When many people think of Aberdeen, they think of Granite.. but do they think of greenspace? Glasgow may be the Dear Green Place but Aberdeen has wonderful green spaces, and architecture which delights. I watched a Jonathan Meades documentary on the BBC where it was said that many of the 300 year old buildings look brand new because of the qualities of granite.. we were lucky to see the city on yet another glorious sunny May weekend so it shined beautifully where the sun hit the stone. The baronial buildings and sculpted crests looked beautiful against the blue sky. Imagine the patience and skill to carve that Bon Accord crest- situated on the “corporation electricity works” building.
Union Street Gardens were buzzing, many people out in the sun and even a team of drummers offering taster sessions. The soundtrack to the sun!
If you sneak off Union Street you will be treated to a peek at the Peacock Gallery, a contemporary arts space which houses many exhibitions. The weekend we visited was the last day of the Jacki Parry exhibition entitled “Resonance- Paper as memory” which contained elegant paper sculptures and also huge collages made from handmade paper and recycled books. The one of Port Dundas was particularly striking as anyone who has seen this chimney will know it is a big feature on the Glasgow skyline, visible from the M8 and the city centre. Words entwined with painted images and delicate paper, a huge almost tapestry style hanging (part of a series of four). The other gallery contained an amazing piece of patience… art created soley using a typewriter. I had to stare at this so many times, almost in disbelief, to work out that it was a series of commas and other punctuation marks forming what appeared to be a hillscape; utterly entrancing to look at.
If you go for a wander along the river you will be treated to the newly restored Duthie Park. It is a fabulous space which contains formal glasshouses and a Japanese garden, a scented corridor and many recreated ponds. It is an excellent place in which to lose yourself and absorb some of the city. You can also find floral specimens from all the other Aberdeens in the world, quite a geographical challenge as one of them is 10,290 miles away in New South Wales!
This is a little post about some of the interesting street signs and numbers I have observed on my travels.
One of my favourites of all time has to be “There and Back Again Lane” in Bristol. Genius. It is only a little street, so it is quite well named. I passed it on the way up to Brandon Hill and burst out laughing, much to the amusement of nearby residents who see it every day without passing comment. The power of the unfamiliar!
London is full of interesting street names and signs, but I particularly like the Camden Market one, and its neighbouring “Camden Lock” painted on the bridge. This may be something to do with my love of Madness and the fact that one of the first times I was ever in London this was one of the places I headed first (after the V and A and its amazing architecture court with mini models of famous buildings).
Brick Lane is a wonderful place to go, I was lucky enough to visit this area when there was a street festival on and the whole street was traffic free. People were literally dancing in the street and pop up markets were out in force. Delicious food and crazy art to see, and lovely architecture in this area and Spitalfields.
I like that Gaelic street signs and road signs have started appearing in many places all over Scotland, even in the cities and railway stations. I would like to learn a little more Gaelic, at the moment I could do some of the Colin and Cumberland BBC quizzes but they have hints to help you out. In Welsh I know “araf” as it is painted on the roads… it means slow (there must have been quite a few winding roads on the route I was on).
The idea for this post was prompted by my recent visit to Aberdeen where I was really quite amused to see the pointing street signs, they are all over the City and rather decorative. I also spotted a home which called itself “and a half”, something I have only ever seen in one other place which has truly the best address ever; I cannot find the photo I took when I was in York of 1 and 1/2 Whipmawopmagate… but here is the street on Google Maps 🙂