I came to Aberdeenshire five years ago after a break of 23 years. I went for a walk through the den near where my grandfather had lived and it was the smell that struck me more than anything. It brought me right back to the feelings of being there as a young teenager. Walking in woods and overgrown scrub at this time of year brings it back. It's Scottish summer. The place is lush with green, and after the rains you feel the damp vegetation, that smell of woodland life: growth, decay, flowers, leaves, ferns, grass, birds. When I first came back to this part of the world, I had been half my life away, the previous half spent visiting the place every year or two, or more often. This smell has a particular resonance of a childhood spent outside as we did in the 1970s. As kids we'd scamper through the woods between my grandparents' house and my aunt and uncle's, who lived in a cottage the other side of the burn. We'd go back and forth; we knew the route through the woods even in the dark. But it was a Scottish summer night so there was always some light.
Seaton Park, Old Aberdeen, this morning.