Save Our High Streets – Union Street U Turn

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Save Our High Streets

Something needs to be done about the state of our High Streets. Especially Union Street in Aberdeen. I know there are all sorts of projects in “talk” stage but come on –  is it that difficult? The longer it is left in the state that it is then the worse it will get, surely?

I moved to Aberdeen almost 20 years ago and the main thoroughfare – Union Street – was a bustling city centre, a strong beating heart at the centre of Aberdeen – The Oil Capital Of Europe. That is a stark contrast to what it is today – empty units, bargain pound shops, betting shops and pawnbroker type shops.

I know the world has changed, the oil industry is facing tough times and the way we shop has changed. I accept that the increase of online shopping has resulted in the demise of major retailers such as Woolworths and also that most big retailers want to move into fancy new shopping centres such as Union Square. I have no problem with this and I quite happily spend most of my lunchtime wandering around the shops in Union Square. However, it is leaving these empty units on the high street and allowing other “pop-up shops” to easily take up the space.

 

So, Aberdeen City council have “plans” to rejuvenate Union Street by pedestrianizing it, creating a civic square blah blah blah. Wealthy businessmen such as Sir Ian Wood offered, on a plate, £50 million to Aberdeen City Council for them to go off and “decorate the city” but they couldn’t pull their fingers out and decide on what paint to even use and they lost the lot! I could have a whole series of posts devoted to the idiotic decisions of the council!

Now, “what if” I was in charge (yes, God help us all!)

U Turn

I would take a complete U Turn and go back to the olden days. I don’t mean re-introducing horses and carts or wearing top hats and tails to go shopping, what I mean is bring back all the independent shops to the city centre. All the little boutique shops that are hidden in side streets who have survived these changing and hard times need to come back to the front – that’s how Woolworths started off after all is it not? These type of shops offer unique products & services that can’t easily be found elsewhere and would surely bring back the bustle to our high streets.

Using Aberdeen as an example, shops such as Nova Gifts, Peapod, Juniper & Millsom and Main* to name just a few. Sure, the fact they are small may mean they cannot afford the rent it would cost to be on the high street, so, instead of the councils spending all their money on the coffee and biscuits they have during their “rejuvenation meetings” they could lower the rents for the units on the high street to an affordable price for these small businesses.

To back up the fact that this could be a success Millsom and Main have recently moved onto Union Terrace, 10 metres from Union Street and have seen a major increase in profit!

I would also spend the £2 million that the council want to spend on a deep clean on a much better investment and let the criminals tidy this up for free – bring back chain gangs I say.

Just my thoughts – but what do I know?

I think the image I have created sums up this post quite well. It is a photo I made of merging Aberdeen past and present.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and “your High Street”. Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014

 

Celebrating Scotland: 10 Things I Love About My Country #7: Customs

 

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Should Scotland remain part of the UK now that we have been removed from the EU despite voting against it?

When we had the vote for Scottish Independence I voted to remain part of the UK because I was happy being Scottish, part of the UK and part of the EU. Now that it has been decided for us/against us to leave the EU my thoughts about becoming an independent Scotland have changed.

I am so proud to say I live in Scotland when I think of all the great music this amazing country has produced. So #7 in this series is Customs.

There is only one custom that I can really start with, one which is probably known world-wide as we do hold the biggest party for it every single year…

Hogmanay

This is the Scottish word for the last day of the year, according to the Gregorian Calendar, the 31st December. Hogmanay may be only one day but we Scots know how to party and we usually continue to celebrate right through the 1st January and possibly even on the 2nd as that is a Scottish bank holiday too.

Edinburgh holds the biggest Hogmanay party in the world and although I have sadly never been it does not stop me partying just as hard. Aberdeen used to have a street party but in recent years it has been restricted to just a firework display at the stroke of midnight. I always think they are the best fireworks I’ve ever seen but I’m usually so drunk by that time that someone waving a sparkler in front of me would probably seem to be like the most awesome thing ever.

A couple of years ago it actually snowed as the fireworks were going on and this was actually pretty amazing. I managed to “borrow” someone’s footage from YouTube and edited it and, well, I was happy with the results. The overlay of the ballerina may not be to everyone’s taste…

Aside from my tradition of getting drunk on Hogmanay this holiday has many other “sober” traditions. The famous song by Robert Burns, Auld Lang Syne, is usually always sang all over the world as the bells chime 12 but I have news for you world – you are all doing it wrong!

It is now common to sing this in a circle of linked arms that are crossed over one another as the clock strikes midnight for New Year’s Day, though it is only intended that participants link arms at the beginning of the final verse, coordinating with the lines of the song that contain the lyrics to do so. Typically, it is only in Scotland this practice is carried out correctly.

There, now get it right for this year – I will be checking.

A tradition that I vaguely remember and one that is certainly dying out is “first footing”. This basically means that the first person to set foot inside your house on the 1st January has to give you a gift. These gifts symbolise luck for the year ahead and used to be things like salt and coal – ahem, not a f****** gift! More recently though, gifts such as whisky, shortbread or fruitcake are thankfully more common place because quite honestly if you turned up to my house with some salt and a lump of coal you wouldn’t be getting your first foot in the door never mind the second one!

My best memory of New Year is from when I was young and all the family would go to my Gran’s house. There would be home-made soup, steak pie and alcohol (for the grown ups). We stayed for hours and every year the same stories were told of all the adult’s childhood memories. I miss hearing those stories…

 

Men in skirts. Basically that’s it and I’m sure many Scottish people would give you a Glasgow Kiss for saying that but it is what it is and I love them…

Kilts

Any time I am attending a formal event such as a Wedding, Ball or Christmas party I will wear a kilt. For those not up on their kilt knowledge there are many different styles as well as tartans. I don’t own my own kilt and hire one when I need to. Another Scottish tradition is Clans and they all have  associated tartans. I am lucky enough to belong to Clan McPherson and one day I will get around to researching my family tree further but I’ve only just got around to sorting the trees out in my garden so that can wait. I used think the McPherson tartan was bogging but thanks to the internet I may have changed my mind.

What do I look like in a kilt? You be the judge…

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Don’t we look smart..?

I have to give a special mention to the tartan I wore to a Ball last year – it’s called Rose Of Aberdeen and was designed by the company where I hire my kilts from, Millsom & Main as not only is it fabulous but the company itself is brilliant. The two guys in the shop provide the best service you could possibly wish for and I can’t recommend them enough!

What do I look like in a kilt by the end of the evening? Usually something like this…

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Kilts should definitely come with hats…

Her’s tae kilts and having the breeze aboot yer balls!

 

Long, snake-like monster – no, not what’s under my kilt, there is another big legend in Scotland…

Loch Ness Monster

Does it exist? Does it not exist? Who cares! Nessie is the ultimate folk story and has probably kept many people in jobs for the past few decades. I finally visited Loch Ness!

(I secretly hope it does exist and wish someone would just drain the entire Loch and then we will know for sure. I remember watching a very interesting documentary when I was growing up called “Family Ness” and that proved that their is not just one monster but a whole family so come on – get the water drained so we can meet them…

 

Other brilliant traditions of Scotland that I have never attended include the Edinburgh Tattoo, the Edinburgh Fringe and T in The Park but a Scottish traditional event that I have been to many times involves lots of spinning around…

Céilidh

Try to picture lots of drunken Scottish people dancing with people they don’t really know, to a dance that they don’t really know. Imagine “Auld Lang Syne” on speed. That’s a Céilidh. They are sooo much fun. A live band, with an accordion and you don’t feel anymore like a proud Scot than when you are “Stripping The Willow”…

I usually get it wrong, try to pick up someone who isn’t even dancing and get shouted at by the “head” person in our team. Such fun!

Wow, I feel really Scottish now. I hope you liked this wee insight into what we get up to behind closed doors.

Are you proud of your country? Let me know about it in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014 and don’t forget to take a look at other posts in this series.

 

Celebrating Scotland: 10 Things I Love About My Country #6 Language

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Should Scotland remain part of the UK now that we have been removed from the EU despite voting against it?

When we had the vote for Scottish Independence I voted to remain part of the UK because I was happy being Scottish, part of the UK and part of the EU. Now that it has been decided for us/against us to leave the EU my thoughts about becoming an independent Scotland have changed.

I am so proud to say I live in Scotland when I think of all the great music this amazing country has produced. So # in this series is Language.

Since it is language and I do have a touch of OCD (or CDO as I prefer to call it) I shall list them alphabetically. These are all also words that I genuinely use on a daily basis and a fair few of them are more local to Aberdeen.

Ach

This is an expression of surprise, impatience or disgust. Often best followed by a swear word. For example, I used it earlier today when I got up early to do some work in the garden only to realise that it was raining – “Ach, for f*** sake” was my statement.

Awa

This means “away”. Scottish people seem to like dropping letters from words as in this case – where is the “y”? Well, the “y” went awa. It appears to be becoming a theme that these three-letter Scottish words are always best when followed by a swear word. If someone tells you something that you just don’t believe then you can tell them to “awa and shite” which basically means that you are telling them that they are talking nonsense.

Aye

This is what some people want us to vote for in the referendum. They call it “vote yes” but surely as the Scots never say yes, we say “aye” that “vote aye” would have been a better campaign slogan – just saying!

Dae

This time we are not taking letters awa, no, we are actually adding them on. “Dae” means “do”. To use it in my sentence from this morning (with a few bonus Scottish words)  I said “Ach for f*** sake, it’s pishing doon ootside whit am ah gonnae “dae” noo?”

Far

No, it doesn’t just mean a very large distance awa. It’s also an Aberdonian way of saying “where”. So, every time before I leave the house there are echoes of  “far’s ma phone, far’s ma phone?” Usually the answer soon follows as “ah, ers it er” translates as “there it is there”

Fit

People from Aberdeen don’t use this to describe someone as good-looking or how good at exercise a person is, instead they use it in place of the word “what”. It has to be my favourite Aberdeen word! Follow it with “like” and this is how we greet each other rather than saying “hello”. A simple “fit like?” is usually answered with “aye, aye, nae bad” or “chauvin awa”.

Gan

Meaning “going” and can be used with other of the “three-letter words” here. “Far ye gan?” meaning “where are you going? “I’m gan awa” meaning “I’m going away”. “Gan awa and shite”

Haw

Translated as “hey” but not usually used in a friendly tone. Most commonly used to give someone a telling off or when you are about to insult them as in “haw you, ya bawbag” would mean “excuse me you I dislike you and think of you as a testicle.”

However, if  “haw” is preceded by “hee” to make “hee-haw” then this is one of the funniest Scottish words and means “nothing”. An example being “it’s got hee-haw tae dae wi you” would mean “it’s got nothing to do with you”

Ken

People all over the world must wonder who the “Ken” person is as us Scots mention him all the time. Okay, he is not a man. We say “ken” in place of “know” and we say it all the time. In Aberdeen if you don’t know the answer to a question then you say “ah da ken” which means “I don’t know”. Or, if you are of limited knowledge then you basically “ken hee-haw”.

Min

The Aberdonian way of saying “man” as Geordies would say “why aye man” we would say “aye, aye min” as a type of greeting. If we were shouting at the person we would say “HAW, min!”

Nae or Naw

The opposite of “aye” and pretty self-explanatory.

Och

Very similar to “ach” but more relaxed. Most people may have heard of “och aye the noo?” which I have never, ever said and it doesn’t really make sense to me. It’s hard to sum this word up but let’s just say if there’s something that makes you curl your lip up then you would say “och” when you do it.

Oot

The opposite of “in” i.e. “out”. I used this word in Spain once in an elevator when a group of Spaniards were taking ages to get out of the lift. A simple shout of “oot” seemed to both confuse them and make them hurry the f*** up at the same time.

Wee

Little, small, tiny, miniscule and any other forms of measurement for things that aren’t large. Isn’t it simpler to have only one word for them? I think so. So, anything that isn’t large in Scotland is just, simply “wee”.

There are hundreds of other great Scottish words, both of the three-letter variety and others that aren’t so “wee” but  “och” I’m “oot” of time and I’m about to make my spellchecker have a nervous breakdown so let’s leave it there and here’s an amusing video that shows off a lot of the words described in this post. Enjoy!

Are you proud of your country? Let me know about it in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014 and don’t forget to take a look at other posts in this series.

 

 

Celebrating Scotland: 10 Things I Love About My Country #5 – Food & Drink

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Should Scotland remain part of the UK now that we have been removed from the EU despite voting against it?

When we had the vote for Scottish Independence I voted to remain part of the UK because I was happy being Scottish, part of the UK and part of the EU. Now that it has been decided for us/against us to leave the EU my thoughts about becoming an independent Scotland have changed.

I am so proud to say I live in Scotland when I think of all the great music this amazing country has produced. So #5 in this series is Food & Drink.

 

I’m neither going to prove or disprove the stereotype that the Scottish diet goes hand in hand with heart disease but I am going to start with something that if eaten daily could probably kill you…

Deep Fried Mars Bar

Take one of the most popular chocolate bars in the world, soak it in batter and then deep fry it.

Why wouldn’t you?

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Take something that’s not the healthiest in the first place and add a hundred more layers of unhealthiness and what do you have? Some might say “a heart attack on a plate” but I say “slice of genius”! It’s two meals in one – dinner and dessert. I’m all for productivity and this is the ultimate time saver in my opinion.

Have I tried it? Sadly, no but I love the fact it’s famous all over the world and that Mars hate it! Also, apparently you can deep fry anything and I’m always up for that type of challenge.

Now, sometimes the best way to enjoy food is to try to not think about what it is that you are eating. With the next item that is definitely the case…

Haggis

I have to admit that I never actually tried this amazing Scottish delicacy until my twenties but I have to say I’m upset when I think about all the years I missed out on. I won’t beat about the bush, it does sound absolutely disgusting and the last thing in the world that you would want to put in your mouth let alone swallow and digest.

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However, add it to a plate of mashed potatoes, neeps (turnips), cover it with a whisky sauce and add a few oatcakes then you have an amazing meal that you can enjoy any day of the week not just Burns Night.

I like it to be a little on the spicy side and washed down with a nice cold beer. I’ve even been known to enjoy a haggis pizza or two. I urge you to put aside your disgust of eating sheep’s hearts, livers and lungs wrapped up in a stomach and imagine you are eating a nice Scottish animal made of bagpipes with tartan fur that roams the Scottish mountains. You will thank me for it!

Scotland has two national drinks, in my eyes, and that’s probably why the world looks at us as a nation of alcoholics. However one of them is non alcoholic…although it is commonly used to be a mixer for the other which is alcoholic. Maybe the world is right? Let’s look at the softcore (yet very, very hardcore at the same time, grrrr) drink first of all…

Irn Bru

It’s made in Scotland in case you didn’t know but what you might not have known is that it’s made from girders. America has Coke and we have Irn Bru.

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Coke advertises with sweet little kids singing on the hillside or polar bears at Christmas. We advertise Irn Bru with birds telling old ladies to shut up or evil snowmen at Christmas time. I think I love the adverts more than the drink itself. If you don’t get a chance to try the drink at least look at the adverts on YouTube.

I couldn’t even describe what it tastes like as I just know it as “Irn Bru”. It looks orange but doesn’t taste orange if that helps? I guess it does taste like “nice” rust. Imagine licking an old iron bridge in Willy Wonka’s sweet factory and that would be the taste.

It’s also an excellent cure for a hangover (shock).

Mince And Tatties

I grew up on this wonderful combination. Every Sunday I’d wake up and smell the mince cooking for later on that evening. The mince has carrots, onions and little sausages though it with beef stock and is served with mashed potato and sometimes dumplings or pastry.

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I started making my own and, don’t tell her, but I prefer mine to my mum’s version. Sometimes, if you have a lot of mince you get a bread roll with butter and scoop up some mince inside it. Mmm Mmm mmmm!

Greg, however, doesn’t share my love of the mince and tatties. He calls it either peasant food or a half cooked meal. What does he mean by a half cooked meal? Well, he seems to think it should have tomatoes added and become a spaghetti bolognese or some other Italian nonsense. The issue there is I don’t actually do the cooking and don’t often get to make my mince and tatties but after writing that and suffering from a slight drool in my mouth I am most definitely making it this weekend – peasant food or not!

I’ve got quite a sweet tooth and I do like sweets but I don’t always like them to be deep-fried. In fact, I like some sweet stuff so much that I eat it until it makes me feel sick…

Tablet

Whoever created the original recipe for Tablet must have had shares in sugar as it is basically all made of sugar. You usually get it in little cubes but, for me, one cube is never enough. I have two and it still tastes good. I have three and I’m feeling a little bit sick but then I have four and then I really feel sick. There’s still some left though and it would be rude not to finish them all so I duly comply and scoff the lot and end up regretting it…until the next time.

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It’s a “granny” type recipe but my hometown, Tillicoultry, has a company that creates this type of sweet,among others, and can be seen in shops all over the country.

Tablet – enjoy it with a nice mug of black coffee!

If black coffee is too tame for you then you might want to try our other national drink…

Whisky

Sometimes known as Scotch, Whisky is the drink very much associated with Scotland. “A Wee Dram” is the solution to many problems in our country as a simple “cuppa” is no use to us.

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It’s also seen in many a New Year and toasted many happy occasions. Again, I’ll have to admit that I’d don’t really like it and much prefer the American versions such as Jack Daniels.

Okay, as I’ve been writing this I’ve tried to find something “healthy” but I’ve accepted the fact that there just isn’t anything and I’m more than happy with that. Healthy is boring but there is nothing boring about us Scots. So let me share a very local delicacy…

Butteries

Some people think of morning rolls as a floury bap or whole meal bread but if you say “morning roll” in Aberdeen then you basically put on 3 kilos in weight. Salt and lard fashioned together into a cow pat is how I’d describe an Aberdeen Buttery.
They. Are. Amazing.

Toast them, butter them, spread jam on them and you are in heart attack central. Many bakers in Aberdeen sell them and each have their own type. Some are crispy, some are salty and some even created ones with bacon added!

Vegetarians beware, the next item has meat, meat and more meat…

Aberdeen Angus

Beef! Burgers! No, I don’t “want fries with that”. I just want a proper, beef, burger. Scotland produces the finest beef and I’m glad to say I live in the village that is home of the Aberdeen Angus cattle breed. We even have a monument celebrating this fact as you enter the village – he’s called Jeremy Eric…

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They are not mad, they do not have foot and mouth disease they just taste fab! They have also had a very nice life before they get shot in the head and become food (sorry veggies but s*** happens).

There are many other just as unhealthy options for food and drink coming out of Scotland and we do also experiment with the healthy options that we have discovered from other countries but doesn’t the above selection just feel like a big warm food and drink hug?

We might all die young but we will have a full belly and a big satisfied smile on our faces!

Are you proud of your country? Let me know about it in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014 and don’t forget to take a look at other posts in this series.

I Like The Way He Moves

Walk On The Wild Side - Original

Take a walk on the wild side

Greg walking along the coast near the lighthouse in Torry, Aberdeen.

It is very rare that Greg will go out walking with me so when he does I make sure I capture the moment.

I started doing a little editing…

I cropped the photo…

Walk On The Wild Side - Cropped

Walk On The Wild Side – Cropped

I then wanted to give the photo a blurry glow and the Sara filter seemed to do this quite well…

Walk On The Wild Side - Sara

Walk On The Wild Side – Sara

Next, I thought a canvas look would look good so I added a canvas fabric overlay…

Walk On The Wild Side - Canvas

Walk On The Wild Side – Canvas

I really wanted to get a 3D boxed canvas effect but spent almost an hour trying to find something that would do it that didn’t involve PhotoShop and I failed at that so then I got a little bit carried away with the effects…

Walk On The Wild Side - Got A Little Bit Carried Away

Walk On The Wild Side – Got A Little Bit Carried Away

All edits were carried out using Pixlr Express.

This post was part of the weekly photo challenge hosted by http://dailypost.wordpress.com with the theme On The Move.

“Whether on foot, in a kayak, or on a train, we can document our lives easily. More than ever, the moments of our in-betweens are photo-worthy and shareable…Cheri, Daily Post

 

Celebrating Scotland: 10 Things I Love About My Country #3 – Architecture

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Should Scotland remain part of the UK now that we have been removed from the EU despite voting against it?

When we had the vote for Scottish Independence I voted to remain part of the UK because I was happy being Scottish, part of the UK and part of the EU. Now that it has been decided for us/against us to leave the EU my thoughts about becoming an independent Scotland have changed.

I am so proud to say I live in Scotland when I think of all the great music this amazing country has produced. So #3 in this series is Architecture.

There’s no doubt that Scotland has some of the most amazing buildings in the world and it would be impossible to list them all here. Also, as I have shamefully only visited a handful of them it makes more sense to focus only on my neck of the woods, Aberdeen, for #3 in this series Architecture.

No Scottish list on buildings would be complete without castles. I literally can’t get to work in the morning without passing at least twenty of the things. It astounds me how these fantastic buildings could be constructed back in the olden days when there was nothing like the modern machinery that we have these days. I am also sad to admit that I haven’t visited as much of the castles in Scotland as I should have. I think we are all kind of guilty of the thinking that when we have things on out doorstep we can visit them later…

King Of My Castle

The most recent castle that I visited was Castle Fraser which is only a mere 6 miles away from my house…

It was also quite a sunny day that day too which always helps. You aren’t allowed to take any photos inside but that didn’t matter as I was so engrossed in reading all about the history. Well, I say I was reading but Greg very kindly read out the information leaflets whilst I tried so hard not to touch all the items in the rooms. Is it just me or does a sign that says “do not touch” just make you want to touch?

Apparently, one of the owners of the Castle had only one leg and used to hop all the way up the stairs to the top as that’s where he decided to have his bedroom. Honestly, if you’ve only got one leg but you own a castle would you not make the ground floor your own? However, good on him for all the hopping as I struggled to stay upright whilst walking up all those spiral stairs and I have two legs.

There was a wedding going on the day we were there so we weren’t allowed in all the rooms and at one point we were stranded in a room with one of the tour guides, not allowed to leave as the bride was arriving but what a wonderful place to have your wedding…

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Another castle I have recently visited is Craigevar Castle which is a mere 6 miles away from my house (in the opposite direction this time) and this is a proper “fairytale” castle…

It was in Winter that we visited so we didn’t go inside but that didn’t matter as I was more interested in taking photos with my new camera that I had just received from Santa. You can see more of these in the post, If You Go Down To The Woods Today…

Last, but not least, is Dunnottar Castle (inspiration for Brave and the Windows 7 wallpaper) – such a great location for a castle! It’s all ruins now but still is amazing to see.

This is also the exact spot where Suzie from SuzieSpeaks got engaged just recently…

Aberdeen has been given the nickname “The Granite City” because everything is pretty much made out of granite. This is really beautiful when the sun shines but when it’s raining it’s grey, it’s miserable and quite depressing. Depressing or not these buildings are classic so let’s take a look at a few of my favourite granite buildings…

The Archibald Simpson

Originally a bank building designed by one of Scotland’s best known architects, Archibald Simpson

This is now a JD Wetherspoons pub but as you can see it is still a beautiful looking building outside and still has a lot of original features inside. I have to say I have spent may hours inside this building whilst it’s been a pub…

I also love the fact that Ceres, the Goddess Of Plenty sits right on the top of the building – you can never have plenty wine, right?

I’m pretty sure less than half of the people in Aberdeen realise that she sits on top of this building. I can relate to that as across the street from this is the Castlegate which hosts the Mercat Cross…

Now,  I never realised it had a Unicorn on the top of it until last year. I also only found out the other day that the Unicorn is the national animal of Scotland – how magical is that?

Despite the above revelation that I have spent several hours/days/weeks in the pub I do however expose myself to a little bit of culture now and again so another one of my favourite buildings has played host to may great entertainers over the years…

The Music Hall

The venue was again designed by Archibald Simpson (he certainly liked his pillars did old Archie) and cost £11,500  when it was originally constructed in 1822. It was opened to the public as a concert hall in 1859 and was extensively renovated in the 1980s…

My graduation ceremony was in this building and I’ve also seen many wonderful bands in here. I also went through a phase of being fascinated with combining old photos with new and the Music Hall was one of the images I used to make an olden days/present day morphed image…

The next building is sadly now occupied by Aberdeen City Council who use it to sit in and make lots of really terrible decisions and spend all day wasting the money I pay to them in taxes…

Marschial College

Originally part of Aberdeen University this, I have to say, incredible building is a brilliant example of Scottish architecture…

As I said, I’m not too keen on the latest occupants of this building but on the other hand I am so glad they have knocked down their previous offices which were just across the street from Marschial College and was the ugliest building ever…

All the buildings have been fairly old so far, not a bad thing but let’s get up to date. However, let’s ease in gently and take it with a new meets old building…

His Majesty’s Theatre

This is another building I like to frequent. Not for Shakespeare plays or anything like that, no, don’t be silly I’m more of a Hairspray or Grease kinda guy. What I like about this theatre, aside from the all singing all dancing musicals is the fact that it’s a very old building that has recently had a very modern extension and it works really, really well…

Okay, that’s us eased in gently now it’s time to get very, very modern…

University Of Aberdeen Library

Now some people might argue that this building was not designed by a Scottish architect but I don’t care, it’s in Scotland so therefore it’s Scottish and it counts on this list…

I love this building and I pass it every day and every day it looks different as the reflections depend on the weather, the time of day and give it a whole new look each time. I’ve never actually been inside because I’m not clever enough to read their books but from photos it looks just as good inside as it does outside. Maybe one day..?

Now, another recent addition to Aberdeen and one that is not just nice to look at but has a heart and soul set within it…

Maggie’s Aberdeen

Maggie’s is a haven for people who are suffering from cancer and every time I drive past it I can’t help thinking that the architect who designed this building got it so right…

My second last choice may come as a surprise as they are often associated with the poor, junkies and bad design…

High Rises

Bearing in mind I am not talking about the inhabitants of these buildings or asking you to smell the stench of urine in the elevators so stay with me here. High rise tower blocks served their purpose back in the days and perhaps they should all be demolished by now but I love them. Although Aberdeen is not the place I was born, I’ve lived here long enough that I can call it home now. Every time I leave and come back the sight of these high-rise tower blocks on the horizon signal to me that I am almost home…

Also, despite having to ride the elevator of pish, can you imagine the fantastic view of all the other amazing buildings these people in the flats would get once they get to the top…

Alas, we reach the end and if it wasn’t for the next architect then I wouldn’t be where I am now. Why? Well, he built ma hoose…

Stewart Milne Homes

Don’t get me wrong I love my house but it’s not all been sweetness and light Mr Milne! My property is not grand or full of history, in fact if you look on Google Street View it’s still just a field and I often find myself looking out the window saying “I remember when all this was just fields”. That’s because it was, only 2 years ago. So, it’s not a castle, it’s not a music hall but it is mine…

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Here’s to us Scots – there’s nae place like hame!

Are you proud of your country? Let me know about it in the comments below or tweet me @SteveSays2014 and don’t forget to take a look at other posts in this series.