A Flat Reunion, Danny Wilson (the Band) and ‘Aberdeen’ (the Song)

I spent a few days away from home last week but tried to keep all the plates spinning at the same time. Upshot is I got away with it, but I’m now exhausted, so a lesson learnt – in the future I will be pressing pause on our various business ventures when I’m out of town. On the blogging front, as I’m now more of a weekly/fortnightly blogger, I’ve missed the boat on various topics I’d have liked to have written about around here. The death of Bernard Cribbins, the final episode of Neighbours, the ongoing heatwave and the sporting achievements of the last fortnight. There may be a reason to mention these things down the line, but for now, I think I’ll write about my trip.

In the summer of 1982 I had just graduated from Aberdeen University and life in the real world beckoned. Last week I had a 40-year reunion in that same city with the girls (we will always be girls, whatever our age) I moved into a flat with that summer, and who became my urban family for the next five years. They have been written about often around here, this being a retrospective blog, and when we met up it was of course just like old times. The flat we moved into was a great find and only a stone’s throw from the city centre. We had a wander along to check it was still standing and needless to say, being built of hard-wearing (although somewhat radioactive) granite, it looked pretty much identical.

The top floor flat – scene of many a party and of many a drama

So, what did we do last week? Well it didn’t start off well as only 20 minutes away from arriving in the city, a pesky warning light popped up on my dashboard and I had no idea what it referred to. After a few panicked phonecalls, it was decided I should carry on to my destination and we could investigate when I got there. To my embarrassment it was only low tyre pressure and easily fixed but it made me realise I really need to be more self-sufficient when it comes to car maintenance. After that drama we headed off to revisit some of our old haunts and as the weather was glorious, much of the city looked beautiful. As for Union Street, the main thoroughfare, it has seen better days that’s for sure, but most towns and cities are the same nowadays with everyone shopping online and working from home.

We were all really glad we’d finally set the date in the calendar as it had been a long time. Our lives have gone in very different directions since we left that shared flat back in 1987 so there were many stories to tell. I have such fond memories of those years, but then I also said that recently about my schooldays. If I’m being totally honest it wasn’t always a bed of roses as we all split up with our long-term boyfriends during that time (yes, of course we googled them last week!) and changed jobs a fair few times, but fortunately we have selective memories and time seems to erase the bad stuff.

As for a featured song, I’m going to quite appropriately share this one called Aberdeen by the band Danny Wilson. The song was on their debut album called Meet Danny Wilson, released in 1987 after we all went our separate ways, but it has always been a favourite of mine. The band came from Dundee and are possibly best remembered for Mary’s Prayer, their big hit on both sides of the pond. Gary Clark, their lead singer and songwriter, went on to write songs for many of the biggest artists of the 1990s.

Aberdeen by Danny Wilson:


A bit of a sad song that one, but you don’t get many written about your home city so I really wanted to include it. One written from the songwriter’s personal experience I think, as all the best songs are.

I’ve gone way off tangent on this one, writing about my reunion with just a little bit of music thrown in, but I needed to get back in the saddle again after a bit of a break. Hope I’m excused. In case any of my followers from the Granite City drop by, here’s a puzzler for you. Where was my old flat (hint: it was on the Holburn Street side of town)?

Until next time…

Aberdeen Lyrics
(Song by Gary Clark)

Should you go to Aberdeen
Tell me what you find
A girl I know in Aberdeen
Who left her heart behind

Tho the northern lights
Have claimed her as their own

Tell her that I hope she’s well
Beg her to come home
Tell her that I hope she’s well
And beg her to come home

If the cost of living’s high
I can pay my way
With money that I had put by
For any rainy day

If left or right of two
Is all she understands

Tell her that I love her still
No matter what the plan
Tell her that I always will
No matter what the plan
Ba bai up dup baah

We had plans that we never
Saw come true but we can do
I took the time to remember
All that we did, we forget to

If you take a friend along
Take me in his place
Every piece of shit I own
We’ll pack into my case

Tho the northern lights
May have claimed her as their own
I could move to Aberdeen
Make the place my home
Not the finest place I’ve been
But I’ll make the place
Make the place my home

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

10 thoughts on “A Flat Reunion, Danny Wilson (the Band) and ‘Aberdeen’ (the Song)”

    1. We don’t meet up as a trio very often nowadays but when we do it’s just like old times – so many stories to relive!

      Not sure if you see the pictures in the same order as I do but the big square building is the new library on the University campus and the very ornate Victorian grey granite building is now a hotel although it was originally built as a private residence. The bit on the right was added later and was a chapel which is why it looks that way. There are lots of buildings like this in the west end of the city, many of them now hotels and offices.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I usually take them down after a week or so (the whole anonymity thing) but I shared a ‘time lapse’ set of pictures last year, 42 years apart, with one of those ‘girls’ above and it worked well so here I was doing it again. Sadly the fancy dress outfits are long gone (wonder if you can guess what we went as – the VV is a clue!). As for the stunning part, that ship has well and truly sailed, but thanks anyway – at least we’re not as orange as we used to be!

      Like

  1. Was your flat on Great Western Road? As you say Union Street’s seen better days and, sadly, Aberdeen Council have done little to stop the city centre’s decline,

    On the plus side there’s the Danny Wilson song. I’m a huge fan of Gary Clark and love his voice, This can be best heard on a heart-wrenching cover version of The Blue Nile’s “Saturday Night” which I urge you to check out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too loved Danny Wilson and Gary’s voice. That song suits someone from Scotland, where for half the year it’s dark at 5 o’clock. Meeting up with your girlfriend at either C&A corner or outside Boots by the steps would really have been something to look forward to.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a heartwarming post, good to know you got away for a bit although not so good being exhausted afterwards, hope you’re feeling better by now and yes next time you’ll definitely have to put some of those plates away! (Sorry too for being so late to comment, I just can’t find enough hours in the day at the moment either…)
    Absolutely love all the photos, but especially the ones of you and the girls. You look gorgeous all round! Those long friendships are so special and precious – with all the changes and ups and downs we have along the way it’s so good to have those lasting, unconditional connections.
    Of course I’ve never been to the Granite City but it would definitely be on the agenda on my Scottish Road Trip (one day….!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi C – I think we’re all really busy at the moment. Must be that point in the summer. I didn’t want to block off any more days in the holiday house calendar but ended up remote hosting and doing changeovers the day before and after my trip – never again!

      As for the photos of us, they won’t be here for long as we like our anonymity for the archive, but it was uncanny how we struck the same pose nearly 40 years apart (well 36 years actually), so I wanted to include them. Yes, good to have those long friendships but also good to strike up new friendships at this late stage in life, as we did in Edinburgh this summer. I certainly hope you manage a Scottish Road Trip one day – I’m sure we could guide you on all the best places to go.

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