One of the “Dangerous Sisters”?

So who are the Dangerous Sisters and how did they come by that name?

This nickname was bestowed upon myself and my “big” sister Sue by our older brother, Bob.

I cannot remember the exact day or time when he first used this phrase to refer to us but I know it was one he used a lot in the later days of his illness. He used to laughingly threaten other people…often abstruse medical staff….that if they didn’t comply with his wishes he would set the Dangerous Sisters on to them.

Not that he needed other people to stand up for his rights. Who else but Bob could be treated in a hospital for lung cancer and be allowed to keep his outdoor shoes on in bed….under the bedclothes? We didn’t need to intercede for him for that to happen.

We did however, help him access other luxuries vital to his needs during that first hospital stay. Such as a constant supply of red hot chillies which he loved to chomp raffishly whenever visitors, of whom there were many, or nurses drew near. He disdained the hospital food , which to be fair was often dire. So we would order delivery curries from his favourite restaurant aided and abetted by it’s owner for whom “Dr Bob” was a favoured customer of over 30 years.

Or when out of hospital one of us would be pushing him in his wheelchair to collect his daily espresso coffee shot from the cafe round the corner. Or wheeling him to his bench outside the buttery so he could meet and hold court with friends,colleagues and students. All the while secreting hospital urine bottles in carrier bags about our person……just in case …..

But most of all one of us was almost always by his side throughout his short but desperate illness whether in hospital, at home or finally in the hospice.

When our parents had died over 30 years previously we had formed a compact, an agreement of mutual support if any of us were ever in need. And, indeed, although all 3 of us had partners, progeny and friends who provided strong support networks we knew that we would always be there for each other. This was despite falling outs and semi estrangements that occurred over the intervening years. The day after our mother died, inconveniently on one Christmas Day , Bob had turned to me and Sue and, after claiming that, at the ripe ages of 29, 36 and 38 respectively, we were now orphans said “Well, it’s just us three now, kittens. We will have to stick together.”

And so we did.

The three of us, as children with our mother,Effie,
on a Rough Stuff challenge in the Rothiemurchus Forest during one of our annual cycling tours of the Highlands of Scotland .

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