Posts Tagged ‘sisters’

I was amused by a recent article in the Guardian, forwarded to me by a friend. It concerned a group of ten grown men playing an elaborate version of tag, which has evolved over twenty years. It brought to mind a game my sister and I started, years ago, shortly after she was married.

I was at her house for coffee one morning and together we were admiring her wedding gifts, until she came to one which she placed carefully on the table. What was this odd thing? Even now I find it hard to describe. It was given to the happy couple by an elderly lady who was going through a phase of producing goods to sell at craft fairs. (I don’t think the phase could have lasted long).

Imagine if you will, a large pebble, the type you’d find on Brighton beach.

It was not as tasteful as these

It was not as tasteful as these

Encase this in a woollen jacket crocheted in a variety of mismatched colours and weights of yarn. What have you got? Well, we had no idea. It didn’t look like an animal or a goofy little Gonk thing. There were no eyes, for a start. We looked at it. I picked it up, turned it over. I tried to think of something kind to say; my sister, typically, was enjoying my discomfort.  I caught her eye and we started to laugh and we carried on until we were howling uncontrollably. We decided eventually, once we’d calmed down, that it must be a paperweight. There was nothing else it could be – it certainly wasn’t ornamental, it was hideous.

Some weeks later, after my sister had visited me (and I think some of you will guess where this is going), I found the Stone sitting on the windowsill in our cloakroom. I cried with laughter all over again, by myself, while I pictured her doing the same thing, thinking about my discovery. We share a warped sense of humour.

The next time I went to my sister’s I left the Stone somewhere she would later find it. And so our little game began. We never mentioned the Stone again, but I knew that she knew that I knew there was a competition on to see who could hide the Stone in the most obscure place.

The anticipation of an impending visit caused as much hilarity as the search afterwards. Over the next couple of years the Stone turned up in a number of unlikely places – under the kitchen sink, in our bed, the freezer, in a bag of potatoes, on top of a cupboard, in the garden shed. As soon as she’d gone, I’d  rummage around the house until I found the Stone, (sometimes it would take days), ready to re-hide it when I visited my sister.

My husband and I even took the Stone away with us on holiday, featured it in some of our holiday snaps which I later showed my sister who didn’t bat an eyelid.

Our game came to a tragic end, however, when I hid the Stone inside a floor cushion filled with polystyrene beads. Weeks went by, my sister visited me, I had my usual, by now obsessive, ransack but to no avail: the Stone was missing. At first I thought she’d moved the game up a notch by purposely not hiding it just to confuse me but then I discovered through a bit of family subterfuge that my brother-in-law had sat down abruptly on said cushion, split the cover and spilled beads everywhere.

My sister, in a fit of rage, scooped the whole lot into a bin bag and took it to the tip.

Or did she? I live in hope that I might stumble across the Stone when I’m least expecting it; that my family intel was wrong, that she found the Stone and hid it somewhere so ingenious at our house that in twenty years it has remained undiscovered.

Whatever really happened, I guess we’ll never be sure – neither one of us wants to break the silence. But we had the most hilarious fun playing our game of hide and seek – perhaps that is for what the Stone was intended. Surely no other wedding present has provided so much mileage in terms of mirth – and it would never have been used as a paperweight.

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