It's early spring. There is not much evidence of this in our own garden, but there is elsewhere, as I discovered yesterday. I was giving an old friend a guided tour of Old Aberdeen; her daughter has been offered a place at the University here and she wanted to see what the place was like. Being a graduate and having worked at the University for over twenty years, I was in a good position to show her round. Some things have changed, like the brand spanking new library, a huge green and turquoise glass box from the outside, but with beautful curves and contours on the inside. And tea and muffins, of course; that was a bonus. The library where I did most of my studying has been razed to the ground, and the one where I used to go for a change of scene is now a conference centre. The chapel is reassuringly unchanged, as are the cobbles on the old High Street and the baker's shop, complete with yum yums, hot pies and butteries. The pub, a "proper" one with a long bar, minimal seating and a darts board has a few mid-afternoon customers as we open the door to peek in.
We conclude with a wander through the Cruickshank Botanic Garden, where I spent many a lunchtime, both as a student and as a University employee. Dwarf irises, giant snowdrops and normal-sized crocuses carpeted the ground under the huge trees. By the entrance gate on the Chanonry was a stunning bright red rhododendron; further on, a fresh pink one. What a difference these colours made to the dreich day.