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It’s weird when one of my siblings suggests we might Skype or FaceTime. Mostly because we only ever really email or text. We never chatted away for hours on the phone when I lived in the same time zone, and now it’s mostly emails. Or trading hilarious animal videos back and forth – but I am fairly certain this is the life blood of most families these days.

My ears perked up when L’il Sis emailed with an invitation to Skype. Automatically I assumed something was afoot but I wasn’t sure if it was good or bad. We don’t normally let bad news linger – it’s ever so much better when it’s fresh – so I agreed to a chat just before Thanksgiving. Which was perfect for me because I didn’t get my Thanksgiving dinner on the correct Canadian date this year (though, I did get one later one and it was tremendous). Anyhow, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and a chat to home sounded very good indeed.

After the usual faffing around with lines and sound and video, L’il Sis and her boyfriend were there on the screen. And L’il Sis was doing that thing where you KNOW she’s got something under her hat but she wants to taunt you with it first. Like the way a cat plays with a mouse. Cruel I tell you, cruel.

“Oh, so when do you think you’ll be coming home in the summer?” she asked.

“Peach season, obvi.”

“Okay, when is that?”

“August. I usually fly the day after my britdhday.”

“Okay so that means you’ll be home, on like, the first weekend?”

“Pfft. Dunno as it’s October and that level of organisation is well and truly beyond me.”

“But it looks good?”

“So far it looks good. Oh, except my publisher said something about maybe reading at Edinburgh so I dunno when that happens.”

“When does Edinburgh happen? Also, holy shit that’s good.”

“I know right? Edinburgh happens in August.”

“Okay but you’ll be home?”

“Yup. Peaches, Sunshine. Heat. August.”

She looked about ready to burst at this point. “So, that’s great because we’re getting hitched yo.”

“Fuck off you are!” I squealed down the line.

“It’s true.”

“You put a ring on that!”

“Totes I did!” (We actually talk in this slightly ridiculous vernacular which was developed through a persistent and diligent use of sarcasm.)

“What did The Mom say? Did she fall down?”

“She doesn’t know!|”

“Fuck. Off. You told me first?!”

“Well, we’re telling everyone at dinner but since you’re not there…” she said.

“Oh. My. Gawd. I know this and your mother doesn’t. She’ll die when she finds out. I’m going to phone her right now and tell her I know things she doesn’t, and then hang up.”

“Don’t! She’ll phone me next and I have to go to work.”

“Oh, fine.”


“Okay but this is two whole days of me knowing and she doesn’t. Please, I beseech you, tell her I knew WELL IN ADVANCE. Ahahaha. Thinks she knows everything. Pfft.”

“We’re doing it at the donkey sanctuary.”

“Course you are.”

“Dog’s coming.”

“What else is he going to do? Stay at home and be sad?” I said.

“Obvi not.”

“Oh, I should ask. What were the deets of the proposal? Flowers, violins, a pack of hounds?”

“Nah, we were just at a thing and thought, hey we could do that, and so now we are.”

“Nice,” I said.

So, this far I have to stay, L’il Sis’s wedding is coming along nicely. I told The Mom I might buy a new pair of wellies for the occasion. To which she replied, “Dear, I believe this is the first time I’ve seen you look forward to getting dressed for a wedding.”

True fact.