Saturday, 9 January 2010

Tartan Day in Aberdeen

Back to catching up on my adventures last year...
I may have mentioned that 2009 was the year of Homecoming for Scotland.  It was the 250th anniversary of Robbie Burns' birth, and seemed like a good time to promote some tourism.  I was just glad that it meant I got to do lots of Scottish things for once.

In early August, we had Tartan Day in Aberdeen.  People wore their tartans (if they had them), and there were pipe bands and performances (not always Scottish, as the International Youth Festival was going on, as well, with loads of performances as a part of it) and street fair stalls and big-deal-events.  I had completely forgotten about it, because Aberdeen does such a great job of advertising (yeah, right), and just happened upon it as I was wandering home from church (and yes, it was very lucky that I had actually decided to go to church that day).

I first heard a pipe band on Belmont Street...

As I was already on Belmont Street, I decided to wander through all the stalls of Scottish crafts and foods and goodies.  At one of them, they were having a whisky tasting to set a Guinness World Record for the most people in a single one-day tasting.  Of course, I selflessly decided I must help them reach their goal... and I forgot to take a photo!  It was a fairly local whisky, but I can't remember which now.  No, I didn't drink that much.  I'm just forgetful.  But the street was all decked out, as well, and I did take photos of all that.

From there I wandered down into Union Terrace Gardens, where there were other things going on, like showing off medieval fighting skills and stuff.  But nothing much was happening while I was there. 

I could see big crowds up at the top, in front of the theatre and the library and the big wallace statue... and where there are big crowds, there must be something going on.  So up I went.  And couldn't really see anything.  There was a pipe band I could hear, but it sure didn't seem like a big enough deal for all these people to be crowded around.

 And then, they crowds parted enough for me to get a peek through and work my way to the front... and I couldn't hear a bloomin' thing.  The sound system wasn't working.  I think they were doing a re-enactment of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, but I'm not certain.  There were flags and people dressed up in period costumes and a huge crowd of dignitaries sitting in chairs to watch it all.

 Since I couldn't hear anything, I started scanning the crowd.  Just looking around.  And then... I saw a profile.  I knew that profile.  But it couldn't be... could it?

 Leaning forward... there in black... no way.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I kept taking zoomed in photos, to try and convince myself if it was or wasn't, and then...

 Oh my word.  That bald head could only belong to one person... which means... it was him!  And there were two of them!  Seriously, it's bad when the highlight of my day is seeing two of the actors from my Scottish soap in my city.  But even better than that?  I was bold.  Daring.  Exceedingly polite...

 and I got my photo taken with River City baddie 'Lenny Murdoch'.  He was really nice!  It was a little disconcerting.  ;)  I was in heaven.  It was brilliant.  I couldn't believe my luck!!  And also...

 my picture with River City working man 'Jimmy Mullen'.  Also very friendly.  I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the day.  And I texted Kenny immediately to brag.  He was quite jealous.  As he ought to be, of course.  =D 

Then I got McDonalds and went to eat on a bench in Castlegate.  One of the International Youth performing groups was doing flag work, so I sat and watched.

Next up was a dance troupe, and I mostly had to smile at their shoes.  The didn't quite go with their flowy outfits... but then again, they were dancing on uneven cobbles.  I didn't blame them one bit.

And then I went home.  Still smiling.  And everytime I look at the picture of me with 'Lenny', I smile all over again.  That was a blast.


Barb said...

You DID have a great day - tartans, pipe bands, soap stars, and McDonalds! Very lucky you decided to go to church that day, and even more lucky that you remembered your camera! :)

Roy Agee said...

I love the pictures! I want to come visit. BTW you look beautiful. I hope you are well and happy


Amie Vaughan said...

barb, you are right. although i do try very hard to never forget my camera. i always see great shots when i do, though.

awwwww, thanks, roy. =) you are very welcome to come visit, anytime. no one ever takes me up on that offer.