Dec 192014

Miles the Bear is left out in the cold as a reindeer packs his bags and heads to Cairngorms National Park winter wonderland in spoof of hit television ad. With thanks to Eoin Smith.

Cairngorms Festive Smile 2A reindeer’s hunt for his festive smile takes centre stage in a heart-warming spoof of one of the UK’s most feel-good television ads.
The film, launched 17 December, 2014 by VisitCairngorms, parodies Thomson’s ‘Miles the Bear’ TV adverts, where a one-eyed teddy bear rediscovers his missing smile in Jamaica.

The VisitCairngorms film features a down-trodden reindeer who finds his festive smile in the Cairngorms National Park where he gets to go mountain biking, travel on the CairnGorm Funicular Railway, experience real snow, meet his own kind in the form of the Cairngorm reindeer herd and finally to meet Santa … where he’s presented with a girlfriend for Christmas.

The video can be viewed at

The Cairngorms reindeer starts off at home – noticeably ‘smileless’ – having yoghurt spilled on his antlers, being dragged upstairs upside down, put through the washing machine, hung outside to dry and being attacked by the family dog. But his smile grows as he travels to the Cairngorms National Park – an area of stunning natural beauty in the Scottish Highlands renowned as a winter wonderland ­­- where he is at the heart of family activities

“We wanted to show that you don’t have to take the family all the way to Jamaica to escape a drab and dreary life and discover your smile,” says Kevin Roach, chairman of VisitCairngorms. “Experiencing the Cairngorms National Park will bring out the smile in the whole family, particularly at this time of year with so much festive spirit about.

“Our reindeer has so much more fun than Miles the bear – who spends much of his holiday on a sun lounger. Like other visitors to the park, he gets the opportunity to skate, visit real reindeer on the mountainside, see Balmoral where the Queen holidays, go mountain biking in Glenlivet and drink hot chocolate in the snow.

“Miles may have been able to work on his tan, but we bet that even his smile will droop a little when he realises that our reindeer came face to face with Santa in a real life winter wonderland right here in the UK.  Don’t be too down in the mouth though, Miles – we’d be delighted to have you visit the Cairngorms National Park at any time to enjoy a fun adventure with your family.”

Locations for the film included:

  • The Cairngorms Reindeer Herd – Britain’s only herd of 150 free-ranging reindeer in the UK, where visitors can, under supervision, feed and stroke the reindeer.
  • The CairnGorm Mountain Funicular Railway – where children under five (and reindeer) travel free on Scotland’s only funicular railway to the viewing platform and panoramic views at over 3500 ft. It also has the UK’s highest post box so the perfect drop off for Christmas cards.
  • Glenlivet Mountain Bike Trails – Purpose built mountain bike trails through Glenlivet Estate for all ages with spectacular panoramic views
  • The Potting Shed Tearoom at Inshriach Nursery – a rustic tearoom with a unique viewing gallery to spot birds and red squirrels.
  • Loch Morlich beach – A blue flag beach in the middle of the Highlands on a sparkling freshwater loch which views of the snow clad mountain peaks.
  • Balmoral Castle – favoured holiday home of the royal family since the days of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

The Cairngorms National Park is made up of five different areas – Aviemore and Cairngorms; Angus Glens; Atholl and Glenshee; Tomintoul and Glenlivet; and Royal Deeside and Donside. Visit to find out more about what’s happening in Scotland’s winter wonderland this season.

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Dec 212011

By Bob Smith.

Christmas Eve in the 1940s
A myn o’t as tho’ twis last nicht
The livin room fire wis aye bleezin
An aathing wis bonnie an bricht

Paper chines hung fae the ceilin
An slap bang in the cinter a bell
Ti a wee loon in short troosers
Aathing  jist lookit richt swell

A Christmas tree wi didna hae
Oor roomies they war ower sma
Bit wi plunty o ither decorations
Aa nivver gied iss a thocht ava

A’d scriven ma letter ti Suntie
An sint it awa up the lum
An if he micht lave fit a wintit
Losh he wid fair be ma chum

On Christmas Eve on the wireless
Carol singin ma mither thocht braw
Good King Wenceslas he look’t oot
Aa he saw roon aboot wis sna

Ma lang sock a wid lave hingin up
It wis peened ti the muntelpiece
An ower aside the fireplace grate
Fer Suntie a’d lave a fine piece

Awa ti yer bed ma mither wid say
Suntie disna cum tull yer sleepin
Nae argument noo fae you a’ll hear
Or maybe yer present he’ll be keepin


Fae ma bedroom winda a peered oot
Ti see Suntie’s reindeer in the sky
Bit nae maitter foo lang a lookit
They nivver wid cum wanner’n by

On Christmas morn a hash’t ben
Ti see if ma letter hid bin heeded
A aye wis maist affa feart ye see
Maybe Suntie he cwidna read it

Afore ma verra een there wis
A widden boat ye pulled on wheels
Made a fun oot in later eers
By een o oor local chiels

Stappit in the lang sock ye’d fin
An orange an a fyow chocs
A  drawin book fer ti colour in
Wi crayons in a braw box

Christmas it wis a time fer bairns
Growen ups they preferred Hogmanay
Bit wi the kids o yesteryear they bade
Aroon the fire on a caul Christmas Day

Noo fowk  awa back in the forties
Didna hae  the siller ti splash oot
Bit bairns they war mair contintit
Than eens nooadays a’ve nae doot

© Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2011

Dec 152011

With Christmas fast approaching and people hitting the city in droves this weekend – why not pop into our lovely city gardens in between the present hunting for a truly festive event.  Iain Richardson writes re. this Saturday’s Winter Festival at Union Terrace Gardens to celebrate prize art work by city children.

The winners of an art competition for children will receive their prizes at a Winter Festival in the centre of Aberdeen this Saturday, 17th December.

Christmas-themed artwork by Aberdeen school children will be on display at the event in Union Terrace Gardens on Saturday 17th December 2011, between 1pm and 3.30pm.

The Winter Festival will feature the Bon Accord Silver Band, carol singing, Yousedancin ceilidh band, Santa, Cairngorm reindeer, and free festive food and drink.

Dorothy Bothwell, retired Head Teacher and member of the Common Good Aberdeen group, who organised the event, said:

“We’re just thrilled at the response to the competition. The children’s art is stunning and we’ll be displaying as many of the 300 or so entries as we possibly can on Saturday, as well as handing out prizes to the winning children”.

The prizes for the winning Art Competition entries in each of three age groups will be presented to children at approximately 1.30pm on Saturday 17th December, at the Arches in Union Terrace Gardens.

Nearly 300 entries were received from primary schools and individual children in and around Aberdeen.

For further information, contact:

Dorothy Bothwell:      01224 583451

Iain Richardson:        07833 453961



Dec 042011

On 17 December Union Terrace Gardens will become a Winter Wonderland, and your artwork (if you’re 12 years old or younger) could win you a prize. 

Suzanne Kelly gets the information from the organisers.

Everyone is invited – come along to the Gardens from 1 to 3.30pm, and enjoy seasonal treats for all ages, including the Cairngorm Reindeer, Christmas carol singers, a display of the winning artwork, and more.

This is an Eden Project inspired community event.

Children’s’ Artwork Categories are:

  • Age 4-7 – Draw or paint a picture of snowflakes falling or a beautiful Christmas tree
  • Age 8-9 – Draw or paint a picture of brightly coloured presents – under the trees or a giant snowman
  • Age 10-12 – Imagine all the different fun things you could draw or paint – perhaps you and all your favourite toys having fun, or sledging on the slopes
  • Gift vouchers for first, second or third prizes (£30, £20 and £10) will be awarded for all age groups.
  • Your artwork can be in crayon, paint, pencils, pens – anything!

Send your artwork before 10 December to:
Christmas Competition, c/0 270 Holburn Street, Aberdeen AB10 6DD

Further information – email,

Union Terrace Gardens
17 December
1 – 3.30pm.