I don’t come from one of those families that has a million and one relatives and cousins. I remember when I was growing up there was a girl I was pretty good friends with who had her cousins over all the time, always different cousins, always visiting from one country or another, always getting in the way of us hanging out. Mostly I remember being jealous that she had other people her age to hang out with, to be close with, to be sisterly with.
Then my baby cousins Lorraine & Justine were born. This was particularly exciting for me, as since I only have the one older brother the concept of having two baby sisters was amazing: I could teach them the ways of the world; I could dress them up and teach them about make-up; it would be like having two living dolls. The only flaw in this plan was the fact that they lived halfway across the world in LA, and I was in London. However, the seed of an idea was planted, and the first time they visited us in London I distinctly remember dressing both girls up in flouncy party dresses and plastering play make-up all over their faces, then parading them in front of my (slightly amused) aunt and uncle, and my (completely horrified) parents.
Said baby cousins are now 20 and 19 (although in my mind they will be forever 6 and 5, asking Brother and I to tuck them into bed and kiss them goodnight), both at college (sob), and the eldest studying for the semester in Paris. She popped over for the weekend to see us in London, and I knew that finally I would be able to take her out to a bar or two and continue my older cousin/big sister duties. There was one place and one place only that I had to take her to: B@1, Spitalfields Market.