Sibling shopping

I’m looking for a new sibling…
I jest of course. How could I possibly want to replace my unique (and utterly irreplaceable) little sister?

Easter weekend has been spent back in the shire in the company of sibling and sibling-in-law. Picking me up from the station in ‘nam (that would be a nam of the Cheltenham variety) we went straight into town for lunch at its ‘similar to but legally distinct from’ Wagamamas and some shopping.

The ‘nam has excellent, if somewhat expensive, shopping and we were on a mission to buy a soon to be 13 year old boy’s birthday present. (How is he that old? Teenage boys are so hard to shop for.) In addition to presents, we also managed to purchase identical shirt dresses (on my recommendation, already owning the same dress in black) and I acquired a skirt in Fat Face that my sister had bought only the week before. It seems there is sororal telepathy and there is simply liking and recommending the same clothes…

Owning identical clothes is fine as most of the time we live miles away from each other and spend approximately 2 weeks (if that) a year together. However, I should have realised that her new dress was likely to appear yesterday morning – after all, isn’t Easter Sunday the traditional day for donning new outfits?

She left for choir practice whilst I was in the shower, so I hadn’t even glimpsed what she was wearing; it also wasn’t visible during the service owing to her cassock/surplice. Not until I met her after the service did I discover we matched, albeit in different colours. [I suppose I should be thankful that the identical dress I’d bought didn’t quite fit – despite being the same size as my original black one – such is the way with Primark…] We may have got away with though. My rather purple jacket seems to distract attention away from any other item of clothing, and it was too cold to be without layers. Plus, even her husband didn’t notice till late in the evening.

I’ve just put on the grey skirt we both now own. (How could I resist a £13.50 Fat Face bargain that’s perfect for work?) I suppose I’d better pop into the lounge and check what she’s wearing. Identical clothing two days running would be too, too much.

Before I do, I have one more issue to mention. Because of our similar taste, I’ve often had a habit of passing cast-off’s onto her – especially ones that no longer fitted. Now that I’m back down to her size again, there were one or two things I’d rather like back. Specifically, an Abercrombie & Fitch t-shirt I bought years ago in Hong Kong. I’d bought her one too (different colour), so if I got mine back it’s not as though she’d be left with nothing. However, she is immovable. I ‘gave’ it to her and thus it is hers. Apparently it also fits better than her original. I find this grossly unfair, especially as she has a very full wardrobe and I’m struggling to rebuild mine.

Hmph. Maybe I should look for a new sibling after all.

Sororal telepathy strikes again

I’ve mentioned before that my sister and I have occasional moments of telepathy, either in things we say or how we dress. Lately, it’s happened again, but in a rather more comedic vein…

We both happen to be fans of Fat Face clothing, particularly their sales. In the run-up to Christmas they had some sales and special events which we both took advantage of – me in London and Mim in Cheltenham. I vaguely recall her mentioning a lovely a dress and I told her of a gorgeous skirt I bought whilst Christmas shopping.

Back in the shire for Christmas, I showed her the skirt and she exclaimed [in an accusatory tone]: “but that’s the same fabric as my dress!” – as if I should have (i) known and (ii) done something about it. It didn’t need to matter, especially as we generally live over 100 miles apart. I’m pretty sure that I also mentioned that I was intending to wear it to our family gathering a couple of days later…

…she insists that I didn’t mention that particular nugget of information, and that’s how we emerged from the car to the realisation that we were clad in matching outfits. Normally, we’d just have laughed and the wider family would have been somewhat amused, however this was the first time we were meeting our cousin’s fiancée and I didn’t really want her to think that this was a habit of ours!

Anyway, it was fine. My skirt was under the table most of the time, so it didn’t matter. Only thing is, this weekend we managed to do it again. It’s my current favourite skirt, so was the logical choice for a ‘smart’ outfit for our Christmas Dinner at the weekend away. There was also a little bit of me that suspected she’d bring the dress, and I rather liked the comedy aspect of it – but in no way was it pre-arranged. Sure enough, we came down to dinner dressed alike, again – to roars of appreciative laughter.

To illustrate: (Note that the fabric is subtly different close up – mine is more purple than hers. I also own the socks she’s wearing…hmmmm.)

Oh well, what can you do?

Incidentally, this weekend was a very interesting revelation into the workings of sisters…there were four pairs of them (and should have been five), all with their own dynamics. The one thing they all shared? A general dislike of discussing their sister’s relationship status – in jest or seriously – though I believe my sibling was the only one to declare my personal life to be “gross”. Thanks. [It’s not. There is nothing to tell. We were discussing hypotheticals…]

Sororal Telepathy

My sister and I have never been known for being particularly in tune with each other in a spooky way. Sure, we have similar passions for handbags and shoes and could be said to have similar taste in clothes. But telepathy? No. Until yesterday…

Turns out that despite a 100 mile distance between us, we can still manage to write identical messages in birthday cards and send identical replies to jointly received texts.

Now, before you say “well everyone writes the same thing in birthday cards…”, how likely was it for both of us to write “congratulations on reaching a 1/4 of a century”?? [The recipient was throwing a party to celebrate ‘reaching a quarter of a century’.]


It’s a good job we’re no longer forced to dress alike…

…oh wait, even that happens telepathically!

Minimus & Maximus

In preparation for a post on Friday about the Girls’ Weekend Away I’m going on, I though I’d share one of the eccentricities about this group of friends: the Minimus and Maximus sextet.

About four years ago, it dawned on us that within this particular (musical) circle of friends, there were three pairs of sisters. Even better, the three sisters were all separated by a 3 year age difference. Somehow (and this memory is a little hazy, we may have been in a pub) this resulted in us referring to each other as “Minimus” [the little sister] and “Maximus” [the big sister].

As a result, I am now affectionately known as “Clutterbuck Maximus”.
(I do have a few issues with this name, but I’m going to try and get over them!)

Over the years, we’ve set a few ground rules about this name and who else may be able to join us:

– Once a Minimus or Maximus, always a Minimus or Maximus. This means that even after marriage and the acquisition of a new name, you still retain your rightful place as a Minimus/Maximus. Two got married last year, but my sister remains “Clutterbuck Minimus” despite her new “Monk” tag.

– Other pairs of siblings can only join if they are female. No male-female Minimus & Maximus.

– At all events where all 6 are present, a photo should be taken.

As a result of this last rule, we have quite a few photos going back over the years. One set even ended up on a mantelpiece belonging to one set’s parents. We also now have hoodies (see above). Do you think we look like a swim-team? Quite possibly.