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
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'.