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Posts Tagged ‘siblings’

O Brother Where Art Thou?

Posted by shinymac on June 11, 2008

Reading back through some of my old posts, I realised that I don’t mention my brother an awful lot. Well, don’t get me wrong, he’s had a mention or two, just not as many as he deserves, because, to be quite frank, he deserves lots of mentions because he is awesome, and I do not use that word lightly, because I never ever usually use that word!

The reason he is so awesome is more than just the one actually. There are many.
Here are just a few:

1. When I was younger and things were hard at home, despite him being goodness knows where in the world, he said that no matter what I needed, whenever I needed it, all I had to do was page him (pagers! Remember them?) with the secret code word of “peanuts” and he would ring me as soon as he could. I honestly can’t remember why we chose “peanuts”, but I reckon we’d thought of a few possibly inappropriate words, and settled on something a little quirky, or perhaps we were inspired by the bowls of nuts my mum would adorn the living room with at Christmas time. I really don’t know.

I only had reason to use the secret codeword once, and I can’t even remember what that reason was now. At the time, it was obviously something important enough to warrant the embarrassment of telling the paging operator that the message was “peanuts”, nothing more, nothing less, but it can’t have been that important, or else I would recall it. And yes, he rang me as soon as he could, which was pretty soon after receiving his paged peanuts message.

2. Again when times were hard, and he was away in the army, he set up a standing order into both mine and my sister’s bank accounts. Not a huge amount, but a lifeline each month.

3. He has seen goodness knows what on his ventures with the army, yet he is placid, level-headed and not in the least bit messed up (that I know of!). He deals with anything that is thrown at him in such an admirable way.

4. He and his lovely wife Clare, have desperately been trying to have a baby for god knows how long, having to go through IVF and other treatments. Years. He has seen my sister fall pregnant, not just once, but twice, and myself accidentally falling pregnant with twins, yet he is not bitter. Obviously, both of them must find it very difficult, but he has given us his full support during our pregnancies, despite the pangs he must feel, wishing it was Clare. For that, he gets ultimate respect from me, and no doubt, from my sister too.

5. Whenever I am feeling like crap, whether I talk to him about it over the phone, or after a rant on here (see last post), he has a knack of turning it around. He draws out the positives and inspires me to work on them, instead of dwelling on the negatives. He doesn’t give sympathy, but he does make me do a U-turn, which is exactly what I need.

6. When he was younger, he messed about at school and didn’t really do very well. Now he is absolutely passionate about his work, and has turned it into his life and his career. Last year, he was accepted onto a Masters in his field, without doing any study post GCSE’s before. He’s put everything he has into this, and is excelling, with top marks in all of his assignments. The dedication he has shown is amazing. I am very proud of him.

7. Finally, and this one seems a little strange, but when we lived in Germany when we were younger, we were out taking our dog Amber for a walk one day, through the corn fields (which we would sometimes take a few cobs from). He decided, for some reason, to make me swear. I must have been about 9 years old, and I was frightened. He was older than me, and kind of the kid-boss in our house, so swearing in front of him? That was a scary thought, because I thought it was a trick. I thought if I uttered a swear word after he’s asked me to, that he would turn it all around and tell me off for it. He promised he wouldn’t, so I swore. He didn’t tell me off, so he therefore taught me to trust him, and he taught me that despite the 6 year age gap, he was one of us, and not one of them. To this day, that has always been the case.

Me, Stuart and Kerry share a special bond that only siblings can share. When I see my mother falling out with her siblings, and not talking to each other for weeks on end, I know that if I ever fall out with mine, it will be resolved quickly, especially as my brother is usually a mediator and helps us to sort it all out.

Thanks for everything Stuart, you really are special. Not “special” special, just special. x


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Slices of Life: The Very Early Years

Posted by shinymac on April 11, 2008

I’ve been inspired by a few blogs I read now and again, and decided to have a go at writing about sections of my life….. it may be boring, but at least it can be like a diary for my kids when they grow up, or when I’m no longer around or whatever……


In the year 1977 my dad had a diary in which he jotted down birthdays, important stuff, and dates when he was going away on army exercise.

On the day I entered the world, the entry simply reads; “Marie had a girl! BRILLLLLLLLLLLLLLL”. He was obviously filled with elation that his first daughter had been born.

I was born in Harrogate in North Yorkshire, but we were sent to Germany at the tender age of just 3 months, already starting my lifelong trend for moving around, feeling unsettled and letting my itchy feet do the walking.


At around 6 months old, I had a fit. My face turned purple, I went extremely hot, and stopped breathing.

My dad saved my life by dunking my tiny, pink body into an ice cold bath, and performing CPR on me, while my distraught mother lost it and panicked in the corner, believing that she had lost her first little girl forever.


My brother was already 6 years old when I came bounding along. I think he was probably really peeved that he now had a little pest following him around and eating his toys. I ate pretty much anything I could get my hands on, as my baby pictures prove. I was a big baby, with arms that appeared to have elastic bands wound tightly around the joints.


My mother was probably even more peeved that she no longer had any freedom whatsoever in the leg area. For as soon as I became mobile, I clung to her constantly, and even followed her to the toilet. Thankfully, I have since grown out of this habit, and my mum is no doubt highly relieved that she has a bit more personal space.


At 3 years old, my mother left me at a neighbour’s house whilst she attended the hospital. I screamed and screamed until I was actually sick everywhere.

I didn’t realise that when I next saw my mum, she would have another little body with her. My baby sister, Kerry. I now had a new person to cling to, a brand new, tiny, pink, wrinkly, yet strangely alluring and extremely beautiful little girl with hair as white as fresh German snow, and I vowed I would always look after her and never leave her alone.


To Be Continued………..

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