Posted by: christinelaennec | October 12, 2014

Aberdeen in September

A month ago, I had the chance to go back to Aberdeen for a visit.  I had a really lovely two days there.  The weather, for one thing, was most un-Aberdeenlike:  warm sunshine and no wind!

I arrived at mid-day and met a good friend for lunch.  It was great to catch up and relax together.

I was very interested to see for myself the changes in the city centre that have happened since the 1970s carbuncle St. Nicholas House was demolished.  Provost Skene’s House, one of my favy places in Aberdeen, is no longer surrounded by steel and glass.  Its windows are sealed against damage in the demolition works, but if it could see, it would marvel at its current view.


Provost Skene’s House, released from being trapped in a 1970s nightmare.  Aberdeen, September 2014.

The beautiful façade of Marischal College has similarly been revealed:


Looking down Schoolhill at Marischal College.  Aberdeen, September 2014.

Sadly, in my opinion, the city plans to redevelop the area by “building glass boxes” (in my friend’s words) all around Provost Skene’s House.  I was glad to see it released from captivity and standing proudly against the skyline.

I then met another friend, to go see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition “Fifty Years of Colour” at the Aberdeen Art Gallery.  She is even more of a Kaffe Fassett fan than I am, and has made quite a few of his designs, in knitting, needlework and quilting. It was a treat to go through the exhibit with her.  Those who read my post on the exhibition in Bath will recognise the themes:


Leaves and vegetation. I love this knitted coat, but doubt I would have the patience to do all that intarsia!


A profusion of flowers in needlepoint


More flowers, in needlepoint and in knitted form.

Aberdeen is important to Kaffe Fassett.  It was on a visit to the late designer Bill Gibb, who was from the North-East of Scotland, that Kaffe visited a woollen mill and was taken by all the shades of wool.  He bought lots of colours of wool, and was taught to knit on the train back to London.  You can see a short film here of Kaffe talking about his connection to Scotland, his work and the importance of colour to him.  For more photographs of the Aberdeen exhibition, see this post on Time flies when you’re having fun…


Harvest scene

I had a chance to visit lots of friends from my old church, including dropping by the Coffee Morning that they happened to have.  And I went out to the countryside to see a good friend.


St Nicholas Kirkyard, Aberdeen, September 2014.

It was such a pleasure to be back in very familiar territory, but as a tourist, and with the city looking affa bonnie, as they would say there.  Of course the highlight of my visit was reconnecting with friends, but (having spent 21 years of my life there) Aberdeen itself is like an old friend too.



  1. What a wonderful couple of days, as you said reconnecting with friends.

  2. Seems like you having a wonderful time 🙂

  3. Bill Gibb was from Fraserburgh. The Heritage Centre there has a permanent display including his designer clothes. The weather has been very good this year with some of the usual just to remind us whats normal!

  4. Thankyou for the lovely photos. I too went back to Aberdeen this summer, in July, and enjoyed re-connecting with old friends. And the sun shone for me, too.

  5. Such a lovely visit – thanks for taking us along, Christine. I’d love to see that exhibit. I haven’t knitted much lately (more crocheting this summer than knitting), and I’m certainly no expert, but one day perhaps I’ll try that intarsia….perhaps. xo

  6. Very pretty views you have captured of your beloved Aberdeen! I love the hay rolls in the field. How beautiful the Kaffe Fassett woolens are – so organic with such lush colorways. The painted walls have offset them very nicely. So nice to have a chance to visit with dear friends, too. xo Karen

  7. I’m so jealous you got to see another Kaffe Fassett exhibition. Aberdeen looks lovely, I’ve never been but I’d like to visit one day. Glad you were able to visit your friends and have such a lovely time. x

  8. Thank you everyone. It was fantastic to see old friends, and Aberdeen is definitely worth a visit. On a beautiful day it is affa bonnie. I’m glad people liked even more Kaffe Fassett.

    Stacy – let me know if you enjoy intarsia. A lot of people do.

    Jill – yes, Bill Gibb was from Fraserburgh or I think from the countryside nearby? I think I recall that Kaffe Fassett said he couldn’t make heads or tails of what people were saying!

  9. Totally envious of the Kaffe Fasset exhibition! 🙂

    • I really enjoyed reading his autobiography – loads of photos and also a good insight into his development as a designer. Lovely to know you are still there, Dorit!

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