Madge, her eldest sister, looked about forty, rather

Madge, her eldest sister, looked about forty, rather than thirty two. Her black dress drained her of colour; her shoulders had adopted their perpetual hunched position, which she had adopted to compensate for her height. As a child Madge had towered over her peers, stopping only when she reached five foot eleven. Lesley knew, without seeing them, that she would be wearing the usual flat shoes, the only footwear she would allow anywhere near her size eight feet. Sitting beside Madge, Pamela, her youngest sister, blonde hair flowing over her shoulders, was thankfully dressed fairly decorously in a black coat over a black pinstripe tunic dress with a high neckline. Remembering Pamela’s usual mode of dress, Lesley could only deduce that their mother must have prevailed upon her this time, in deference to the occasion. To her left Alan, at twenty four, the baby of the family, was talking in low tones to his girlfriend Erica, his fair hair and her dark locks forming a striking contrast. From Erica’s expression however, she guessed that Alan was currently on the receiving end of her infamous (and often malicious) acerbic wit.

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