Well, today my beautiful eldest sister, Lynsey (centre left), turns twenty-one. She's currently at university in Edinburgh, so Daddy has flown over from Belfast to surprise her for the day. I really wish I could be there and I'm planning to get over in the next couple of weeks, between classes.
Yesterday, Nana called up to our house to leave off presents for Daddy to take over to Scotland for Lynsey. Literally, all anyone had to do was to mention the words "twenty-one" and Nana's eyes would fill instantly with tears. "I just wish I was still taking her for a walk in her pram... the Silver Cross prams. The Edwardian ones. Not those horrible, ugly ones you see people with these days. Who would put a baby in a plastic pram? I mean, who in their right minds? ... My wee Lynsey. Twenty-one...."
Mummy also dug-out a bunch of baby photographs of Lynsey - one of which shows her in the County Kerry GAA shirt and the other in Grandpa Richard's arms as a baby, waving a Union Jack at the Tercentenary of the Battle of the Boyne in 1990. We were always a very political correct family.
Inexplicably, Lynsey and I have been left in charge of the house, while our parents and two youngest sisters go off on their holidays, for the last four years. It's been an interesting move on their part, because we have now developed a near-professional level of party-planning and party-recovery. (Sometimes the turn-over period between one ending and another beginning is less than five hours. Like the time I found Emily-Rose standing, smoking and shaking outside a restaurant we'd all gone to, to acquire a "morning after" breakfast fry-up. "Gareth, I have literally no idea how I got here... I mean, seriously, last thing I remember was standing talking to you in the kitchen and now I'm here... Jesus... Jesus, Mary and Holy Saint Joseph... I think I'm dying. Anyway, what time should I come over at tonight?")
Lynsey and I are also incredibly lucky to not only be brother and sister, but also friends.
Lynz, I can't be there today but I love you and I know that any of the family - or any of your friends - who can't be there today, for whatever reason, send their love and are with you in spirit. Which is probably the way you like it, because at least that way they won't interrupt your naps.
So, here, are the 21 quotes that really stick out in my mind about mine and Lynsey's relationship.
1. "This baby Mum's carrying ... I'm still going to get all the attention, right?" - Lynsey (approximately 1992)
2. "Awk... wee Ashleigh's the quiet one in the family, isn't she?" - Lynsey (approximately 2001)
3. "Gareth, I'm serious, if we don't get this house tidied before they get back from holiday, Mum is going to go ASAP!" - Lynsey getting a little confused over the use of "AWOL"
5. "What do you mean he's peeing in the Rock Garden?"
6. "Babes, could you pick me up some Brun Cheddar when you're down the street?" - Lynsey, apparently forgetting the word for 'bruschetta'
7. "Babes, do you mind if we have a few people over for a party, this evening? ... Yeah, no stresser. But I'll be home with all of them in about ten minutes... No, it's just a few! Honestly." - Lynsey, taking a liberal interpretation of the relationship between 'few' and 'twenty'
8. "I'll be on time." - Lynsey lying
9. "Sweet... they've legalised gay marriage. At least that means me and Emily-Rose have a back-up plan." - Lynsey, thinking ahead
10. "Gareth, the cat just vomitted on your bed. I may never stop laughing."
11. "Babes... seriously though, babes, like, babes, seriously, tell them... like I don't usually do this, do I, babes? Like, seriously, though."
12. "It's like a King's like Divine Right and stuff." - Lynsey's amazing answer to the question 'What is the Divine Right of Kings?' in 3rd year History revision
13. "Gareth, there's this documentary on about an obesity clinic. It might make you feel pretty good about yourself." - Thanks, Lynsey.
14. "I don't really take to carbs to be honest."
15. "Natasha microwaved us some bacon earlier." - Lynsey Russell, Domestic Goddess
16. "Yeah, but that won't be a problem once I marry Fernando Torres, will it?"
17. "Honestly. I'm not fussy! A pair of Louboutins or a weekend in Rome would be fine for a Christmas present." - Lynsey Russell, One of the People
18. "I am a firm believer in no sex before marriage. Great idea. I mean, I can't let ANYONE see me sleeping until after we're married, because by then there's no way he can get out of it. Also, can I just say? I find the idea of anyone spooning me or even being too close to me when I'm sleeping just a bit disgusting. I really think that when I have my own house, the Victorians had it the right way - separate bedrooms." - Get in line, boys!
19. "I don't really have enough clothes." - Lynsey's greatest lie
20. "Let's go to the Aquarium." - The line you will literally never hear her say, since she considers fish to be Satan's moving ornaments
Te quiero mucho and stuff! xxx