Aberdeenshire visit

Before winter sets in completely, I decided to travel north to Aberdeenshire for two or three days. I really like this part of the country. The scenery is varied between hills and coast as well as the winding Spey Valley. Previous visits have seen me do the castle trail and the delights of family attractions when my daughter was wee and could enjoy the parks in Aberdeen and the fun of Storybook Glen.


I came up to Huntly during the summer and returned via Glenshee to admire the scenery and in the passing saw a red squirrel run across in front of me - the first time I've seen one! On this occasion, I decided that as last weekend these roads were cut off by snow, it was best not to risk it. I stuck to the main roads and drove that right angled road up through Perth, Dundee, and at Aberdeen turn right out to Huntly.

Huntly itself is an attractive wee town with some interesting shops the like of which are only found in towns but not in cities. I nearly bought a kitchen table and chairs, but remembered in time that nothing of that size will fit in my new car.

This area has some really good B&B’s. I stayed with Doreen who “only takes clean people.” Not sure how she makes that judgement by the voice on the phone booking it, but I was allowed to have a room. Her large Victorian house is comfortable, warm and appears as neat and tidy as if it has just been unwrapped. But, Doreen has a minor vice. She has a weakness for frills and ribbons and crystal.

The above graced the ensuite. Such objects were a fixture of a 60’s childhood, but not seen since. Has Doreen captured all such sub-antique objects because whole generations have grown up without seeing a frilly doll with a toilet roll under its skirt? The theme continued in the wardrobe with sumptuously padded and frilled coat hangers, and complimented with the frilled tissue box cover.

Attention to detail is a feature of breakfast. The poached eggs were precision cooked and the butter cut up in regimented squares. My only complaint, and this goes wherever I stay, the coffee needs to be stronger.

Deans Shortbread factory is a must see. Started by Helen Deans in 1975 it has grown into a fair sized family business in Huntly. The factory shop is a source of goodies and a reasonable priced way of trying out new flavours of shortbread, (I’m trying not to gorge myself on their butterscotch flavour as I type). A local person mentioned their bags of shortbread crumbs which when sprinkled over fruit make a luxurious crumble, but there were none available when I popped in.



Jerzz said...

I saw something similar to Story Book Glen on one of the Scottish TV news progs; a central wee loch surrounded by festooned fairy-lit trees (a Christmas theme?). All sounds like a good idea, esp for children. It can't be long before some capitalist has the idea of an adult-themed park... (that's copyright to me, by the way).

Re Doreen, whose establishment sounds just my cup of tea - except the coffee (have you tried smuggling in some nescafe and adding it to your morning cuppa when she's not looking), see this in Wikipedia on Pragmatics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pragmatics, esp the first para. Make sure she sees you use the soap!

I like the frilly dolly; they always remind me of my grandmothers and great aunts, who always had one or two (in the 60's and possibly the 70s). Still make me feel calm and safe. A refuge for the child in me.

Jes said...

I have long thought that an adult theme park is a good idea, but it has been done in small ways: tank driving ranges; 4x4 driving over hills and so on. What we really need is (with all due attention to health & safety) building sites where those of us who were deprived of meccano when children (although our snotty brothers got it) can play with real life sized cranes and earth movers. Or else we get to dynamite old cooling towers.

On the other hand, I have to point out to you that in an otherwise flawlessly PC comment, you chose to cite nescafe as your hot drink example. Tut, Tut! That and all things nestles (I firmly stick by my decision to use their oldfashioned name) are banned because of their ghastly business practice of pushing baby milk powder to women who have no access to clean water.

On the other, other hand, you did provide a link to a wiki page that contained the jargonlicious word 'metapragmatic' so you are almost excused!

Please do continue to comment :)

Jerzz said...

Did you see the ghastly 'Lapland' Christmas theme park in the New Forest on the news tonight? Pay £25 and get some trees, mud, and some huskies in kennels. A nice little earner (before the meeja got hold of the story). http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/7760237.stm

Jes said...

I just checked out that news item you sent. I'm afraid I have to resort to my default 'Bah Humbug!' position and withhold any sympathy for people willing to pay that amount of money to perpetuate a lie about a fat old man in a beard to their children.

I really appreciate you commenting and value your comments, but I need to state that I retreat into well rehearsed denial for the twelfth month of the year and hope that one day this entirely unnecessary consumer-fest will be an historical oddity.

Jerzz said...

Lapland has now closed. Given the way you feel, I imagine your heart is unmoved, nay, gladdened, by 'Two elves and a Father Christmas were reportedly attacked by furious parents'.

Ho, ho, ho!


Jes said...

I hope I don't need to state that I am saddened for the livelihoods of the employees, but the season of good will is really an excuse for commercial ripoff on an industrial scale.

And people who feed lies to their kids about santa in order to coerce them into good behaviour, have no moral high ground for attacking elves.