‘All a guy needed was a chance’ – Charles Bukowski 

Being one of five daughters I’m often asked out of curiosity what my experience was like growing up in a house predominately resided by women. Questions such as ‘Were there a lot of arguments?’ ‘Was there a race for the bathroom each morning?’ And statements such as ‘your poor dad’ and ‘it must have been a mad house’ often structure the conversation as my automatic response is ‘I have never known any different’. When I think in depth about the above topic and the magnitude of having so many sibling influences, especially female, I discover the generous gift of four sisters that our parents bestowed on each of us. We can share each other’s achievements and experiences to make our lives more interesting, credible and fun. The only people that made our place a mad house was the people who conceived us. 
I remember laughing a lot as a kid, more than ever my affectionate laughter directed towards my elder sister Hayley with whom all my influence was laid upon. Anything she did, I did too and I happily bloomed in her shadow. I was also an emotional kid, hit hard at little and my deep emotions have continued to drown me in adulthood. Affected deeply by others actions I often found myself questioning the misfortunes of the world. Unable to find the answers I longed for I often found myself retaliating my emotions in a negative manner, a way I have only recently been able to resolve. 
Attributes of both parents have devotedly been passed on to the five girls. I subconsciously picked up my mothers way with words as well as her gift of laying her own feelings aside and welcoming nature. From my father I gained structure and determination. I often try to fight my strict mannerisms and meticulous behaviour, then realise the potential such distinctions can bring. 
I can see my parents in all my siblings, each in a different way. Beth shares my mum’s warmth and Ellie has picked up on my dad’s no nonsense behaviour. Ruadhan, similar to myself wears her heart on her sleeve but there is more to her than that. She’s switched on, tuned in and has gained the most talent of all. 

 

Less Common More Sense. The brainchild of my second youngest sister is a credible display of thought, initiative and team work. Contributing once more with Lauren Stephen, a newly graduated journalism student from Edinburgh University with whom Ruadhan created the applaudable ‘YES’ zine. The two Dundee born lassies have created a dynamite connection and their artistic ideas seem to bounce off each other to create electrifying results. Using the relevant and popular ‘Pop Up Shop’ blueprint as the foundation of their latest contribution the duo called for local Dundee artists, makers and shakers to congregate at the notable Magdalene Green Bandstand and sell their wears under the umbrella of ‘Less Common More Sense’. The project at Dundee’s West Fest seen collaboration from well known fashion designers such as Hayley Scanlan and Kerrie Alexander as well as prints from under the radar photographers Neil Roy and Burnt Out Bongo. Stand out prints came from Stolen Computer and Ian Lyall, both with whom I plan to add to my own personal collection. The enterprise generated a lot of interest throughout the festival and I have confirmation that this will not be the last you see of this dynamic duo. 
Early autumn sees exploration of Australia for Lauren but the girls have promised to take ‘LessCommonMoreSense’ to more venues this summer, creating more opportunity for budding artists! 
Long live the VEF and the LCMS girls are my artistic QUEENS.  

   
                                     

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