Tuesday 7 December 2010

My park / Duthie Park

We've been debating, Gail and I, the title of my previous post, in which I declared that 'my park' had been invaded by Eskimos.

Leaving aside the matter of where the Eskimos disappeared to (we never found any), what Gail is objecting to is that I claimed the park as my very own.

Well let me set record straight, and tell you a little more about Duthie Park, to give the correct name, as it is such an important feature of my daily life.

Elizabeth Duthie, of the family that owned the Duthie Shipyards,  gifted the 44 acres to the Aberdeen Council in 1881.

When did you last hear of a modern day philanthropist donating land for public benefit and the enjoyment of city dwellers? (Gail says rants "these days we just have the Donald Trumps, buying up beautiful stretches of our coast, which were previously open and free for all to enjoy, but which in future will be accessible only to rich golfers).

Oh Gail, you do need to move on....Back to Duthie Park.

Well on dark winter mornings, it does feel like the place belongs just to us dogs and our faithful owners, out for the regular pre-work walk. You do also at this time of day see the occasional juicy-calved jogger, who I am not supposed to chase, and a few hardy fluorescent cyclists taking a short cut to the office.

On a sunny summer weekends it's a whole different picture: kids whooshing back and forth on the swings and vainly trying to descend the non-slip surface of the slide (a council 'health and safety' feature....), families noisily queuing up for ice-creams at the café, games of cricket (the players mostly brown-skinned south Asians dressed in some approximation to the traditional white outfit), picnickers surprisingly careless of their sandwiches given the number of unleashed dogs on the look-out, students lazily tossing around a frisbee, model boat enthusiasts making good use the large shallow pond, coach parties of old ladies visiting the Winter Gardens (I'm not allowed in the greenhouses, more's the pity. I did once sneak in. It's lovely and warm in the tropical house).

The park has a big grassy area with a bandstand in the middle, plus some beautifully tended formal flower beds, monuments, trees for peeing on, footpaths, ponds and fountains. Dogs are allowed everywhere except the Winter Gardens and do not have to be on a lead, although we are supposed to be 'under control'.

It's only a quarter of a mile walk from my house, so the morning circuit down to and round the park and back again is about a mile long and takes 20-30 minutes, depending on how many pals I meet en route and whether we call in at the paper shop on the way home.

Aren't I lucky to have such a nice place so close? Even if it's not, strictly speaking, 'mine'.


  1. I'd say you are a furry lucky boy (in more ways than this one!). We have a park but its located on the shore of a lake and its about a mile away from my home. The lake is solidly frozen over after some very cold temps the last couple of weeks, so we don't go there much in the winter. But in summer its delish!

    Winter walking is mostly doing errands with my Mom. Not the best way to get exercise but lots of people to talk to!


  2. Oh Betrie, it sounds heavenly! It's the kind of thing us Yanks imagine all over Europe.

    Thanks for sharing your park with us.

    Nubbin wiggles,

  3. Bertie you sure are fortunate to live by such a beautiful park. Thank you for all the information
    Benny & Lily

  4. Bertie..you have such luck to get to live so close to such a big wonderful park. We live that close to one also but it doesn't get many visitors there so I am usually there by myself. Your descrption made me feel like I was on a walk with you. Thanks!
    Hugs and wags, Mistaya
    PS..they say Americans are getting fatter every year so maybe that is why we don't see many of them walking,jogging or playing in my neighborhood park. Sad.

  5. That sounds like a great place. We'd love to visit your park and play in the igloos.
    Morgan, Tsar and the Porties

  6. Hi Bertie,
    We wonder if Elizabeth Duthie ever thought of all the generations of both humans and canines who would benefit from her generous donation.
    Just as well Donald Trump wasn't around then - we are sure he would have cut a deal and made another golf course. That is a lot of space you have there - you are indeed lucky.
    We only have a small park locally but there are a lot of squirrels so we don't complain!
    Nearby Glasgow has lots of great parks which seem huge to us - we expect Duthie Park is like that - you know the kind where you don't need to go the same walk ever day as there are so many different walks.
    We hear our snow is heading up towards you........we are sure you will enjoy it but Gail will need to stock up with chocolate - these humans don't cope as well as us dogs.
    Martha and Bailey xxx

  7. Bewtie
    You awe indeed vewy lucky and I think they should wename it Bewtie's pawk even though that lady was vewy genewoos about leaving it to evewyone's enjoyment..it weally is youws. Mommi totally agweees wif Gail, but I digwess..
    flat Ewic didn't come, instead "little Ewic" did (Ewic has a special shwinking fowmoola that he takes so he can join the squawes of twips..he's been staying at my house and we've had a lovely time of it. Tonight, he has to go back wif his pawents to theiw hotel..i will miss him deawly
    I wish you coul come visit
    smoochie kisses

  8. Wow you are very lucky!!! AND we can't wait for some snow here...Hoke loves the snow!

  9. First, we apologize on behalf of all Americans for Donald Trump. A lot of us don't like him, either. At least he and his ilk aren't yet in total control of your government like they are ours, which they have just purchased for a few billion dollars in "campaign contributions."

    You have a wonderful park! We don't think your use of "mine" was perjorative. We have a song, "This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land." So you can say "mine" and not mean "JUST mine." It only means you share a sense of ownership, which is just what is wanted in a public park!

    Jed & Abby

  10. Hey Bertie...
    If the park doesn't work out or the Eskimos return or the Donald ducks take over, there is still hope:
    You are invited to join me in my pool! (BOL! I WILL teach you to swim!)
    Sending lotsalicks

  11. Your park sounds just like my beach, with the summer winter things. In the winter me and Mum can be the only ones there.

    How nice we has such lovely areas to run around in.

    Oh, yes you is right about the tree thing, but for some reason Mum put mine on a table, grandpawents do too, something to do with Auntie Penny knocking it over one year and eating all the tinsel. Totally not fair, I cannot cock my leg that high!
    ~lickies, Ludo

  12. Bertie my boy,

    I definitely hope you put your mark on that igloo - it's rather divine! No snow here but it's so cold, Mom makes me wear goofy coats and sweaters. As the saying goes, "A sweater is something you put on when your mother gets cold." Ain't it the truth!

    Overheard Mom and Eric Square Dog's Mum talking about a trip up to Scotland this coming summer. Don't think I'm invited, but Uncle Eric may make it! Does that seem fair to you at all? No!

    Your pal,


  13. It sounds like a wonderful park, Bertie. I also think it sounds like it's yours. I assumed you've left your mark here and there. It might not be exclusively yours, but it's still probably yours. That's how it sounds to me.

    lotsa licks, Lola

  14. Sounds to us like Your Park is only missing a few things. Like Stella, and Oskar, and Benny and Lily and Mistaya and Martha and Bailey and ... well ... you get the idea. Oh how we'd LOVE to join you in that HappyMakingPlace.

    How about some pictures sometime? We might be able to manage a sign that says "Bertie's Place at Duthie Park" then there won't be any question of ownership.

    Jake and Fergi