What Geography Mean To Me
Mary R Murray
RSGS Aberdeen Group
From a very early age, I was always interested in the landscape. It was uphill and down dale to Barthol Chapel School in Aberdeenshire: the two miles was very easily calculated – the distance from home to school (the church spire could be seen as I set off).
Soon after, I would discover how to draw a mountain (or I thought it was then) – yes, Bennachie was a great view from the Oldmeldrum side, and I would later see it every day on my way to secondary school at Inverurie Academy.
Rivers held a fascination too as I was growing up – where did they come from? Little did I know that one small stream near home would eventually flow into the River Ythan.
Rock types also held a fascination (and still do). I always admired the grey granite of Aberdeen when we went ‘into town’ to shop at those department stores which are, sadly, no longer there: the labradorite facing on the Esslemont and MacIntosh building I found particularly beautiful.
A chance to study at Aberdeen University as a mature student was grasped in the early 1970s. It was then that I decided to subscribe to a life membership of the RSGS. We also had a local group of geography teachers called South Grampian Geographers. Many friendships are still maintained from those days when we would travel to the annual SAGT Conference.
The hundreds of miles of travel turned into thousands of miles of travel by air and sea (more so since I retired) – South East Asia is a favourite.
Fascinating limestone caves, dormant and active volcanoes, the physical landscape is wonderful. So too are the changing faces of our towns and cities.
But engaging in conversation with people from other parts of the world is also a delight, and it is so easy to continue with modern technology.
What better than the RSGS to set us thinking of what we might do or become, while listening to and viewing the feats of the quality speakers that we have in place each year. They share their experiences for us to enjoy.
This article was written for the Spring 2012 edition of the Geographer