My Gran would’ve loved Kimber. She’d’ve had a biscuit or five in her pocket every time they met, and Kimber would have been even more spoiled than she is now. But not especially because she was Kimber. Because my Gran had biscuits in her pocket for every dog she met, and every dog she met was for spoiling. My Gran was one of the fairest people on the planet: ‘what one gets, they all get’ was her mantra. She had three granddaughters and she didn’t deviate from it once. If one got a clock, we all got a clock. If one wanted a bracelet, we all got a bracelet. If one got a ring for her twenty-first birthday, everyone got a ring for their twenty-first birthday. If one gets, they all get. The only time it didn’t really happen was for normal birthdays: that would’ve been weird. But the same amount of money would’ve been spent.
The ‘all for one’ thing did get out of hand occasionally. There was one incident that stands out as one of our family stories, and shows not only Gran’s sense of fairness, but her determination and sense of fun as well.
One day, while my sisters and I were staying with Gran and Grandpa for a week’s holiday, one of us declared that she would like a bean bag for her bedroom. I can’t for the life of me remember who it was, but of course if Gran was going to buy one granddaughter a bean bag, she’d have to buy one for us all. So the next day we set off on an expedition into Glasgow City Centre. We went for lunch, perused the Walrus and the Carpenter – the best toy shop in the world! – and then headed for Frasers. If memory serves me right, it took a few shops to find our bean bags, but once that desire had been expressed, we were not coming home empty handed! Gran never let us down. Not once. We all had to declare what our preferred colour was, and thinking back it’s uncanny how our favourite colours have stayed with us from childhood. And so, three different coloured bean bags were duly purchased. Now it’s worth noting that my Grandparents didn’t drive. So please imagine, if you will, my Gran marching up Buchanan Street towards the bus station, with three children aged 8, 10, and 12 struggling to keep up with their massive bean bags, and my poor Grandpa bringing up the rear of our crocodile. (I only say ‘poor Grandpa’ because a couple of weeks before he’d had to get on the bus with a mattress. But that’s another story.) The bus driver’s face was a picture, and a less determined woman would have shrunk from the task of transporting her brood and three bean bags by bus. But not my Gran. “Two adults and three children” she shrilled at the driver. And on we all struggled, Gran pulling and Grandpa pushing us on to the bus. When we got home we were thrilled! Although if memory serves, our parents were less so at the prospect of fitting three massive bean bags into the car to get back to Edinburgh. But they could hardly complain, could they?! And if there was a hint that they disapproved of the bean bags, even a little bit, it’d have made the whole adventure even more fun for my lovely Gran 🙂