Girvan is a pretty seaside town in the west coast of Scotland where I spent a happy summer holiday once when I was wee. I revisited it this summer, and was surprised how much of it I could remember (and was delighted to see that the little aviary and gardens called Knockcushan park were still there).
I did not know of the history of the gardens, this must have passed me by last time as I was looking at the animals and birds when I was ten! That said, I do attribute my career choices to the fact that I was always taken to historic places and used to enjoy spending time looking at castles and drawing things related to my holidays… if blogs had been about then no doubt the very tattered scrapbook I made would have been digital with scanned copies of tickets.
Summer seems so long ago now, with Christmas almost here, so this is a very unconventional advent calendar entry indeed for December 10th although you can consider the character of a place at any time of year!
Girvan has a wonderful view of Ailsa Craig, which is famous for its special seabird colony and also for being used to create curling stones (see gallery above, and for photos of these see my Partick curling club photos) The Glasgow 2014 baton also features a special Ailsa Craig “gemstones” in the puzzle mechanism, an exciting Commonwealth Games link for the area.
To me, Girvan has fantastic seaside memories; parrots in the park, boating pond outings, beach sandcastle building, chips munching, 2p fruit machines (although I think they may have been 1p then?!?), big high street with shops selling buckets and spades and postcards, lovely colourful harbour, seagulls and other birds along the pier wall.. Girvan rocks!
What do you think makes up the character of your favourite place?
Previous unconventional advent calendar entries can be found here.
On getting the train to St Pancras from Brighton, I noticed this little welcome en route for my journey back home. How interesting, a variation on the “Let Glasgow Flourish” I am used to seeing, and an unexpected piece of the far North in the South East!
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!
I enjoyed a wonderful few days in Aberdeen, the granite city, recently. This is a rather dramatic skyline which I thought I would share (more Aberdonian goodies soon).
Let Glasgow Flourish! A wonderful crest spotted by St. Andrew’s in the Square in Turnbull Street. Such attention to detail.