This is my nanas sideboard. It sat in the lounge in her house in
Greenock for all her married life. My papa and her chose it, newly married before they moved into their almost new house, along with a smart red vinyl suite that battered and taped up limped though the long game with her and my Papa.
When I was little the sideboard housed her sewing kit in the left hand side doors, cutlery and place mats in the middle and cereal and condiments in the end cupboard. When my brother and I stayed with Nana, often Mum and Dad would have been out the night before and would have a lie in, while under Nana’s supervision we kids would make pyramids out of cornflakes on the carpet and play with the buttons in the button box, which I loved. My Mum would be horrified when she got up, as I probably would now (about the cornflakes!) but oh we were happy.
I stayed with Nana a lot and we had a really close bond. She was like a second Mum to me and yes we were spoilt but looking back from my vantage point through the years I can see that it really was unconditional love. She just let us be as kids, she never criticised us or judged us right up into adulthood. She just accepted us and loved us and she never made us feel like we didn’t measure up. Maybe it’s having kids of my own now I see what a special person she was. Sometimes you just have these realisations.
Nana was a unique character; she had found her ‘look’ in the war time and had stuck with it. Backcombed bleached blond hair, red lipstick high heels and nylons. Its funny but it probably looked a bit ‘out of time’ but it was just Nana and I was never embarrassed by her. She loved to smoke and have a wee drink, invariably out of a tea cup in the house as my Papa didn’t go a bundle for drinking. When I was at Uni she would happily pitch up to whatever flat or residence I lived in and would soon make herself comfortable in the kitchen with a cuppa and a fag and a slice of a cream sponge still half frozen in the middle that she brought up the road from
Greenock on the train.When she moved out of the house after my Papa died, let’s just say reluctantly, and into a sheltered flat I gave a home to the sideboard. I carefully sanded the heavy brown varnish off it and oiled it. I loved the way the solid oak curves on the doors had come up and I nipped my fingers in the door hinges like I did when I was little. I love it still and there’s not a day goes past that I don’t look at it and think of Nana. She died a year ago just after Christmas. And what’s ironic is that people always comment on the sideboard, say what a nice piece it is etc. Nana would never have understood that- she wasn’t the slightest bit interested in the ‘stuff’ in a house. It was just stuff to do a job; the real treasures to her were her family