Monday, 27 December 2010

Aberdeenshire is the place to be!

a fantastic scene of beauty and prosperity near Inverurie
Well I told you so! This morning, the papers and the internet are full of the fantastic, life-affirming news that Aberdeenshire has been named as the place in Scotland which offers the best quality of life for the second year running. Aberdeenshire was said to rate highly as residents tend to be fit and well, with 93% reporting good health; the employment rate and pay is high; and the weather is better than in other areas.

Now I’m not surprised at all by this great news. I’ve been banging on for ages about the revolution taking place in the north east of Scotland as a result of the work of Dr Donald Trump, Sir Ian Woods, Aberdeen Football Club and Halfords as well as other giants of the retail park like Lidl, Argos and Homebase. It's the future of Scotland in miniature and everywhere else had better catch up quickly! It’s a part of Scotland that only sees green lights for an amazing new range of developments marching over the green belt, just like a Martian Invasion - only better!

So the massed forces of the media and the entire population of the north east of Scotland will be delighted to hear that the Auchterness Award for The Greatest Place Ever in 2010 goes to Aberdeenshire.

But what of the other areas that were supposedly in contention? Shetland and Orkney feature because according to the report, “These areas score well on high employment rates, low population densities and burglary rates, small class sizes and good secondary school exam results.” Well the obvious response to low burglary rates is that in these other areas there is nothing worth stealing - an old pair of Wellington boots or the bit of rusty chain that keeps the collie dog from trying to swim to the mainland. And small class sizes? You would be pushed to have large class sizes in these places because hardly anyone lives there!

Elsewhere it seems that east is important - East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian and East Renfrewshire so if you want to live in a good area, perhaps make sure it has East in its name.

But back to Aberdeenshire and some final points. The picture at the top of this post, courtesy of PA and the BBC, shows a winter landscape with wind farms in the background near Inverurie - scene of one of my terrific posts last year. Now wind farms have been a theme of mine in a couple of recent posts - they represent enterprise and a new modern Scottish landscape. Climate is also important - the north east gets a lot of snow and they tend to have proper winters which is good for wee beasties hibernating properly (I read recently). So if you are a nature lover in Aberdeenshire, while some of your favourite frogs will be sleeping safely in their burrows over the winter, don’t be surprised if others have to face the Grim Reaper - it’s only natural.

Of course it’s the same for towns and villages - some will, and should perish as their life drains away to more modern locations which are better positioned and more prosperous. And this is certainly happening to some of the welfare towns and villages in Scotland as we speak. But that’s all for now - well done Aberdeenshire!

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