And if you know your cartoon heroes and heroines, you’ll know I’m in Dundee.
Where I’ve been channeling my inner Desperate Dan, and even Minnie the Minx, during a few days working for DC Thomson Newspapers.
Dundee is known in many quarters as the City of Jute, Jam and Journalism.
Jute, you say?
Well, it’s fibre for carpets and don’t you know the Dundonians were famous for producing it?
Jam now? Well, more accurately marmalade but then where’s the alliteration in that?
The story goes that a Spanish vessel carrying oranges washed up on the shores of the River Tay.
And a grocer bought the oranges, only that they were too bitter and he got his wife to boil them in sugar.
Hence the marmalade you’re spreading on your toast just now…. from Pittsburgh to Port Elizabeth.
Journalism … and I guess that’s where this scribbler comes in.
DC Thomson’s is at the heart of Dundee life.
They’ve been here for well nigh 120 years and their redstone building in the city centre almost 100.
And they boast a stable which contains The Sunday Post, Dundee’s The Courier, Aberdeen’s Press & Journal and the Weekly News.
A cast of heroes
And a host of cartoon characters we grew up with:
Desperate Dan, the strongman who eats cow pie.
Minnie the Minx: the tearaway with the catapult.
Oor Wullie: Scotland’s favourite wee laddie who sits on a bucket when he’s not trying to knock PC Murdoch’s hat off.
The Broons: Scotland’s answer to The Waltons with Grandpaw and the Bairn at opposite ends of the spectrum.
And Jackie, the Beano, the Dandy and the Commando war comic.
City of Discovery and more
Dundee has another name too, the City of Discovery. It was here they built Scott of the Antarctica’s ship.
And which you can see… https://www.rrsdiscovery.com on the river front.
Next to the spanking new design museum, the V&A Dundee https://www.vam.ac.uk/dundee named after Victoria and Albert.
And I’m sure the latter, a modernist would have approved.
And then, of course, there’s more jute… https://www.verdantworks.com.
Now, I know you all want to know where I’m staying.
And yes, I normally wouldn’t get out of my bed (triple, of course) unless I had a Caribbean panorama.
But Scotland Beds hostels are comfortable and reasonable at £18 a night.
OK you have to make your own bed and may have to share a room although my four-bed room was vacant.
But it’s quiet, there’s a shared bathroom with shower and toiletries provided.
And cereal, tea and coffee and bread and marmalade, Dundee, of course.
While you can bring in your own food to cook.
Then there’s a TV and Netflix in the room.
And it seems Susie who was here before me had the same idea.
Crocodile Dundee, anyone?
For more Scottish meanderings stay on the train for my old stomping ground, Aberdeen Aberdeen – a light in the north.
And my new old one Edinburgh and North Berwick Edinburgh – an old friend.
And here are my favourite statues… before Dundee!… Putting these statues on a pedestal