He hated the cousins.  They weren’t even first cousins, he muttered to himself indignantly, they were his mum’s cousin’s daughters.  Hardly even relations at all, really.

They were two sets of identical twins.  The oldest pair were Violet and Daisy, who were 9 and a half and enjoyed ballet, horse riding, and ‘accidentally’ setting things on fire.  The younger two were Jasmine and Lily, who were aged 7 and three quarters and mainly liked digging holes.  They looked exactly the same as their older sisters but for being a tiny bit shorter, and all four of them were the spitting image of their father – mum’s cousin Simon.  What this meant in practice was that they were broad shouldered, ginger haired, and decidedly abrasive.  They also liked to dress in various shades of shocking pink, which meant you could always see them coming.

Eric thought this was probably because they liked to give you a bit of time to start properly dreading their arrival.  When you saw the wall of pink tulle ahead in the distance, your stomach turned to lead and you wanted to run as fast as you could in the opposite direction.

“No wonder their mum works abroad,” he thought gloomily, lowering his head into his hands as they took it in turns to hurl insults through the door, “I’d leave the country too if they were my kids.”

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