Some seasonal advice for my lovely little sister...

The thing I wanted most as a 13-year-old was a five-year calendar - so I could tick off the days until I could leave home

Share
Related Topics

By the time you read this piece I will (I hope) have had a lovely pre-Christmas weekend with my little sister. She's 13 and this will have been the first time she's stayed with me on her own. Despite what I think my step-mother (her mum) fears, I have no plans to let her have her nose pierced as an early Christmas present or get an outlandish goth haircut when I take her around London's Camden Market. I also promise I won't tell her my tips and tricks for being a terrible teen. Well, perhaps a couple, although she's forging her own path on that front.

What I will tell her is how lovely it is to see her. I remember her first Christmas, togged out in a little Santa outfit, just two months old. I'll tell her how she was the perfect present for a teenager who thought she'd never have siblings. I'll also attempt to tell her that however annoying she thinks her parents are, they love her very much. Even if they find her every bit as annoying. I'll tell her to try and be good this Christmas, to try not to get into a shouting match with our Dad. He'll win: he's got much more experience. Just back down, it's easier.

I've already bought her some presents, so I won't upset the horses by kitting her out in punk gear and I've managed to fight the urge to buy her one of the things I most wanted at her age (other than a time machine or a boyfriend with long hair): a five-year calendar. So I could tick off the days until I turned 18 and could leave home because, y'know, life as a teen was SO UNFAIR. I will try and make the case that while being a teenager can be boring, frustrating, excrutiating and scary, she'll look back at these years with a great deal of fondness. Especially the Christmas Eves down the pub when she's a bit older (if she's like her big sister).

Of course, I'll tell her all this and I'm sure she'll give me the eternal teenage gifts: a sigh and an eye-roll but I mean well, and hey, maybe she'll take something in.

I've heard miracles happen at Christmas...

In last week's column I wrote about shops I'd known and loved, and mentioned Baldocks, an outdoors and army-surplus store that used to operate in my home town of Maidstone, Kent. I said it had shut down, but I received an email from its owner, Tim, to correct me. It's "alive and kicking" in West Malling and is in its 134th year of trading, amazing since it is still in the same family. While it no longer stocks ex-army stuff, it sells skiing and outdoors equipment. If you're in the area, pop in, buy something and do give them my love.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Java Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a...

SAP Functional Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £45,000 - £55,000.

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Functional ...

Javascript Developer

£40000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Grace Dent
Sir Ian McKellen  

Call me a Northerner if you like – it’s no insult to me

Simon Kelner
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn