Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Off the Cuff

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Off the Cuff

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jamie Diffley

When one colleague said it, I thought it was an innocent mistake. A polite invitation, just waiting to be turned down.

When another said it, I began to think something was wrong with these people. Why would I take my sister along to a party?

My sister is all right. She's 33 years old and I'm 32 so on paper she should be just like me. Cool as ice and scarred (mentally and physically) from a million hedonistic nights.

The only scars she's got are the blisters from her Jimmy Choo shoes.

There's a huge difference between me and my Big Sis. When we were younger, she would always taunt me that I was adopted. As the years rolled on I started to wish I was adopted. I'm still not wholly convinced I'm from the same stock as the rest of the Diffleys.

My dad with his obsessive need to clean his cars every Sunday (had mine a week and I've smashed the wing mirror off); my mum and her obsessive fear of spending money (I go through mine like water. Did I tell you about my iPod Nano. You heard?) Which just leaves my sister.

My sis and I are poles apart. When we were younger, I was the one going out, staggering around drunk, while she was sipping her white wine and soda and coming over all flushed.

Then she stopped going out altogether when, at 20, she was turned away from a local wine bar for being under age. She wasn't and she didn't look it, but for whatever reason the landlord was in a funny mood that night. My sister showed him all right. She never went out again.

A few years later, going out became insignificant when she achieved her long-held ambition. She got married and had kids.

Her wedding was the fairytale affair that only my sister could have dreamt up. The ceremony itself was in a hotel in the Lake District, followed by an hour-long boat trip around Lake Windermere while the prawns were shelled and prepared for the hors d'oeuvres back at the ranch.

But my sister forgot to mention there was no toilet on the boat. …

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