Sunday, 6 September 2015

Has Gail turned into her Granny?

So on Friday afternoon it was all "come on Bertie, let's smarten you up, we're going into town for a Very Special Outing".

Leaving aside the rather obvious objection that we already live in town my next thought was to wonder if Gail was skipping a generation and turning into her Granny.

£175 on eBay, anyone?
Many's the time I've heard about how Gail's teenage years were ruined (OK slight exaggeration) by her mother's mother constantly criticising her for going into Nottingham City Centre on a Saturday afternoon clad in the then regulation patched flares and Afghan coat, when she really should have smartened herself up and worn a nice skirt and ladylike shoes and gloves.

But back to the present day.

Well the deal is that Aberdeen Council are conducting a so-called 'café culture trial', an experiment in al fresco eating, and has permitted certain restaurants and coffee shops to expand onto the street in a small, pedestrianised area of the city centre.

If any of you are thinking, well Bertie that is hardly remarkable, let me emphasise that here in NE Scotland we are not blessed with a local government bursting with imagination, creativity and joie de vivre.

Anyway, Gail decided, as the mid-afternoon temperatures are for the moment still above frigid, she would test out the street scene and I was invited along on the assumption that dogs would be allowed in the pavement cafés. (Otherwise, to be honest, what would be the point of them?)

On arriving at Belmont Street Gail carefully checked out the afternoon tea options, rejecting the first because of lack of facilities and the second (disappointingly) for fear that I might be distracted by the other customers.

Finally, we settled on the third café, where clearly the management had taken note of local conditions and thought things through.

So this place offered protection from the sun (or more likely rain), and not only an outdoor heater but blankets for patrons to wrap around themselves should they foolishly have left their winter coats at home.

Oh yes, and I can vouch for the fact that the cherry scones are nice too, having eventually been offered a morsel after proving my "good boy" credentials.

All in all, I am pleased to report I had a thoroughly satisfactory experience, and I am thinking of writing a letter to Aberdeen Council in praise of their latest initiative.


  1. If winter coats need to be involved, I are pretty sure I'd rather be inside.

  2. I'm glad you had your fur to check out the street scene of your town, butt hey cherry scones? I would eat them even with arctic temperatures :o) My mom said her teenage years were ruined by her pawrents too... imagine they said NO! to a springbreak trip... and therefore my momma thinks she missed an ESSENTIAL part of her life and that's the reason that some things are what they are... a pitiful whitewasher if you ask me :o)

  3. Hari OM
    BOL - oh yes, saw that on the news... and agree that the last place has cottoned on to the fact that, after all, this IS Scotland!!! Am so glad it was a successful trip for you Bertie lad (success being measured in the currency of crumbs &*>) Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  4. Hi Bertie, sounds like a great trip. The lovely cafe here in Torridon has al fresco seating but rarely this summer has anyone been spotted enjoying it. Perhaps you could bring your findings to the attention of the owner. Blankets, a heater and a large parasol may encourage the customers outside.

    Best wishes


  5. to much praise could go to their heads be careful Bertie :)

  6. Guess if the rain turns to hail you can always pop into the art gallery. Perhaps next week you can go to the shopping mall by the station ?

  7. That is so cool that the local government is FINALLY appreciating that canines can have good manners and should be able to accompany their humans! YAY! We are glad you got to eat a few crumbs from a scone. Maybe they can give you more next time? BTW, is it THAT cold there? We know the sun doesn't shine often and that summer doesn't come every day BUTT is it always cold?

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

    1. Well, dear Mayors, today we had a mini-heat wave when, talking in your units, the afternoon temperature reached the high sixties. It very rarely gets warmer than this in summer due to the cooling effect of the North Sea. Our winters aren't exceptionally cold, compared with places like, say, Minnesota, but Canadians have been known to comment that although the thermometer readings in Aberdeen are not that low, the damp and windy climate makes it feel much chillier than they anticipated in the winter months - not helped by the shortness of daylight. (In terms of latitude, we are level with the southern tip of Alaska). Oh and I should add that in Aberdeen we are actually in the drier part of Scotland. You will note I said 'drier' not 'dry'….
      I hope that answers your question satisfactorily!

  8. What a fun outing Bertie!! It must have been so much fun getting to accompany Gail!!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  9. Bertie-
    All dining establishments should have outdoor seating for dogs and their families! That's wonderful that you have places to have tea and snacks with Gail. Once the local government sees Handsome and Well-Behaved Bertie enjoying al fresco dining, we think more doors will open for the dogs of Scotland!

  10. That is so cool Bertie. You and I could have quite the afternoon lunch together *sigh*


  11. Bertie, we think you were just the customer that the Council had in mind! We hope they decide to stick to this plan!!

    -Ruby and Otto

  12. thank goodness she let you go in order to experiment the outdoor cafe scene
    Lily & Edward

  13. Bertie, our first thought was RAIN! We have those outdoor eating places, but dogs still can't sit there....anyway, it's where the smokers go. We're glad there were scones and you were able to snaffle a morsel.

  14. Gosh we love to see places that allow doggies to go along. We don't know of any places in our town like that
    A cherry scone sounds really delish!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  15. Bertie: You have a hard life. I say write the council on our behalf also. The more places that allow dogs, the more dogs can go places. And you can add my support to the list.


  16. How absolutely wonderful Bertie that they provide warm blankets. The tea cup is so pretty. I guess like in the story about the Three Little Bears the third spot was oh so perfect. Afternoon tea, wish we did that in the States.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

  17. Good for the council but hey you could have shared out those scones yer nose.
    Luvs Freya Rose Blossom X

  18. Bertie buddy let me get this out of the way lickety mom is so jealous.. she would have loved taking that stroll with you and mom...especially we scones at the end. did you get a bite?
    What a fine thing the town Council has done. Looks like you met a nice new friend too.
    Hugs madi your bfff