He Was My Brother

He Was My Brother

I haven’t really mentioned my brother in any great detail on my blog before. That’s partly because I don’t tend to talk about my real-life friends or family on the internet, in case (a) they find it or (b) their employer/family/school principal find it. I don’t want to cause issues for anyone!

But I’ve talked a little bit about my sister, and she did a guest post a very long time ago, so you know about her. I also mentioned her in the post I wrote about the Frank Turner gig I went to with her. And stuff.

But today I am going to talk about my brother.

His name is Ben. He is four years older than me and occasionally reads this blog. (Hello if you are reading this.) He’s into music, studying music production, and wrote a song to some lyrics of mine the other day, which is seriously cool. I’d share it, but it’s mine. Muah ha ha.

When I was little, my brother and sister often used to gang up on me. Four and six years older than me, they were closer in age and so had more similar interests. I couldn’t play with them because I was too young. I remember that they wouldn’t let me join in their Lord of the Rings games because I hadn’t read it, and then by the time I had they were twelve and fourteen and far too old for that sort of thing.

Totally not still upset about that.

More recently, though, it’s seemed like my brother and I are a team against my sister. I’m not saying that I don’t get on well with her, because sometimes we do get on very well. I mean, she gives me all her old clothes to spare me from the ordeals of shopping. Come on. But we have our differences, and often they’re on subjects where Ben agrees with me.

Torchwood, for example.

When Miracle Day was on last year, my sister was totally against me watching it. Children of Earth had been one of the most disturbing things she’d ever watched, and I was far too young for that. Also, Torchwood is full of sex and violence (sometimes). At fifteen (which is the certification of the show, by the way) I was obviously far too innocent to cope with any of this.

I wanted to watch it because I’d seen some episodes of early series and enjoyed them; because I liked Capt Jack Harkness and because Gwen Cooper’s accent was amazing; because I’m a Doctor Who nerd and wanted to explore the world of Who a bit more… She didn’t want me to watch it. She tried to tell Mum to stop me watching it.

And Ben turned around and said to her, “It’s up to Miriam whether she watches it or not.”

Neither my sister nor my brother live at home any more, but whenever they’re staying with us and we’re having family meals, somehow it always turns into disagreements, and ninety percent of the time my brother and I have the same opinion to each other, the opposite view of my sister. I’m not really sure why this is, but I’ve got a few ideas:

My sister and I are very similar in interests. At fifteen, she wrote books and wanted to be a writer and all that – and now she doesn’t. So for the last three years she’s been telling me that I’ll be the same. “Miriam, you’re not going to want to do this forever. I used to be like you, and now I’m not.” We both like reading, we both like ballet, we watch some of the same TV shows… but that’s where the similarity ends.

Because she’s an extrovert and I’m an introvert. She’s interested in politics and I’m really not. She likes fashion; I wear her cast-offs in any old order.

My brother and I are very different. He doesn’t particularly like reading, though he’s got more into it recently. He’s never written much and was the despair of his primary school teachers. He doesn’t dance. But there are a couple of things that unite us: music, and YouTube. He watches a lot of the same vloggers as me, so he gets a lot of the references I make. No one else in my family does, so that’s a unifying hobby.

And we’re both into music. He writes songs; I write lyrics, but can’t set them to music for the life of me. He plays guitar; I play violin. He sings; I really don’t, except when I’m made to. That is one of our differences, I’ll admit.

And I think because we never had the same aspirations (he never wanted to be a writer), he doesn’t see me as a younger version of himself, so he doesn’t try to warn me off my chosen path. He once told me to do what I wanted todo, and not what anyone else wanted me to do. To believe in what I’d been writing, because I was good enough, and I could make it. To dream. My sister means well by her warnings, but they’re something that annoy me, whoever they comes from. Because writing has been my life for three years now and I’ve never stuck with anything else for so long. I’ve never had something else that I couldn’t live without the way I can’t live without writing.

So that’s what I like about my brother Ben. I never wrote about him here, and I felt like I ought to, once in a while.

Do you have any siblings? Do you get on better with one than the other, and why? Let me know in the comments :D

This post was inspired by my music teacher’s recommendation that left me listening to Simon & Garfunkel all evening yesterday after my brother’s multiple (and unsuccessful) attempts to get me into their music. I think he’d be proud of the playlist I’ve currently got playing.

38 thoughts on “He Was My Brother

  1. Ah, sibling difficulties. I’m at the other end of the spectrum to you – I’m the older sibling, and I only have one brother. The difference may only be two years, but it tells. However, we do get on fairly well most of the time – namely because we are quite different personalities, but with a couple of shared interests (namely history, and irresponsible skiing tricks). Then again, I think the reason we don’t get on is that he’s hitting that time in his life when he’s a hormonal teenage boy who, for some reason, is posessed that anything that doesn’t go his way or agrees with him is automatically in the wrong and must be regarded with snotty scorn. I dislike this rather intensely, and it leads to . . . well, you can guess. Luckily for me, I doubt he’ll stay this way. I’ll just have to keep my head down until the raging tide of hormones has ebbed. In the meantime, I shall tease him about his wispy moustache and lack of chest hair.

    Brothers. Gah.

    1. You do have the advantage that while your brother is being hormonal, you do not have to live with him the whole time, being away at school and all that. Just think, when my brother and sister were both teenagers I was stuck with both of them!
      (Also, did you see what I did there with the title? Did you? Please say you got it.)

  2. My brother and I usually get along fairly well… but I don’t have another sibling to compare him to. We’re pretty different – we both have blogs, but his is all about computer programming and mine is about books/writing/random stuff. And he doesn’t understand why I like the music that I do.

    I like some Simon & Garfunkel too. But it isn’t really good as writing music… not loud/peppy enough. :P

    Pssst! I’ve nominated you for a blogging award! http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/the-fantastic-blog-award/

    1. Another award! These honours are undeserved…

      I like it as writing music, I don’t always need epic. For some scenes, especially dialogue scenes without a lot of action, I want something quieter. And a lot of their music has the right mood, I have discovered.

      1. Oops, I thought I wrote something here about S&G, but apparently I forgot to. Anyway, for calmer scenes, Sound of Silence is good, but IDK, the other ones get too quiet. I get distracted easily when it’s too quiet. I don’t know why. Maybe that’s why I talk so much… >.>

  3. I’m the youngest in my family, which – despite all those so called “perks” that come with being the precious family baby – can be quite frustrating at times. My older brother is 5 years older than me. Unfortunately, he isn’t exactly… as kind as your brother is. Growing up, he used to bully me a lot, which probably explains why I’m as good a boxer as I am today. Now that we’re sort of past those punching years, he doesn’t lecture me much either… To be honest, he was never the type who… Acted like he cared. There was one point when I really looked up to him, and tried hard to gain his acknowledgement, but lately I’ve come to realise that that isn’t necessary. Truth is, my brother may be all mean and fierce on the outside, but on the inside he isn’t a bad guy. Then again… I really won’t mind having a brother like yours, who could compose music. That sounds awesome!

    1. Yes, I’m the youngest too, and I admit that it’s hard. I mean, it’s so hard to be the first to do something, and if your older siblings are very good at something people expect you to be too…
      I’m sorry to hear your brother bullied you when you were younger :-(

      1. EXACTLY. It’s like no matter how hard I try, one of my siblings has already succeeded. And oh, the parents and their endless comparisons! “Why can’t you be as smart as who and who? Why aren’t you as talented as your brother?” It drives me INSANE sometimes. And don’t be sorry about my brother’s evi deeds; I actually love him so much because he’s so mean…

        1. Ehehe, okay then. I haven’t been in that situation so I can’t imagine my own reaction towards it. My brother teased me, but never bullied me.
          Luckily, I’m the one who does well in school (because I’m a total nerd and have no social life and actually care about grades), so I don’t have that. But when I arrived, there was a big pressure from the music department to live up to the ‘legend’ that was my brother, and it’s only now that most of his teachers have left that I can be a musician in my own right.

  4. My brother used to bully me ALL THE TIME. He’d punch me and twist me into a headlock and… Well, everything basically. In a way, I think it really prepared me for the real world…. Except the real world doesn’t throw your toys out the window. xD. I’m a total nerd too… Well, technically I’d be considered a geek because of all the fandoms I’m in, but ah well… Geeks, nerds… we’re all family, no? I do all right in school I guess, but my brother was REALLY smart. He was basically the type of guy who was smart but lazy at the same time… You could never tell how good he was at his studies until the exam results come out, and then everyone just goes all “woah, when did you even study?! O_O” Then again, it’s all right for me now because we have different interests, so now we’re getting recognised in our own way. My brother’s more into the Sciences… And I love to write. So yeah, polar opposites. I’m glad to hear you’re getting recognised as a musician. Just keep doing what you do, because there really isn’t any point comparing yourself to your brother. You’re probably both good in different ways and whatnot… We all are. Comparing your skills to his would be like… I dunno… Comparing pencils to cheese? xDD

    1. Ehehe, certainly we’re a very different kind of musician from each other!
      I’m in a lot of fandoms but I’m also quite academic so I’m not sure if I’m a nerd or a geek. I use the terms interchangeably anyway :-)

      1. Well, I think I’m just everything weird all rolled up into one bundle of weirdness XD. And me and my brother are just… COMPLETELY different. He’s tall for his age, I’m so short people barely see me. His hair is black, mine is blonde. He’s got swag, I haven’t. The list goes on. Do you and your siblings sort of look alike? When you go out and stuff, do people realise you’re related? Because when I go out with my family, it’s like… They see my family, and that makes sense… And then there’s me. In the corner. Looking completely different.

        1. We have some similarities. My brother and I both take after my dad. Most people realise we’re related but someone once thought he was my boyfriend…which was awkward. They quickly realised their mistake. I think it was just because I was sitting on him and although they knew him, they hadn’t seen him in five years and didn’t recognise him. So yeah. A similar thing happened to my sister when she went to the cinema with him. I don’t know what it is about him.

  5. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment.
    There’s no doubt that that you need to write more on this subject matter, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people don’t speak
    about such topics. To the next! Many thanks!


  6. Hi, Miriam! I found your blog through Cassie, and I must say that I’m delighted to read your post. We’re also two sisters and a brother. I’m the eldest…does that make a difference? Yup, there’s too much responsibility of setting a good example for the younger ones… Anyhow, just wanted to say that don’t compare yourself with your siblings. You are YOU and special in every way. You are unique with your own talents and dreams, so chin up, and walk tall! God speed.. :)

  7. I have an evil sister who is seven. She doesn’t look cute, she looks death-defying evilly adorable, when she wants to. Which is most of the time. Heh. Basicallly, she hits, pinches, kicks, and namecalling. Today I was informed that I was a fat fish, which I am not. Of course, I did call her a munchkin, but that is what she is. An evillly adorable munchkin.

      1. Mwahaha. I don’t look anything like my avatar (I have glasses, red hair and lots of freckles) but my sister doesn’t look anything like me. She has blond hair, is about as tall as me, no freckles and darker skin than I do. In fact, some people have a hard time believing she’s actually related to me :)

  8. Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?

    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having
    trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

    1. Personally, I don’t use a captcha because it tends to discourage people from commenting. I’m not sure if WordPress actually has one available, though I know that blogger does. I’m sorry I can’t help you any further.

  9. Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.

    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips for newbie blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  10. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is
    totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

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