Grandad's Carboy

Mark Menzies

Grandad Whiskers was a pharmacist. He ran a chemist shop in a small town called Banchory in Scotland. I don't remember him in the shop, but I remember him in his greenhouse, always smiling. He used to cuddle us and we'd feel the stubble on his skin against ours. He called them his whiskers so Grandad and Granny Menzies became Grandad and Granny Whiskers.

Long after he had passed I visited my Granny as a teenager and she said she would like me to have the carboy. It's probably something that he had used to do his day to day job, like I use a mouse and keyboard, but it has become so much more after it's intended use. It reminds me of the wonder and awe we used to experience staring at chemist jars that adorned the shelves, it reminds me of rich tea biscuits, high tea at the Burnett Arms, drinking Irn-Bru, the hoof doorstop and neapolitan chocolates. But most of all it reminds me of my Grandad and Granny Whiskers and the fun we used to have when we were very young at their house. The chance forays into Grandad's shed, sneaking into the greenhouse and exploring the garden, especially the garden- that was truly magnificent.

Taken for the Utata bottles project.

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