Pinky's Book Link

Thursday, May 15, 2014


A guest post from my sister, Sam (with some cautionary footnotes).

We had a little cold spell this week, which means the musty old woollies get dragged from the back of the closet where they spend ten months of every year.

“Just look at this cardie,” I complained to my hubby. “It’ll need a good shave before I can wear it.”

The look of complete confusion on his face made me realise perhaps not everybody uses a razor to get rid of pilling on jumpers, but as my sister showed me long ago, it works a treat. This in turn had me thinking of all the other wondrous and mundane things my darling sister has taught me over the years. (1)

When Pinky and I were much younger the majority of stuff she shared was on the practical side. How to feed our dog my peas under the table (2) and not get caught, how to blame our little brother for anything I might have broken and how to read under the sheet with a torch after bedtime.

Our teenage years though were a very different story.

Pretty much everyone who knows us both has heard the story of Pinky forcing me to take up smoking. She’d just started the habit, and as our mother made her drag me around almost everywhere, she quite rightly worried that I’d dob her in.

“Right,” she insisted. “If you don’t smoke this cigarette now, none of us will talk to you.”

Since these Pinky and her gal pals were the coolest, most worldly beings I knew, I was only too willing. My first cigarette was an Alpine menthol in the toilets at the Odeon Cinema in the city. (3)

I’m sure she soon regretted this as I took to it like a duck to water and spent the next few years pinching them from her hidden packs at every opportunity. (4) (She also taught me how to do a thorough search of our house for secreted objects.)

During our 20’s, Pinky moved on to teaching me more exciting things. How to throw a great party (lots of booze), how to sneak into a concert (over the fence ) (5) and how to convince your boss that you’ve definitely caught a bug not a hangover. 

Are you seeing a trend here? Pinky made quite a fun teacher.

As they say, time waits for no woman, our single days were past and marriage and babies, soon to become toddlers, kids and dreaded teenagers were upon us. Pinky gave lots and lots of advice about all these things, often with an eye-roll and, as anyone who knows her will assume, a very bossy tone. 

I, of course, didn’t always listen, but a better arbiter of whether a bump needed a Bandaid or an X-ray you couldn’t find. I might not have had a village around me but at least with Pinky only a phone call away, my children didn’t grow up with disfigurements.

I like to think I taught my sister a few things too but the only one I could really come up with was patience as I blundered my way through life, but I am sure we learnt a few things together.

Some of my favourites are:-

How not to hold a grudge. (6)

How to bite your tongue when you need to.

How sitting in judgement doesn’t really help anyone.

That you might as well laugh at yourself because everyone else does.

And finally, to always love and appreciate your sister. (7)

Footnotes from Pinky:

(1) Thanks Sam. In one fell swoop you've destroyed my online reputation as (and I quote one of my favourite bloggers, Lee-Anne Walker, in her famous post, "Serious... and other important trivia.")  "a witty minx". 

Now anyone who reads my blog will form a mental picture of a witless Pinky sitting around all day shaving woollen garments like some sad middle-aged weirdo.

(2) Yes... and my scheme worked so well until you pushed the envelope by chucking a cold slab of Mum's steamed choko under the table, the dog refused to eat it, the game was up, I got the blame and we were both sent to bed with no dessert.

(3) I truly am incredibly sorry for that Sam. Especially as it took you twenty-five years longer than me to give the filthy habit away. But in all seriousness, how was I to know you had such an addictive personality?

(4) YOU STOLE MY CIGARETTES??? Do you know how much those things are worth now? When we were kids they were only two bucks a packet... now they cost twenty! You must owe me hundreds of dollars. 

I'll be around on the weekend to collect, and if you don't pay up I'll pin you to the ground and tickle you until you cry just like I did when you were five.

(5) Finally! My credibility is restored. I AM a minx.

(6) I still want the money for those ciggies.

(7) See above.