Aberdeen, you may not have noticed, has been awarded the 'Plook on the Plinth Carbuncle' award for the first time. And not before time some would say. The 'Urban Realm' magazine, no I've never heard of it either, chose Aberdeen ahead of Cumbernauld, and that says something and also East Kilbride in the west and Leven on the Fife coast.
Aberdeen is famous for being the hub of the Scottish oil business. The fourth of the main Scottish cities it is one of the coldest in the UK let alone Scotland. I can assure you the cold grey mist rolling in of the sea that Sunday morning in 1968 still remains in my memory when a few young lads looked desperately for some entertainment before returning to civilisation in Edinburgh. Aberdeen is also famous for the civic pride of Victorian days that caused them to tear down buildings, realign the main road 'Union Street' and rebuild it with Granite! Sadly the costs were so high Aberdeen went bust! It became the thing to joke about miserly Aberdonians, probably dating from this time. Harry Lauder the Edinburgh singer invented a Scottish stereotype character who wore a 'tammy' on his head, carried a crooked walking stick and was incredibly miserly. This must have been based on Aberdeen people.
Now it is some time since I visited the place, we won by two goals to one last time I well remember, but council men are no different there than elsewhere and money talks and developers spoils even the heart of Edinburgh Scotland's magnificent capital city with modern day architecture and backhanders aplenty (allegedly!). Aberdeen is no different.
At least Aberdeen does produce a speciality, the 'Rowrie' a type of 'Aberdeen Roll' that is well worth buying, not that they would pay of course.
The fans of the football club it must be said 'stand free' from the sectarian bile often found in Glasgow and follow their club with a good away support. They remain however the most miserable outside of Glasgow however. Never happy, always innocent, always finding fault elsewhere. Fans of Edinburgh's glorious Heart of Midlothian would never act in such a manner, it would be unthinkable.
Cities and towns ought to have something individualist about them but the larger shops always wish to have their own shop fronts. When I cycled form Edinburgh to London in 1974, I was younger then, I could not help being aware that every town had the same High Street. Often there was once some individuality but now the ground floors all looked like every other town. Looking up we can see many differences in the buildings but on the ground cheap plastic fronts make every town a place of takeaways, opticians and newsagents, all alike, all cheapening the town.
Side streets often reveal something original, houses from before the war show fine details, but since the financial side and the invention of plastic all has deteriorated badly.
This town also has too many charity shops filling the High Street. People ask what can be done but no councillor suggests lowering the rates. I wonder why? Maybe specialist shops and the town might thrive?