive of my views and understanding of my foibles) I'd have been very upset if she'd gone and lived elsewhere. (Cf my feelings about children.) I do have a brother and was sad when he left home, never to live in Edinburgh again, when I was 22.

I have no cousins either. I think my ideas about cousins were formed by much reading of Enid Blyton's "Famous Five" stories, which featured children (Julian, Dick, Anne and George) who were siblings / cousins. My fantasy cousins would have been about my age and very pleasant and funny and would have lived round the corner. And now, I suppose, they would have children and grandchildren and we would all be one big jolly family.

Actually, I suppose that life is complicated enough as it is. I'm happy to say that our three children and my brother's two get on very well, though they don't see one another all that often, since his two are in Cambridge and our three in Edinburgh, London and Perth. (Though Niece was at Daughter 2's for dinner tonight. Happy Birthday, Niece.) And by the time you factor in their significant others and, in due course, possibly more of the next generation, there will be quite a lot of us.

I'd still have liked that sister, though.


  1. Without my big sister (+ 5yrs) I would have gone into the care system. I love her dearly and wouldn't change her for the world.
    My brother (8 yrs older than me) was exactly like a boy out of Enid Blyton. Even down to the fair-isle pullover and short trousers. I wouldn't change him, either.

    I also have at least 20 first cousins, some of whom I have never met.
    It was nice as a small child, being related to the children I spent time with. We were allowed to wander the farms and country lanes at a very young age. Some kind aunt would feed us, and we all seemed to find our way home.
    A way of life that has now gone for ever!

  2. But Isabelle!!!!

    You have daughters!!! I'm sure there's some saying somewhere I can't recall about how much more valuable that is. I'll stack my no-daughter grief up to your no-sister grief anyday.

    You know I win! ;-)

  3. But look how lucky you are Isabelle! You finally have a gorgeous grandson AND you see him almost every day!I haven't yet persuaded my sister to move here and probably never will, though her resolve weakens the more it rains!
    There is a dissertation on Kendamas, mailboxes and keys, especially for you, in my commenty box!

  4. I'm not trying to be cute---that was a typo!

  5. I used to fantasize about having a sister (who was also perfect and endlessly supportive). I had a few Italian friends in high school who had numerous extended families who all lived in the same block and I thought that was a perfect set up. Until they told me how they couldn't get away with anything because there was always some nosy aunt or older cousin seeing what was going on. Not that I'd be doing anything that I needed to get away with...

  6. Yes - they're great. Mine is 10 years older than me and lives miles away so we're not THAT close but, when we do chat, it's great. Over an hour last night that she managed to carve out of her busy family life for me. Lovely.

    I have lots of cousins too but we're REALLY not close. I hardly know any of them. The only ones we're close to are the ones who live in Canada!!

    Most of Rich's family live within a few miles of home and yet they're not terribly close either. I think with them that it is a case of taking it all for granted. I make him make more of an effort though and he is beginning to appreciate the benefits and see how lucky he is (sometimes....).

    Lesley x

  7. Sisters are tricky, I have 2, 1 good, 1 scary. Haven't seen any of my cousins in years, but through Ancestry.com I've reconnected with a 2nd cousin. I actually ended up closes to my husband's family than my own.

  8. I can relate to your wish for a sister. I have two brothers, eight and ten years older than me, who were no fun at all for me while I was little. They were doing all the fun things while I was too small to join in and by the time I was old enough to join in, they'd grown up and gone!