So I was in Aberdeen last weekend for the latest Scottish Meet.
Aberdeen is one of Scotland's most important places as that is where all the oil companies are based. This does not stop it from having a distinctly rural feel however. All cars move in waves, controlled by the traffic lights, with large gaps in-between. The streets are quiet, even on a Saturday night, and I was woken up by the delicate sound of the dawn chorus, all be it containing mostly seagulls. However the most surprising thing was the weather. It was nice.
Aberdeen is over one hundred miles north of my home in Glasgow (putting it north of Moscow but south of Stockholm) which is a three hour drive if you want to reach there alive. It is a very pleasant drive through rolling hills and golden fields which is all ruined by the one way system in the centre of Aberdeen.
Luckily we weren't too late in and so it was that Saturday began with a well rested Toccata and myself stepping out into glorious sunshine. As mentioned earlier Aberdeen is a tad north but the weather was so good that, with the help of a friendly docker, we spent the morning at the beach, promenading along and eating ice cream.
The meet proper began as we all congregated in the Criterion. A very handy pub this as it is both easy to see and smell from the station. We stayed for a couple of pints, an action I felt flirted with serious dysentery, before we fled to the local Wetherspoons. There we had a spot of lunch, the Elgin Marbles were discussed and Zagreb was introduced to Orkney Dark Island. This is a beautiful malty, chocolaty, dark ale that was approved of so much that myself and EV ended up wearing a pint. After drying out we moved on, searching for some dinner before finding ourselves in the world's least Czech Czech theme bar. True we drank Staropramen but we also played air hockey and Scalextric and didn't eat dumplings.
From there to the Kirkiegate Bar (I think) to meet one of Peet's mates and then a final Real Ale pub, the Prince Of Wales (this time Blaven from Skye). We did return to the Kirkiegate for a spell to marvel once again at their upside down bar but by now it was after midnight and an end was soon called so that us Southern Pansies could go to bed.
Much to my surprise Jamie, EV, Toccata and myself all got up the next morning and even managed to follow Peet's directions to his flat. This flat is a stunning monument to all things techy which is quite beyond my ability to describe. Suffice to say I left with a 1980's mobile phone with attached car battery. From here we once more hit the beach to enjoy a leisurely (or perhaps more accurately slow) breakfast before some went computer shopping and myself and Toc got lost and found a very pretty view of Auld Aiberdeen on the way home.
Some big changes would appear to be afoot around these parts at the moment. I have no idea where they are going or what the outcome will be but I hope for those involved that they are moving on to bigger and brighter things and would like to personally thank them for all their work over the last while, without which no one would be able to read these duff wee rambles, at the very least. I would also like to say to those who like to shout, take a minute, wait to see what the changes are. After all, the move to the BBC was not popular but it did save the site. Of course if things are wrong, argue them in a sensible manner and, like moderation, they may improve.
Anyhoo, enough of this seriousness. I now return you to your regular column...
Next time - Great Zarqhon's Bandy Knees Of Mystery!