Last week my niece and nephew had their first sleep over at mine. Noah was most excited. In fact until bedtime came the 3 eldest children were riding round on bikes and happily enjoying themselves. But Frankie my niece ended up having to go home as she wouldn't settle. But seeing the cousins all together made me think about the happy times I have spent with my cousins over the years.
I have LOTS of cousins. All apart from 3 are on my dad's side of the family. Unfortunately I only know a few of those. But the cousins I have on my Mum's side are a huge part of my life and always have been. I am particularly close to Dizzy (Elizabeth or FC) and GeeGee (Richard). They are called my cousins because they are my uncle's kids. The reality is, they are my brother and sister.
Although we lived 100 miles apart, holidays were spent together, and when we were older me and my sister would spend a week with them at their house, they would do the same at ours. We went on rainy caravan holidays in Wales with our parents together, then in our 20's Liz, Rich and myself started going on skiing holidays.
Memories of sleep overs, the 4 of us piled in to one double bed; taking hours to fall asleep, parents yelling at us up the stairs to shut up and sleep. In the bedroom there was a full length mirror that had a sticker of this grotesque skeleton on that glowed in the dark if I remember rightly. One summer Richard forced us to watch "Poltergeist". That sticker gave us nightmares for months! Liz and I still freak out about that movie, especially the maggots in the meat:/
Other memories include Richard trying to get us to sleep by applying Vicks Vapour Rub under our eyes. OH MY GOD! AGONY! Dens made in the bushes opposite our Nan's house,the squidgy bog, baaaad men on Pincents lane, walking barefoot down the stream at Springfield Park (something my children better not do!), fights with kids from the local council estate and multiple trips to accident and emergency.
As we have gotten older our adventures have tended to include far too much alcohol and copious amounts of vomit. It hasn't always been so Enid Blyton and twee. We have had our share of arguments and falling out and like any sibling relationship, there has been teasing, shouting and crying. But I know they will always be my brother and sister. They were my first best friends and will aways be two of the people closest to my heart. I hope Alfie, Noah, Frankie, Benjamin, John and Alex (Richards Kids) have the same relationship with each other as Karen, Richard, Liz and I have.