A typical day in the life of an Inverurie teen
Everything that happened in the Royal Burgh
When described as a “Royal Burgh”, Inverurie sounds ridiculously upperclass and fancy, but in reality it’s a bit of a shitehole.
The day to day grind (which seemingly revolves around the Black Gold) breaks even the strongest of us at some point. Here’s what you probably experienced as a teen if you grew up in Inverurie.
As your alarm violently startles you awake, it momentarily crosses your mind that somehow, overnight, you’ve gone blind. Nope, it’s just that dark in The North. The shortest days up here can offer only a slim six hours of sunlight, so, naturally, most of us look like walking, talking milk bottles. With winter temperatures dropping to almost -20 degrees in the night time, there’s nothing more we’d rather do than just hibernate through the ridiculously long winter.
Breakfast – a buttery, rowie, Aberdeenshire roll. Whatever you call them, they’re a regional treasure. Approximately one-third fat, one-third carbs and one-third salt, what else could be better to insulate us against the biting winds and icy rain that chills you right to your bones? Honestly, if nothing else, they also make the perfect hangover cure.
The trek to Inverurie Academy – built in the early 1900s, and obviously hasn’t been changed since looking at the state of some class rooms. Don’t forget “the huts” outside (originally built to house overflow students after the Strathburn blaze of ’01). With externally-controlled heating this place was always roasting in summer and bloody freezing in winter. Who could forget the traumatising trek up the stairs to modern languages, the bum-numbing stools in the science labs or the cheesey feet smell of the drama studio? Yet, the pinnacle of your existence was finally gaining access to the allure of the common room in S6. Having longed for a recluse away from the lower (and obviously inferior to you) year groups, you wind up disappointed, but not surprised at the state of the common room. It’s not like the one in the Inbetweeners: no DVD players, no foosball tables and we weren’t even allowed a toaster. Nope, all we got were pitiful donations of chairs deemed too tatty for teachers and classrooms, and the tables with so much chewing gum stuck to the bottom of them the cleaners had clearly just given up trying to save them. Despite all this though, you ended up having a pretty good time learning to play poker and watching people get repeatedly slam dunked into the bin.
The herd of students from the Academy flock to Strachan’s for a (frankly overpriced) play-piece. Apparently being a family run small business in the North-East of Scotland entitles you to charge 80p for a Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. Hmm. However, after the renovation Strachan’s became a hot spots for students -offering hot drinks and food made it almost impossible to resist spending all your free periods drinking extortionately-priced coffee. Sort of makes up for hiring kids under 16 and paying them pennies. Not literally of course – you were quite jealous of those who made money when nobody else hired you.
For students not at the Academy, if you went to Strathburn Primary (obviously the best one, soz Kellands), you might be so lucky as to see a bull escaping from the slaughterhouse… which happened to be built across the road from a primary school.
Lunch at the Kilted Frog. This was the place where the Academy students could mingle with the most middle class Inverurians on a daily basis (not that they were ever happy they had to share this place). The Kilted Frog is a hybrid Scottish-French delicatessen in the centre of Inverurie, run by possibly one of the town’s most loved residents, Patrick. For £1.50 you could munch on a variety of baguettes for your lunch, whether it be the ever classic French “Croque Moinseur”, or the slightly more eccentric Scottish haggis and cheese. Whatever you chose to order, it was always delicious, honest food. What else could you expect from a place run by these cuties?
If you were rebellious you’d bunk off and get a carry out in Kellands park. OK so nobody actually did this but the idea always sounded really appealing, considering how close it was to the school grounds. Yet Aberdeenshire is one of the UK’s strictest places on underage drinking, so the closest anyone ever got to this was signing yourself out at lunch time in your sixth year even if you still had a class in the afternoon.
Less rebellious folk go to one of the many hairdressers for a trim. In Inverurie there seems to be a disproportionate amount of hairdressers. There are no less than 20 hairdressers and barbers. When you think about it, it seems quite ridiculous but Inverurie wouldn’t be Inverurie without them.
Home again in darkness. Literally. If you leave for school at 8am, and the school day finishes at 3:50pm, it can be dark before and after you finish school. It makes winters rather depressing, but at least you don’t feel guilty about changing into your PJs as soon as you get home and ignoring the atrocity that was higher maths homework.
If you were lucky, you’d catch Sean Batty on STV weather *swoon*. Talk about a local legend. Tuning in to STV for the o’clock news with the sole intention of seeing a glimpse of Sean Batty’s glorious smile was a perfectly normal occurrence for most Inverurie gals.
Takeaway tea (Nazma, Saigon, Garden? Choices galore). Amongst its many hairdressers, Inverurie is also home to quite a few damn good takeaways. Personal favourites would be the Nazma Indian or the Vietnam Saigon and there was always somewhere that would provide you with the tastiest, fattiest foods needed to survive the almost arctic temperatures.
If, sadly, you weren’t old enough to go out, or didn’t have the balls to take your chances with a doctored young scot card, there was always the option of a hall party. If you don’t know, people would book a hall under the guise it was for a relative’s 50th birthday, or something similar, but instead it became a hub for underage drinking. Sadly, local authorities caught on and started interviewing potential renters. It was absolutely amazing while it lasted: what could be better than getting absolutely paralytic in a massive room with some of your closest friends, and some people who you’ve never seen before in your life. You at the start and you at the end of the night was a very different picture indeed.
If you were old enough, or had a successful fake ID, you’d get on it in Spoons, Butchers, Black Bull, Eddies (only options, really). A night out in Aberdeen typically sets you back about 50 quid once you factor in the post-sesh Maccy D’s and the taxi home, so most of us would have to settle for a slightly shitty Inver night out from time to time. Most people would get absolutely annihilated in the local Spoons (especially if you were 17 and couldn’t get into Eddies). A favourite, as is everywhere, is the classic Pornstar Martini pitcher.
After you’ve drunk so much you can barely walk, at 12pm you’d stumble into Edwards (downstairs first, obvs).
Edwards is Inverurie’s only nightclub, and despite everyone calling it shit, you really end up loving it when you actually get there. After managing to escape the grasps of some slightly creepy forty-somethings, you down your jagerbomb and leg it to the club upstairs to dance the night away to some mediocre (but enjoyable) music. Perhaps the best thing about going out in Inverurie is you always see everyone you know, and is there really anything better than turning round in a club to be greeted by a group of your absolutely steaming schoolmates? Don’t get that sort of night in a place like Aberdeen.
As you stumble home, too skint to afford an extortionate taxi home, you realise Inverurie is actually pretty great place, and as much as you slate it, it’s your hometown, and you wouldn’t change it for the world.