Haiku: Bees on a Mission

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You have to look closely for the industrious bee on the middle flower, getting every last fragment of pollen

bees on a mission
devouring the last pollen
before winter comes

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These bees blend in, too, as they scour the flower of its potent pollen richness

There are lots of bees in Scotland, and they’re feasting.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

 

Some Days Chickens, Some Days Feathers

Still reflecting on my recent few days in Aberdeen, the pics of this dogged little doggie on the beach make me smile. That feather was a prize.

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You’re smiling, too, now aren’t you? This jaunty, quirky little pack of canines and humans is all charm, personality and free spirits.

That’s Aberdeen for you.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

 

Gulls of Aberdeen Harbor (including haiku)

I’m a gull watcher.

I like them. They remind me of where I grew up, in Gilchrist, Texas on the Bolivar Peninsula. Where nothing ever happened, and yet every day was interesting and different. We had lots of gulls.

Join me in gull-watching, in Aberdeen, mostly in the harbor. Just for a few minutes. Hear them squawking and cawing, and smell the sea air. Feel the peace seeping through your soul as the staccato screech of the gulls is accompanied by the soothing sounds of the waves. A gull haiku:

gulls soaring, screeching
pulling me home to the sea
you should come with me

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I’m a gull watcher.

© 2018 Glover Gardens

Haiku: Stray Cat Strut

sometimes you just know
that the other creature knows
you’re from the same tribe

This scruffy little tough guy is a Scottish charmer who knows a cat person when he sees one. An old Aberdonian tomcat who roams the streets of tiny (and also charming) Footdee, he has a whole Facebook group talking about him and worrying over his welfare. He patrols Footdee pretending to be a stray to collect treats and attention, but is very much loved and cared for by his owner-person. Completely ignoring my non-cat-loving colleagues, Scruffy sauntered up to me tonight in Footdee (pronounced “Fittie” by the locals) and circled my legs, doing the “doncha love me” figure 8 cat-dance. Of course he got a chin-scratching, head-stroking, scruff-ruffling petting session. He had me pegged as a cat person from the moment he sniffed me.

We’re from the same tribe, Scruffy and me, and we know it.

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I named this photo Stray Cat Strut, even though Scruffy (my name for him) isn’t a stray. He does rock his walk, a strutter indeed.

More on “Fittie” later – it rocks! (It’s a tiny town worthy of Scruffy.)

© 2018, Glover Gardens

Aberdeen Countryside: “Ain’t She Stotter?”

Tunnock's Tea Cakes and Mrs Tilly's FudgeEarlier this week, I posted about my “snack food” vs. “junk food” epiphany in Aberdeen, in which I learned that I was a hypocrite during a break in a meeting.

What I neglected to do was to show you the Aberdeen I saw outside the window in that meeting.

I really, really like Aberdeen and want to share it with you, so here’s the picture I took from the window in the office building where our meeting was held.

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Verdant, bucolic, lush hills with farmhouses, pastures and cattle, right by an office center and busy highway – oh please don’t change, Aberdeen

And here’s another, from close by.

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Just across from a big hotel and busy office center, these cows graze languidly, perhaps knowing they are luckier than Texas cows

Aberdeen – ain’t she beautiful?  Or, in Doric, “Ain’t she stotter?”

Doric is the awesome traditional language of Aberdeen. I wish I had an awesome traditional language.

You’ll keep hearing about Aberdeen on these pages. I feel a kinship with it, which might be wishful thinking, or might have some roots in truth. My maiden name is Harvell, and my Dad always said we had English and “Scotch-Irish” heritage. Google tells me that the Harvell name came to England when the Normans did, way back in ’66, and that we may be related to the Hervies and de Hervis of Aberdeenshire and other parts of Scotland. I hope so! Or, “ah hope sae.”

” Aberdeen, ae day ah ll be back tae bide a while.”

For more Aberdeen musings from the Glover Gardens archives:

© 2018, Glover Gardens

 

A Tea Cake Break in Aberdeen Exposes Me as an Unrepentant Hypocrite

I might be a bit of a hypocrite.

I call myself a foodie, sneer at junk food, avoid fast food and pretty much loathe restaurant chains. I don’t mind if you call me a food snob. I deserve it.

Gimme authentic! Gimme homemade! Down with overly-processed, pre-packaged, over-salted, sugar-laden foodstuffs!

But.

It’s different when it is another country’s junk food.

At a meeting in Aberdeen, something came over me. I saw these Scottish treats as “snack food” instead of junk food. My colleague brought the fudge and the tea cakes as a gift, and so of course I tasted them – – and they rocked! And the super-salty crisps provided the perfect pairing to the sweet treats.

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Like I said: I’m a hypocrite! Of the first degree. And I’m not even sorry.

© 2018, Glover Gardens

Aberdeen, A’m Gled Tae Meet Ye

The Granite City

After a quick trip to Aberdeen, I’m ready to go back!  It’s cool in a quirkly little way, and is nicknamed the “Granite City” for its ubiquitous gray buildings erected with stone from its quarry. The quarry was open for over 200 years and provided granite not only for Aberdeen, but for important buildings across Scotland and England.  Perched on the North Sea coast, Aberdeen has been a maritime hub for ages, and now is a major oil and gas center.

Color and Culture Abound in this Authentic City

With its concentration of gray granite buildings and overcast, misty skies, Aberdeen could seem dull and monochromatic, but the spirit of the people provide tons of color, both literally and figuratively.  There are flowers everywhere; Aberdeen has won the “Britain in Bloom” community gardening competition ten times since its inception in 1964, and it shows. And the colorful culture is evident in a plethora of public parks, museums, statues, festivals and live music in concert halls and barrooms. And here’s a statistic that is close to my heart: a study in The Scotsman found Aberdeen to have the lowest number of fast food joints per capita in the ten major Scottish cities reviewed.  In other words, Aberdeen is authentic.

It’s Doric, Not Gaelic

The local dialect is known as Doric, and if you’re lucky, you’ll hear a few words from an Aberdonian, or see signs that use the dialect. Some of the words are easily recognizable to English speakers.

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image courtesy of Scotsmagazine.com

So, in authentic Aberdonian Doric:

Aberdeen, a’m gled tae meet ye!

Digital Postcards

Here are a few picture postcards of my day and a half in Aberdeen.

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Statues and public art installations are everywhere; so are the flowers
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An elusive blue sky highlights the beautiful old architecture and gray granite
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Statue commemorating the Gordon Highlanders
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Buildings in Castlegate Square; see the tiny unicorn atop the Mercat (Market) cross? 
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Green spaces and public art abound
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Flower baskets are everywhere
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More flowers
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One of 11 anchors across Aberdeen is located at Aberdeen Beach; it will eventually be auctioned off to raise money for a world-class cancer research center in Aberdeen
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Gorgeous view of the evening sky from Aberdeen Beach
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The crude oil holding tanks in the middle of the photo speak to Aberdeen’s place in oil and gas

For another look at the Aberdeen night sky and the phenomenon called “nautical twilight”, click here.

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Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook