…..today, my lovely Granny, Annie Souter, was born.
Here she is with me when I was a few months old.
I’ve written about her and her wonderful influence on me many times before.
When I was a little girl, every day she and her cairn terrier Cheeky would meet me from school and we’d walk back to her and my grandad’s flat.
There, she would make endless cups of tea in a china cup with a saucer, poured from a metal teapot. I actually decided to sharpen up my ideas a few weeks ago and bought a proper teapot, although I don’t think I could actually go the whole hog and have loose tea. The bags are much more convenient.
With the tea I’d have a mouthwatering array of pancakes, scones or cake. Granny loved to feed people and she always did it really well. Many years later, when Bob and I would go to visit her, she’d bring out more food than even we could eat.
If it was the holidays and I was there for lunch, her tattie soup, or mince and tatties or fried fish on Fridays were fabulous. I’ve never been able to recreate that particular joy in a bowl that was her tattie soup. It was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted in my life.
It was at Granny’s that I had my secret stash of comics – it started off with Twinkle and moved on to Mandy, Judy and I’m sure there was one called Jinty at one point, but I may be making that up, and finally Blue Jeans and Jackie.
She always had stories to tell about the “olden days”, about dogs she had had, about all sorts of things fascinating to a young child. When you think about it, she lived through 4 monarchs, 2 world wars and changes in technology that were incredible. I wonder what she’d make of a phone that carried round all your photos and music and could fit in a tiny pocket in your handbag.
She was well past retirement age when I was born and it must have been quite a challenge to have a baby and toddler full time when my parents were working, but she never showed it. By the time I went to school, she was in her 70s, but picked me up every day and looked after me in the holidays. And not just me – in the Summer holidays, my six cousins would be there for at least half the time.
Every day in the holidays we’d go to town to buy provisions. Those were the days when you’d go to the greengrocer if you wanted to buy vegetables, and you got them in a paper bag, then you’d go to the fish shop, which smelled properly of fish, and then you’d go to the butcher and the baker. You get my drift. To this day I love the indoor market in Inverness.
It’s 16 years since Granny died and I miss her. I wish Anna, whose name had her in mind, had had the chance to know her. She was a lovely, kind and gentle lady and I feel so lucky that I had her in my life.