“Why does Mabel make everything she eats turn into a mushy grey pulp?” 

“Mabel has just been sick into her box of squeaking eggs.”

“Look at her. Why does she keep making that face like Popeye?”

I have to live with these kind of comments on a daily basis. It is, quite frankly, insulting. But I do love my big sister. She’s the only one around here that will flip me a few rice cakes when she’s eating popcorn in the evening. She lets me gnaw on the end of her paint brushes when she’s doing her homework and Mother isn’t looking. 

She is my official advisor on the arts. We’ve visited galleries together, didn’t think much of Bacon but I am big Koons fan. 

 Some mornings, when I am sitting in my pyjamas in my highchair and Mother is in her dressing gown feeding me breakfast, Ruby says she’d rather stay home with us than go to college. But she always puts her Dr Martens on (at the same time as muttering to mum that she needs a new pair, she always needs a new pair) and leaves the house carrying luggage loads of art work. 

It’s not always picture of family glee though. I’ve noticed the way she studies a new outfit I’m sporting, mentally calculating the cost. Apparently the sound of me crying is the worst sound she has ever heard. Sometimes she says my nappy, and indeed I, stink.

But generally I would say she’s not half bad for a big sister. The arrival of Princess Mabeline on the scene has probably been a bit tough on Rube (she already told Mother she’s getting a French Bulldog instead of having babies). But I know she loves me really.