Before the year is out, I will be a biological evil Auntie, rather than the "ties-of-friendship-rather-than-blude" evil Auntie I have been so far. The parents of the future be-evilled niece or nephew have been practising their parenting skills on the dog, so I am generally optimistic about the whole business of keeping the infant off the sofa and training him/her not to climb up the stairs, chew the bottom step to matchsticks or make messes on the living room carpet.
The dog has also been generous enough to allow me to practise my own evil aunting skills, which in her view generally involves letting her sprawl with pr0n-star abandon all over the older bro's fatboy (posh beanbag) revealing all sorts of Overly Frank Truths (it's a girl! it's a boy! later this year - it's a filled nappy!) to the world and shedding a good quarter of her body hair. Meanwhile I watch DVDs.
But while in the car on the way to the mouth of Wey this weekend with tricky, we were chatting about this and decided that in honour of the occasion I should probably up the evil quotient somewhat. We idly debated the possibilities of motorbikes, red leather, tattoos and a mysteriously untraceable smell, but in the end came round to the idea that the crowning glory could only be provided by my er... crowning glory.
Maybe it was the giddiness brought on by the pending weekend at the Great British Seaside. Maybe it was the prospect of greasy, paper-wrapped heaven in the form of the best fish and chips on the south coast. Maybe it was the Annual Trawler Race. Maybe it was the monotony and dull back pain induced by the Great British Bank Holiday Series of Traffic Jams. Maybe it was the ipod-wielding genius of tricky himself, and his selection of finest tunes. A combination of nostalgia and pop is a deadly thing.
But five and a half hours later, we poured ourselves onto the grey and windy beach utterly convinced that the ultimate badge of evil auntieness, the towering edifice that is the iron badge of the truly Great Aunt is the rock-solid, weatherproof, waterproof, wellie-proof beehive.
I'm off to find the lacquer and half a country cob.