Well, my little Sister got married. There’s something special about my Sister that I can’t quite put my finger on, but whatever it is it fills me with both pride and envy. Claire Bell and Alexander McDonald were married on Saturday 23rd September 2017. In all my years both being in relationships and writing about them, I’ve never known one to be as perfect as theirs.
Before I start praising my wonderful Sister (something she’s not going to let me live down), I need to talk about my new Brother-in-law, Alexander. There’s a really lovely story about how Claire and Alexander first met, but given that she’s a nurse and he’s a policeman, I like to pretend they met on uniformdating.com. When I met Alexander for the first time, however, I was genuinely devastated. I knew realistically that I could never have the scary older brother talk with someone five inches taller than me (he’s a big lad). But the truth is, I’ve never needed to have that chat. So thank you Alexander for being the man that you are, for Claire, you are everything that our family could ever have hoped for.
Claire and I had a very normal upbringing. She would make me play shops with her and I would practise choke slams, leg drops, rock bottoms, people’s elbows and stone cold stunners on her and as we got older, that competitive edge really started to kick in. At one point my bedroom was decked out with certificates, football trophies and running medals and what Claire did, was sneak into my bedroom with a red felt pen and leave a tiny red mark on every single one of my achievements. It was just her little way of saying, ‘one day Brother this will all be mine’.
And in fairness to her, she was right. One year as kids we went on holiday and I discovered an innocent little hobby – trampolining. Claire came home that year and went on to become some kind of child prodigy at trampolining, winning just about everything there was to win. If Netflix had been around at the time they would’ve made a documentary about her. But it’s true, Claire excelled at just about every sport she tried and to this day ends all of my birthday cards not just by writing her name, but with a nice big squiggly autograph.
Today, Claire has an amazing life, but anyone who knows her knows that she’s earned it a thousand times over. She’s been through more than most over the last few years and at times has been treating hospitals like hotels, but the one thing that’s really struck a chord with me is that I don’t think I’ve ever once heard her complain. From one competitive sibling to another I have no hesitation in saying Claire, you should be seriously proud of yourself.
So Claire Bell, from the very bottom of my heart, you are a hero of mine. Thank you for being my Sister and for making me an Uncle and know that no matter what famous people I get to meet in my work, yours is the only autograph I’ll ever need.
To the happy couple x