Lynn O’Rourke: ‘She put on a brave face and waded in to help’

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I HAD been promising my sister for ages that I would venture into our attic to look for some kids summer clothes I had stashed up there that might be handy for my niece.

The bigger girls’ shorts and summer dresses and sandals that only get worn about twice in a 
Scottish summer are great hand-me-downs for the younger ones – when I can find them.

So, intent on reusing and recycling, and with Sis in position at the foot of the wonky ladder, I warily creep up and disappear, blinking, into the gloom, wondering where to start. She thinks it’s going to take me five minutes to find this stuff, but I know better. You see, when she passes anything to me it’s all done in a very organised fashion, in zip-up bags labelled with ages and sometimes even seasons too. It is an organisational sight to behold. Then something awful happens on my watch and chaos descends.

I’m feeling a bit nervous now. Nothing to do with the exposed boards I’m crawling over and a lot to do with the number of part-full carrier bags strewn about. Some even lying on top of the now half-empty storage bags. I’d better get a move on, I can’t let her see this. And then I hear it, the gasp of horror as, fed up of waiting, her head pops up through the hole in the floor.

Give my lovely sister her due, she put on a brave face and waded in to help, which is just as well or I might still be up there.