1. As a wee one, you easily confused Storybook Glen for Disneyland.
Okay you were four, but what were you thinking?
2. There was literally nothing better than the flumes at the Beach Leisure Centre.
Except maybe the Friday night discos at the ice rink or the outdoor pool in Stonehaven.
3. You still get cravings for Murray Cup and Um Bongo.
Not to mention Rainbow Drops, Wham bars, Irn Bru bars… You might not have been a healthy loon, but you were a happy loon. That’s what matters.
4. By the time you were born, the tattie holidays had nothing to do with tatties.
5. There was no joy greater than a snow day.
Sledging till your socks were soaked through and your cheeks were bitten red, coming in to the warmth of the fire, Supermarket Sweep, piles of buttery toast and mugs of Cadbury’s hot chocolate… It was the best, until the snow days turned to weeks and you never wanted to see Dale Winton again.
6. The best days in primary school were the ones when pudding was choc ices.
Those blue wrappers are still pure nostalgia for you. You even get pangs for Turkey Twizzlers. Sometimes.
7. Without fail, January 25th meant being forced to sing and recite Rabbie Burns poems and Scottish folksongs…
Standing up on stage in the village hall, aged 10, and doing a Skye Boat Song solo could not have been more cringe.
8. …But it was worth all the embarrassment in the world just to see your dad plunging a knife into the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race” that same night.
So much drama for an overstuffed sausage! You loved it, even if you hated haggis.
9. A Sunday roast that saw a hunk of silverside placed on the table was the best, because it meant only one thing…
Stovies accompanied by beetroot, oatcakes, and cold glass after cold glass of milk. You did try to go vegan once, but how could you say goodbye to your (delicious) roots?
10. You still know of no greater joy than a fly cup.
Fine piece after fine piece — Tunnock’s teacakes, millionaire’s shortbread, queen cakes, buttered slices of fruit loaf — all washed down with hot tea… Oh min!
11. Any school bus trip had at least a dozen school kids singing “Don’t look back in anger, I heard you say” at the top of their lungs.
Maybe a bit of Stereophonics or Manic Street Preachers was thrown in there for some variety, but really, it was ALL about Oasis.
12. You know exactly what “Get yer rat oot,” “Chebs oot,” and “See’s yer beaver” mean.
And you really, really wish you didn’t.
13. Codonas was class.
Not classy. Class.
14. You never signed your letters off with “from.”
You had to write “fae.” Always.
15. Summer holiday mornings began with Big Breakfast…
Until that came to an end, and double bills of Dawson’s Creek on T4 saw you through till midday.
16. The Northsound 1 concerts in Duthie Park each summer were unreal.
Darius! Cleopatra! Hear’Say!
17. August was the always the best month.
Because there was, and will never be, a greater delight than walking country lanes gorging on wild raspberries and brambles in the sun.
18. But June and July were pretty great too.
Bowlfuls of Mackie’s ice cream and strawberries might have something to do with that.
19. The first thing you learned to make in Home Ec was cheesy beanos.
Somehow even that dish took a double period to make.
20. The neds at school smoked tabbies in the woodies…
Huddled under bridges, crammed into back alleys… if it smelled of urine, the Lammie Bammies would be OOT. If you were into that sort of thing, you probably couldn’t afford your own, so you’d resort to begging the older lads for leavings. Or if you were having a really bad day, you weren’t above pleading in your smallest voice, “See’s the beef?” Yep, you willingly smoked other people’s soggy yellow cigarette butts. It was probably the same at Gwyneth Paltrow’s high school in Santa Monica, though, right?
21. Amadeus under 18s night was INCREDIBLE.
You were in the biggest club in Scotland. There were babes from other schools. If you got lucky, you might even get a trap from one of those babes from other schools. Could life get any better? Never.
22. Most of your pocket money went to Superdrug and Boot’s.
Because that creamy blue Maybelline eyeshadow you gunked on your lids straight from the tube didn’t come cheap! Okay, it did, but it felt expensive when you’d already spent most of your money clubbing together with your pals for a few orange WKDs on Friday night. That eyeshadow was a wonder of a thing though — caking and crusting over 13 year-old eyelids like luminescent trails of incredible blue slime. Once you’d ironed your hair straight (with an actual iron) and popped on your Adidas shell toes and biggest GAP hoodie, a pale pink slick of Bourjois Effet 3D lipgloss and a spritz of Impulse was all you then needed to feel like the next Britney Spears.
23. You had a Nokia 6100.
And there was only one thing better than Snake. And that was Snake II. Or maybe MSN Messenger.
24. You remember a time when Union Street was lively.
You loved it all — the St. Nicholas Centre because you could read the magazines for free in WHSmith, the Trinity Centre because HMV, and right next door, Virgin Megastore. But the Bon Accord Centre food court had the best pizza meal deal around, so it was the best.
25. Saturday nights in Liquid were amazing.
Or were they?
26. You once went to Charlie’s by accident.
Five minutes later, you came out trembling having been repeatedly asked by hard-faced girls what you were looking at and if you were “starting.”
27. You started driving lessons the day of your 17th birthday.
In fact, you’d have started them at midnight if you could, because in the words of that great Scot, Mel Gibson, “FREEEEEEDOM!”
No more calling mum and dad for lifts from village hall parties at 2am, ever! No wonder they forked out for your lessons.
28. At times, Aberdeenshire made you feel claustrophobic.
Castles, tearooms, distilleries… at some point you probably yearned for wider horizons. And then you’d go to the beach, the sand slipping beneath your feet and marram flicking your knees as you tumbled down the dunes to the edge of the roaring North Sea. Just you, birds, sky, and water — it made you realise that, actually, you’re from a pretty incredible part of the world after all.