Happy Friday, dear reader! I hope that your weekend plans are coming together nicely.
Just like the leaves on trees and Nick Clegg’s policies, our relationships change. (Cheap shot, I know, but I’m still really angry about the student fees thing.) My relationship with my oldest sister, for instance, has changed a lot since we were children. When we were younger she was very good at bossing us around with the impenetrable “Because I’m older than you” justification. It’s very difficult to counter that one, as it turns out. And it never stops being true.
Don’t get me wrong: she is and has always been a brilliant big sister. Now that we are adults, our relationship has changed to become a very close friendship, which is lovely. She doesn’t tell me what to do anymore, but she does have some very sage advice and ingenious ideas.
My sister has taught me loads of lessons over the years, most of the time without even realising it. She taught me not to take myself too seriously, and to laugh at myself when I’ve done something stupid. She taught me the value of being adventurous (standard telephone conversation: “I’m bored. I think I’ll go to Burma”) and taking an interest in the wider world. She taught me that it’s ok not to be a “proper” adult, and that you can find happiness in places you didn’t expect. She is also very good at seeing things from an older, wiser perspective, and using the five extra years she’s got on me to help me see things differently. In that respect, I’m never going to catch up. (Because of time and physics and stuff, but also because she’s just very wise.)
In the interests of Christmas spirit, human kindness and practical living, here is a snippet of sisterly wisdom:
- Don’t buy a piece of clothing unless you’re in love with it
I think we’ve all picked something up in a shop and thought “meh, it’ll do”, or “it’s not perfect, but I just need something to wear for x event”. We should not be doing this, for two very key reasons: firstly, it’s a waste of money. Secondly, it’s a waste of confidence. If you build up a wardrobe over months and years which contains a whole load of “meh” items, you will never feel your best, no matter what you wear. Your wardrobe should be full of things that make you look and feel great.
Very simple concept: have a fake Christmas day with your friends. Food, presents, silly hats, the lot. My sister claims to have invented the term “Fakemas” for this, and if you think she’s wrong then by all means take it up with her. I wish you luck.
- A wise man/woman wees when s/he can
Another fairly straightforward piece of advice, ensuring that you are never caught short at an inopportune moment.
- It’s all about the roast potatoes
Roast potatoes are the heart of a good Sunday roast. Get them right, and everything else will fall into place. This is especially important if you have vegetarians at your dinner table, because they can hardly be expected to get excited about a properly-roasted chicken, can they? Exactly.
Have a glorious Friday and a superlatively relaxing weekend.