Saturday, 4 August 2007

tartan day 2007

In all my years living in Aberdeen, I've honestly never been to any of the Tartan Day celebrations. I'm so glad I had the chance this year. Just when I'm about to move away from this city I so love. :(

I was really pleased with myself that I could get up early (after the usual bed lounging, which POCO is still teasing me about until this very day...). The weather was excellent: sunny and breezy. It was one of the best for a few days, bear in mind, this is summer.

After some necesary wandering and shopping, I headed off to Castlegate where most of the action is taking place, it is where the Massed Pipe Band March and the enactment of King James IV visit to Aberdeen ends, so I thought, that would be the best place to wait. Armed with today's copy of The Scotman's, my favourites: pain au chocolat, pain au raisin and italian coffee, I was looking forward to nice and relaxing day.

Walking past the Town House, I saw some red Tartan Day signs there. And since I've never been into that building, why not? The Local History Fair was being held there. I was more impressed and excited with visiting the building! I later found out that the building is not normally open for public and I was really pleased. Too bad TS was working, otherwise he would be impressed with the ceilings and deco of the building too!

The Town House is where important decisions pertaining Aberdeen City (and possibly the Shire is being made there). The Town and County Hall have very impressive gables. There were many pictures of past Lord Provosts and beautiful paintings adorning the walls and along the stairs. I had the opportunity to visit the Lord Provost's room, which was very grand. One of the rooms, I didn't catch what was the name of it, was decorated full of clan crests on its ceiling.

Best part of visiting the Town House was I had a private tour of the top floor which was closed to public. Here, the local archives were kept and councillors' rooms are housed on this floor. It's the mini version of Palace of Westminster. Am so thankful to that kind stewart for bringing me around!

After the visit to the Town House, it was almost time for the parade on Union Street. Once again, it is amazing to see the usual busy street was closed to traffic for probably half an hour and all you see are people thronging on the streets.

Whilst waiting for the pipe band and the enactment of King James IV and beautiful sixteen year old wife Queen Margaret, his knights, heralds, musicians, bishops and noblemen coming down Union Street, I had a very nice chat with a nice elderly man.

The medieval parade ended at Castlegate where there was a medieval performance for the visiting King.

Later, I made my way to St. Nicholas Kirk for a guided tour and a look of the excavated east kirk.

My Tartan Day celebration ended with a nice relaxing afternoon in Union Terrace Gardens, reading my papers and listening to live concerts, where traditional music, entertainment and culture from the City and Shire were being showcased. If anyone knows the Brit soap (rather, Scottish soap) River City, Joyce Falconer who plays the character Roisin, made an appearance at the concert.

Whilst the Lord Provost (equivalent to Lord Mayor) Peter Stephen was introduced, Joyce informed the crowd that the council had just had their meeting on introducing ASSBO. ASBO - Anti Social Behaviour Order, in my opinion, has been much talked about in the past. Anyways, Joyce's ASSBO, with two 'S', actually meant Anti Social Seagull Behaviour Order. She then proceed with reciting a poem from a seagull.

It was really funny (note to self to look for that poem). And I must agree with her, this ASSBO should be introduce soon. Even one of the horses from today's parade was not excused, having seagull droppings on its bum!

With the Aberdeen International Youth Festival being held at the same time, I don't think I will make my way to Edinburgh's Fringe this year (as much as I want to). I think I will leave it for my plans next year, including attending the annual much acclaimed Edinburgh Military Tattoo (which by the way, sold out in January this year!).

Got myself a ticket to watch tonight's AIYF concert: World Music Night featuring Ceol Mor. Am soooo looking forward to it.

I must say, spending time alone is not that bad. Of course, with a lot of solo time and travelling, I'm actually really enjoying every bit of it. Doing what I want to do, when I want to do. Bliss!!!

Right, I better get some rest before tonight's concert!

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