She was fourteen, I was twelve; having her around every Easter was like having Jesus roll away the stone - only to have it roll right over you. Her presence was crushing.
My cousin Elspeth, from 'Buckinghamshire', pronounced with her chin in the air and her eyes gawking heavenward as if conversing with God - had done nothing but complain for an entire week. She may have been wealthy, she may have been posh - but by God she was thick;
"Rory, do you ever have days when it doesn't rain here in Scotland?"
"February the Sixteenth," I said, plucking a date at random, "you missed it."
It sounded like the Queen replying,
"Febrooooaaaary the sixteenth you say? I must ask Father to remember."
Her family packed her off to us in Eyemouth for the 'sea air' every year, and every year we couldn't wait to hurry her back across the border to Berwick station and bid her farewell. Her family would send her north, with her own toilet paper. Our toilet only had torn strips of Dad's favourite newspaper - 'The Daily Worker', with its communist perspective, which they wouldn't let her use. There were numerous infections you could catch from an outside toilet, it seems Communism was one of them.
Every year we did the same thing before pouring her into the train south;-
"We'll stop for a picture at the border with your cousin Rory!"
"Aye Maw" I'd sigh.
I lost touch with her when she hit sixteen and have never heard from her since - I imagine she now has a beautiful manor in Buckinghamshire, Horses, a banker for a husband and in their toilet you'll find only torn strips from the Financial Times.
'Haste Ye Back' it says - the picture lies.
The above was written today in response to a great idea called the SATSNAP Challenge (Saturday Snapshot - take the image and write a 300 word post around it), which I stumbled across at this link here - SATSNAP
My thanks to 'The Thumber' for this great idea which made my Sunday a real pleasure today!