My sister’s turned into a nightmare drill sergeant | Cheryl Gibbs

I’m the youngest of three sisters. Michelle is just 13 months older than me, but Jo is six years older and when we were younger the age gap was clearly noticeable.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 5:34 pm
Cheryl doesn't look quite this happy when she's being put through her paces by her sister.

When I was 10 for example, Jo was 16 and I was just her annoying little sister.

To be fair I probably still am, but as you get older you definitely don’t notice the age gap like you did when you were younger.

Despite the fact I am nearly 39 (trying not to have a meltdown about my impending 40th next year) she still bosses me around.

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When we returned from Ibiza, I sat next to Jo on the flight home and we talked about the impact that having a baby has on your body.

At this point, she not so subtly pointed out my daughter Harley was nearly 21 months old and I couldn’t quite use that as an excuse anymore.

To cut a long conversation short, she basically told me that I needed to get off my butt and start working on my figure before it was too late.

I’ve definitely let myself go in that respect, but having Harley through three lockdowns and being focused on starting up a new business, working out and keeping myself in tact just wasn’t a main priority.

As brutally honest as Jo can be, if I don’t do something about it soon it will become increasingly hard to shift.

The last couple of weeks I’ve been constantly throwing myself round a gym or my living room, following some horrible HIIT routine sent to me by Jo or going for a run around Clanfield.

I don’t particularly enjoy it – or the fact I have to send Jo photo evidence of my flushed face to prove how hard I’ve worked.

Me being me, I’m so guilt ridden whenever I’ve had something to eat that maybe I shouldn’t have done.

Of course all that does is make her punish me by giving me a harder work out to do.

This is why it may have ‘slipped my mind’ on the odd occasion to let her know, particularly that brownie and slice of cake I had on Wednesday. I honestly cant bring myself to tell her for fear of what she’ll do to me…older sisters are fun, but my god can they be tough!


I visited a friend this week who has just had her second baby. She looked incredible and despite the tell tale signs that she’s just given birth (ie tired eyes) she just looked like she had life handled.

When I had Harley, I was a wreck for weeks.

People tell me your second child doesn’t change your life the same way the first one does.

But my friend told me you have no idea how much easier one is until there are two little humans who need your undivided attention 24 hours a day.

I’m hoping one day Matt and I will have another, but until then I’ll remember - when you think you’ve got it tough, someone has definitely got it harder!


I was really saddened to hear the news this week that the actor James Michael Tyler who played Gunther in Friends had died at the young age of 59.

Gunther, who played the bartender in the hit US sitcom, and became a regular fan favourite for his funny one-liners and obsession with character Rachel in Friends (played by Jennifer Anniston), died after a battle with prostate cancer which eventually ended his life.

He died at home peacefully and he is survived by his wife Jennifer Carno.

Rest in peace Gunther (I know that’s not his real name, but I don’t think I’m alone in remembering him for this role).

My thoughts go out to his wife, family and Friends.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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