Along with your hobbies and your favourite colour, talking about your brothers and sisters is one of the things you learn to say first in foreign language classes. I remember learning it in French J’ai deux soeurs and German Ich habe zwei Schwestern. I remember listening to my school friends with their long lists of ‘full’ or half or step brothers and sisters, and I remember being a bit jealous of anyone who was an only child because Einzelkind sounded cool in German. But apart from that one sentence, I’m not sure how much I learned to say about them. Maybe Elle fait de la dance ('she goes dancing') or Sie hat blonde Haare ('she has blonde hair'). But it seems somehow bizarre to say such basic things about people who live in your house and share your genes, so I want to say a bit more.
I have two sisters, and I am a girl. If you add our mum, you’ll see we grew up in a house with mainly ladies. As my dad has (too) often complained, “even the cat is female.” It is true, lovely Chloe is also female.
But I don’t want you to think it was a ‘girly’ house, because it wasn’t. OK, we all did ballet dancing, but only my biggest sister was any good at it. And we didn’t all have pink bedrooms. And yes, we liked dolls and fairies when we were children, and we did grow up to wear heels and makeup, and we do still spend hours doing our hair. But there were also plenty of tracksuits and trainers and tractors. We preferred horror movies to romcoms. And I’m pretty sure my favourite toy was a rocket launcher.
Like I said, two sisters. I am the youngest, and the middle one is three years older than me, and the oldest one is three years older than her.
My middle sister likes animals (she named her teddy bears ‘bunny’ and ‘tortoise’), has a growing collection of coca-cola bottles, and has very nice hands. Nobody knows where she got those hands from. For this reason, she often receives rings as gifts from the family. (I have awful little chubby hands, and have therefore never received a ring.) She is also famously the most sensitive member of the family because she once cried in a film called ‘Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah’ (this film is actually called ‘Song of the South’ but we have always called it ‘Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah’ at home) which is a Disney film, and not sad at all. She likes to wear colourful clothes, and shares my love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her favourite vampire is Angel, whereas mine is Drusilla.
My biggest sister is actually the smallest. She is a bit shorter than us, and is also what a clothes shop (and the French) might call ‘petite.’ She was quite a moody teenager, and now she is a very nice grown up and looks after everyone. She has sophisticated handwriting and very good teeth. She has travelled all over the world. She also loves horses. When she was younger, she used to go to a local farm regularly to help look after the donkeys and horses there. Then she got her own horse (but only half of it -- she shared the horse with her friend) called Cinnamon. Now she rides a horse called Otto. My biggest sister used to love a boy band called Take That as much as girls today love One Direction. Her favourite was Mark Owen. He was her Harry.
That’s all I wanted to say. Just to give you an idea. The next time someone asks if you have any brothers or sisters, how about answering, “I have _______________ -- let me tell you about them”?
Do you have any brothers or sisters?