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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Hike of Duality - beauty or the beast?

Its hard to know where to start - the urban fox, a rubber ducky, Russian colds, expensive cars, grey greyness, getting lost, pregnancy, dolphins, a beautiful beach, or the world's ugliest cars. So I'll start with juxtaposition and Donald Trump's recent attempts to build a golf course and resort north of Aberdeen. Aberdeen of course, being the locale Chez MacKrug AKA Joey Mac and Anna's current residence . Last week, self and RHB headed up North to Scotland for our only vacation of this year, as we have decided to FINISH the house before Christmas, mainly so we can spend more time away from it on vacation. It was a split journey - train to Edinburgh then a three hour drive in a rented car to Aberdeen. Train journey uneventful apart from the wistful reflection on my part that we, the people, used to own this railway. In Aberdeen "This is the ugliest car you will ever see" said the assistantat the car rental, "But I guarantee you will fall in love with it at the end of your week". It was, and we didnt. (BTW the car is called a Nissan Juke).
Driving toward Aberdeen, close to and through the Cairngorms, familiarity came surging back: we'd vacationed here for about eight consecutive years, concentrating our efforts on a small area in the Eastern Cairngorms south of Deeside. It was here that a conversion from decadent rock and rollers began. Unfortunately, as I have no idea what the end point of that conversion might eventually be, all I can say is that somewhere in Scotland, we were captured by the Trossachs. [ I should immediatley apologise, fulsomely and sincerely for the previous sentences in this paragraph. Such an enforced faux double entendre is entirely unjustifiable unless I trundle out the old English cultural affinity for this type of humour, and as I spend most of my life trying to be as un-English as possible, it is impossible to proceed further as this paragraph leaves me with yet another unresolved juxtaposition. ]

Anon and anon, there was a Canadian by birth , a Russian (presumably a Canadian by marriage), a Canadian by citizenship and a Scouser (a Canadian by aspiration) and two cats (both Canadian barn cats) in Joe and Anna's crib. I hope its obvious that we had some great conversations but I am not Beckett and I dont capture the detail of conversations well. Suffice to say that we all agreed about some things, and disagreed about others, but by and large we agree about more things than we disagree. We agreed, especially, that the car was very ugly. We may disagree somewhat the exact location to tickle Chupra the cat, or whether to swim in the North Sea but on the whole we agreed about mosyt things. In that tradition, a walk was proposed, which we all agreed upon, and so we set off to do a small hike from Cove (South of Aberdeen) to Aberdeen - approximately 9-9.5 kms along the cliffs.

[Incidentally, it may seem ludicrous to have to state that when visiting friends you should generally agree about things and not hate eachother - even if you argue a lot about sport or philosophy, you have essentially agreed what to talk about and presumably enjoy the cut and thrust of a good old intellectual joust. This implies that when visiting people, you approach the event with a degree of positivity, conviviality even, as it seems ludicrous to travel long distances to see people you dislike, or to recieve visitors from afar who you dont approve of in any way, shape or form. Given the ubiquity of Facebook, it would seem easier to me to 'Private Message' someone you dont like, with a detailed list of their faults (if you consider such teenage fetishism for lists and tallies necessary) and just tell them not to come to visit anymore. In this new era of branding and relabelling you could call it an un-invitation. But it has been surprising recently how someone invited a great friend of mine for weekend with the apparent premeditation to verbally attack the person who had made a substantial journey to visit. That to me is not friendship, that is arseholeship. And it really screws with language as well, because you cant really 'invite' anyone to an event where you want to do terrible things to them: I suppose you can grammatically, but only by effectively substituting 'invitation' for 'kidnap'. Its not even really another juxtaposition because juxtapods make sense, whereas being an arsehole doesnt. ]

So, on our pleasant hike we walked, and sometimes talked, and we did discover a physical juxtaposition, which was that the hike started off in vey attractive - pretty rather than rugged - countryside and wound north in a similar fashion for about 8kms. There was a washed up rusted container on the beach in one small cove, but that wasnt really juxtaposed as it had rusted beautifully and was now part of the landscape. No the juxtaposition came at the end of the hike when you are suddenly just dumped into urban Aberdeen in the middle of its poorest housing estate. Its very wierd - sea,sand, sea eagles, seals and dolphins on one side of the road and needles, beer cans, grey industrial slums and kids with thousand-year-old eyes on the other side of the road. Later in the vacation I found out another possible juxtaposition , althjough I will be telling it in terms of opposition, in the form of a golf course and the USA's most well known 'entrepreneur'.

In very short news, the time in Aberdeen was great fun. I will write more about the other hike we went on and the beach picnic, but right now renovation beckons. All todays photos are from the hike Cave to Aberdeen.

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