Happy Sunday All!
I am taking this break from spamming your feeds with reading updates to summarise my Sunday (today): I have been knackered and have, for the most part, not done very much at all apart from a little cooking, reading, and napping.
I did intend to go for a walk at some point but I got as far as finding a new pair of socks, then went for a nap. It has been this kind of a day.
Now you may ask: Why are you so tired out, BT? Is it from staying up late so many times last week to finish off a few more chapters in your Halloween Bingo reads?
Well, … perhaps, but my reason is much better: Every year the city holds a “Doors Open Day” when a lot of buildings that are either closed on the weekends or just usually closed to the general public opens their doors for visitors. This year, we had over 50 venues to choose from including the fire station, the town house, various churches and museums, the marine laboratory, the old advocates library, etc. Anyway, all of that happened yesterday.
There was a lot to do. Even if I decided to take it easy and focus on Old Aberdeen, which is in walking distance to me but it is just so damn beautiful.
The day started with a leisurely walk down to the old High Street. The Confucius Institute opened its doors at 10am and it fun to poke my nose in for some tea and a wander about to find out what they do.
At 11am I joined a tour by one of the university historians which included several sights along the High Street and the old King’s College and chapel, which, as I learned, is the oldest collegiate chapel in Britain and the oldest pre-reformation chapel in Scotland. Impressive, eh?
The structure of the interior and ceiling is still largely original, from what I gather, and the tomb at the from of the picture is that of Bishop Elphinstone (1431 – 1514), the founder of the university, who seemed to have been an interesting character. (I am adding a link to Elphinstone’s bio on Wiki here…but the article contains some errors, such as the description of the picture of the memorial to Elphinstone as his “tomb”. It is not.)
Sadly, the rest of King’s College has been modernised over time to look like the more famous colleges in Oxford and Cambridge. Still, I like the place. It’s accessible all year round and I do spend a fair amount of time around there – a couple of friends live close by and a favourite independent coffee haunt is there, too.
After that, I grabbed a sandwich and went for a picnic in the Botanical Gardens. Again, these are open to the public on most days, but hey, I needed a quite place to have sit down and enjoy what is probably the last of the summer.
The gardens were nice. I should probably come back in spring to see the some of the other plants in bloom.
Just along from the gardens was my next stop: St. Machar’s Cathedral.
Again, this was not a new stop for me but it is a site that I really like. It is both an impressive building and so far, whenever I have been there, I have met some really nice people.
St. Machar’s was serving tea to visitors and had organised music recitals every hour.
Let me tell you: I have been to musical performances in here before (I heard Jacqui Dankworth perform a tribute to Duke Ellington in here during the Jazz Fest and am a regular at the Christmas concerts), this is one fabulous place for music. The acoustics are just perfect!
On top of all that, I met up with a friend that I hadn’t seen since 2003. He’s just moved back to the city and we had a lot to catch up on, so after my visit to the cathedral we went to the pub to rehydrate from all of the walking around town.
And that, people, is why I have been uselessly tired today.