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Happy 30th birthday Marguerite

Dear Marguerite,

In an alternative reality we are preparing ourselves for the weekend of a lifetime this weekend, you turn 30 on Friday! Whoop! Happy birthday little sister! Where have the years gone? I have no doubt that we would be hitting a European city for a few cocktails and a spa weekend or I would be back in Ireland for a party to end all parties. If there was one thing you could do by the tender age of 17 it was throw a party. 

I wish more than anything that we could have that weekend together. A weekend of gossip, of laughter and probably over indulgence. No doubt you would still disapprove of my style, my ability to put on make up and my hair. No doubt your insistence on getting ready for a few hours would still drive me insane. 

I often wonder what your life is like in that alternative reality. Are you a wife? Are you a mum?
Are you a career driven woman with plans of world domination? Are you a wanderer with an insatiable lust to see all the world and explore it's wonders. Are we close? Did you become my best friend?

I wish I could know. 

You have been making your presence known in many weird ways over the last fortnight. I have noticed as subtle as you have been. I was out with the boy and his friends, and for some unknown reason Katie Melua came up in conversation. Katie Melua! You are the only person I know who loves Katie Melua. I took a few gulps of my drink and waited for the conversation to move on, but I gave you a nod. I wanted you to know that I noticed. 

Today as I walked home, Katie Melua came on my Spotify singing 'Closest thing to Crazy'. Christ Mags, that songs cuts me in two. We spent so many hours singing along to that song together.  I had tears by the time I reached my front door.  Next time can you send me a wee rendition of 'Buffalo Soldier' or 'Brown Eyed Girl' instead. They remind me of you too, but not quite so emotionally. 

I went for a walk around the winter gardens in Aberdeen the other day. It is a happy place for me. I love it there. I was sitting on a bench having a wee think about life and what a funny wee thing it is, when two elderly women walked into the garden I was in. They were french speaking women and I was listening to their lyrical tones when one of the women clasped her hands and exclaimed 'Il y a beaucoup de fleurs'. She was right. There were a lot of flowers but Mags, that line will always be yours. I felt my throat tighten and a knot formed somewhere in my windpipe. I had to leave my private little haven. The gardens were suddenly far too warm for me. I cursed you for sending her to me. Why not have someone say that line on TV when I am in the privacy of my home? Honestly it would be just as effective.

In the alternative reality, I will tell you of how wonderful your 30s are. Seriously they are great. We will make plans of all the things we want to do in our 30s, all the places we haven't been yet. I must warn you however that alcohol stops being your friend. Hangovers become two day affairs and mixing drinks is a no no. Our poor bodies just can pull that stuff off any more. Don't get me started on 'the horrors'.

In the alternative reality I will insist that you make a list of all the things you want to do before you're 40. We won't appreciate what it means to have each other in our lives nearly enough but we will probably agree to work on our bucket lists. In our alternative reality you are alive long enough for there to be a bucket list.

In this reality I will be working on your birthday but I will finish the day with a Margarita. Of course I will, it wouldn't be right not to. I will attend my friend's baby shower and then head away for the weekend with my boy and with Claire and Craig. It was Claire's 30th not long ago. Isn't it funny how the world works like that? I will be giving her her 30th birthday present in my reality and you will be getting your 30th birthday present in our alternative reality.

I wish so much that you were here in this reality celebrating with us. I wish you were here to meet Claire (who you would love. She is mighty craic) and Craig (also mighty craic). I wish you were here to suss out Stuart and question him menacingly about his intentions for me (as you seemed to love to do). You would be wetting yourself  in laughter at the reaction his presence has caused in Ireland. Oh how you and Vera would have great fun at my expense.

This letter has gotten a bit long little sister.

So, from the bottom of my heart 'Happy Birthday'. Marguerite.  I hope you are having the best of celebrations in whichever reality is now yours.

Lu xx

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