Ratface & Fatarse
This is how my sister & I refer to each other, in a very affectionate way of course! Admittedly I do have quite a fat arse (but shrinking by the day!) but she doesn’t have a rat face. Although she must have done that day a number of years ago when I called that in a fit of pique!
So yesterday you met Helen. As I said she is the reason I’m taking a hiatus for the next couple of weeks. Finally we’re going to Australia!!! Woo hooo! Helen & her husband Ant emigrated to Perth in January when Sam was a teeny baba not even able to roll over yet. When we arrive it will have been 9 months and 1 day since we last saw them, way too long to go without seeing family.
We’re very close now but haven’t always been. It’s well known in our family that when Helen was younger she had a very obvious jealous streak. When she was a few months old & I was on my mum’s knee having a cuddle (I was only 4) she used to crawl over, grab my foot and try to pull me away. If my parents were holding hands she’d have to stand in the middle of them. I went to a private fee-paying school while Helen didn’t want to & went to the local comprehensive. In Morrison’s if my dad said no to buying her a Pot Noodle she say ‘but Emma goes to private school & you won’t even pay for meee to have a Pot Nooooodle’ (you know that kind of whiny voice I mean). As we grew up though we grew closer; the catalyst really being me moving away to go to uni. We weren’t in each others pockets fighting anymore and we started chatting on the phone. She came down to stay with me. We’d go out drinking in the Student’s Union with my friends. I like to think I educated her in how not to live your teenage years. At 16 she met a lovely boyfriend, who 7 years later would become her husband (I bumbled from boy to boy until my 20’s). She did go out drinking but unlike would return home. I hope my car crash teens showed her the better way to behave.
Helen & I are alike in too many ways. We look quite similar (although she’s all blonde hair, blue eyes & a tiny waist). We’re both fiercely loyal to friends & family. We love children & want lots. We have the same kind of sarcastic, dry, silly sense of humour.
She’s the gobby one though. You might not believe that if you’ve only met me, I am pretty damn gobby but Helen….good god. Everything is black & white to her. There is no grey whatsoever. This can be amusing when you watch her ranting at someone about what they’ve said but terrifying if you’re the one being ranted at. She doesn’t back down & doesn’t compromise. We’ve nearly come to blows many a time & ended up just walking away from each other. We had a huge argument at her wedding. I have no idea why now. Our husbands got involved, one of them said something derogatory about one of us & that’s it, we were defending each other to the ends of the earth. Our argument was completely forgotten; we ganged up against the husbands who were left speechless & confused at the complete turnaround & didn’t quite understand how & why they were now on the receiving end. They learnt a valuable lesson that night – never get involved in an argument between sisters. They’ll be fine; you’ll be the one in trouble.
She’s so funny on a night out. She loves showing off her party tricks off ‘the chicken dance’, fitting her whole fist in her mouth & doing ‘the crab’. When we’re out together you can guarantee that few people will get a word in edgeways, few will be louder but many will look incredulously at the gobby, cackling girls downing cocktails (preferably Alligator Coolers) & shots (B52’s)like they’re going out of fashion.
I can’t wait to see her again. We’ve not made any plans while we’re in Oz. It’s not a proper holiday; we’re not bothered about sightseeing. We’re just going to see Helen & Ant’s new life – where they live (new 3 bed house with gardens opposite a park) work (Helen’s got her dream job in childcare), play (karaoke pub & seafood restaurant). When I say it like that & look back at their admittedly nice but small 2 bed apartment on a main road, her job in travel which was ok but not what she really wanted) and old haunts – local crappy pubs & Oldham Town Centre (the first place in the country to get a mobile hospital & introduce Post Office style queuing in bars) you can kind of understand why they left. I can’t wait to see her new puppy Cooper.
Mostly I can’t wait to see her face when she sees her gorgeous little nephew toddling over to her.
The only worrying thing about going to Australia (apart from the 24 hour flight with a 14 month old baby who hates sitting down & wants to walk everywhere) is how on earth will we say goodbye again?