Tuesday, 7 December 2010


The Vernacular Curate, me what is writing this here, has a brother and a sister (plus two other half-sisters who he has never met, one of whom he has had a small amount of contact with). This is the first time that I have made this bold claim - but it is true. I have me some siblings, and yes, that means that there are two other people walking around this Rock who are as darned good looking as me!

I was reading another blog earlier on a largely unrelated matter, but which caused me to think about how I am as a sibling to others.

Pants, in truth.

I love my brother and sister without question, and they are noble good people in their own rights. They both have reasonably settled lives, wonderful families of their own, are good to spend time with - except that I don't. We don't. We just don't. I think it might be a 'boy' thing, because the fragrant Mrs Acular is on the blower to her sister fairly frequently; and to her mum - often. As I have reported here before, I hardly ever deign to speak to the woman whose womb I squatted in for some small period of time in the Seventies, and neither do I manage it with its successive tenants.

This is a post about family life as an adult, I think. For years, I agonised over the way me, my bruv and sister never talked - agonies that evapourated within moments when we were in the same room together. In those moments, all was normal, all was safe and strong, and we were as we always had been. As I begin to get older and as the greys begin to take over the browns on my noggin, I find myself more relaxed about this whole thing. I often ponder on their well-being, wonder how they are and what they are doing. I care very much about how they are doing, I always did and always will - but something in the hardwiring causes me to not test this. This means I can go almost a whole year without clapping eyes on either of them, and months without picking up the phone.

It would be easy to judge this poorly - and let's face it, I have for years. Perhaps I am guilty of taking them for granted, and them me, I don't know. I think, though, that if any of us picked up the phone in a time of crisis, we would all descend in a matter of a few hours from wherever we were. It is also odd as I raise a pair of siblings of my own 'creation', in whom I am keen to in-build loyalty and dedication to the noble estate that is 'family'. Does that make me hypocrite I wonder?

This post is mostly a rumination, not a solved problem or a resolved issue. I am happy to live and let live, on the basis that in need, we would call and we would respond. Circumstances mean that we can be in the same town at the same time every once in a while - but none of us creates those moments. We may just have reached a point of perfect balance for us all, I don't know.

I'd be interested to hear about other accounts of life with adult siblings. Perhaps I am a lousy brother, perhaps not - but in any instance, I'd love to hear.

And to Mick and Dan, who do read this from time to time - lots of love from your big bruv.


  1. I find it amazin how some folk can go so long without speaking or seeing their siblings. I could not go a wk without speaking to one of my brothers (the 1 u know) he is on holiday in kenya and we still haved texted! mind you i do have 6 brothers so got to be close to 1!

  2. Aunty David..
    As Your Eldest Teenage Niece I Must Point Out That The Word 'Bruv' Is Not In The Dictionary Soo Is Not A Word :D But The Blog Is very touching :D Love D xxx

  3. I'm one of 5 & our relationships have varied with age and circumstances but I've mainly remained close to 2 brothers and more distant to the other 2.Seems to me that it's part personality, part genetic & part society and the way we're brought up. I find it hard to keep in touch with anyone when I'm not in the same location - however Facebook & Twitter definitely help. Anyway - final comment is.... it's a 2-sided thing so it's not just us who are bad at keeping in touch. Love your blog!

  4. Growing up I was very close to my three brothers. We were very close in age and did everything in a gang. Never overtly affectionate we nevertheless were totally loyal to one another.
    As adults, since I was the eldest and the only girl, we made other friends and developed new interests but 'touched base' on all family occasions.
    Now, several hundred years later, after divorces deaths and the usual traumas of our seperate lives we never set eyes on each other from the beginning of one year to the end of the next. Phone calls are infrequent and actual 'sightings' much rarer, but since my husband's death the youngest brother and I have formed a completely new relationship. He has been a tremendous support at all the worst moments and a true friend.
    Sibling love if one is lucky, is a valuable and constant background to one's life and in my view need never be the phone-every-day type of relationship some people experience.
    I could go on (indefinitely), but have just remembered this is your blog!

  5. Thanks for sharing your ruminations! I lost my sister aged 36 a couple of years ago, as kids we never got on but when we both had children things changed (me becoming a Christian helped!). I miss her dreadfully but it has not made any difference to the more distant relationship I have with my brother. I do think of him often and care what is going on with his life, we are just very different folk. I still struggle with this though!



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