Since we moved to Cruden Bay, popping into Aberdeen has become more of an event than just “nipping to the shops.” But I love wandering around Aberdeen in Autumn. The city has a lovely atmosphere at this time of year. In normal times (I know, they seem so far away), we would be driving into Aberdeen fairly regularly to wander around the shops, grab some supper and watch a show at His Majesty’s Theatre. But times just ain’t normal, are they? And we really miss it. We miss our date days in Aberdeen.Considering everything, we have coped fairly well with lockdown/tier-life this year. But over the last few weeks, we’ve been getting itchy feet. I hate being caged in. It makes me het up. Scott hates it when I get het up. Then he gets het up. And we both nip at each other for something to do. I can feel it coming on now, and will suggest that we go somewhere before it kicks off. Usually, that’s the harbour down the road for a wee bit of fishing. Yeah, I love fishing now. Who knew? (even though I rarely ever catch anything). More recently (as it’s gotten colder), it’s been shorter dashes to the harbour and longer trips into the town.
Pop-up Shopping at John Lewis
My new need to shop for me weekly has led to too many soaps and a monstrous and completely wonderful pyjama collection. You just can’t go wrong with a good set of jammies, am I right? I am living in them just now. By the fire. With Prosecco. Living on that too.
Aberdeen has been heavily affected by the coronavirus outbreak and a number of retail units in the city are now empty. Many other shop owners are warning that there will be more empty units with a recent article by the BBC stating that almost a fifth of retail units on Aberdeen’s main shopping street, Union Street, are now empty.
Support Small Businesses
There are shops that are doing their bit to support small businesses. John Lewis is one of them. On one of our recent city sprees, we popped into John Lewis to meet with some of the independent makers and crafters who are featuring in a week-long pop-up in John Lewis thanks to the Great British Exchange. Featuring in somewhere like John Lewis provides fantastic exposure for small businesses who may not reach their customers through social media alone. We were surprised that even on a Tuesday afternoon, there were a number of customers circling their pop-up. No surprise really, their pop-up is super colourful, bright and funky. The crafters feature in the pop-up until Sunday 8th November.
Meet the Makers
Well, it’s safe to say that I was spoilt. The girls from the pop-up sent me away with a lovely gift bag filled with gorgeous local products. One thing that I noticed straight away was the quality of the products. They were all lovely, local and luxurious. I was gifted a gorgeous silk headband named “mermaid” and a silk hair scrunchie by Helen Ruth Scarves. Paper Houses Design popped a lovely Wheat Pillow into the gift bag. That was a lovely surprise because I had a whopping hangover when I opened the gift bag, and a Wheat Pillow for heavy eyes was a great shout.Alongside these gorgeous goodies was a beautiful buffalo hide teal leather purse from Hackley Bags. We met Hackley on a Zoom call a few months ago – a true shout out to the technology of nowadays. Meeting people on Zoom before meeting them in person. Madness. From Camban Studio, I was given a lovely colourful and classy tea towel and some pretty and dainty Christmas cards. Taking the opportunity to thank all the ladies for the lovely gift bag – I am a lucky ducky.
Shop Local, Support Small
I have been making more of an effort to shop small over the last couple of years. I definitely shop Scottish as much as I can (no shock, we are The Aye Life afterall) but the awesome makers at the John Lewis pop-up have inspired me to look local for Christmas this year and I encourage you to do the same. If you can. Not only are you likely to find high quality, creative presents but you are helping to support a small business during a strange old time.