Peter, I found your article most interesting, as I did this one, which was taken from the same paper and edition as yours.


More doom than bloom



Alan Taylor's diary



MARTIN Amis is a contrary fellow. Not only has he been twitting old chums and former commies like Christopher Hitchens, he's upset prize-winning horticulturalists in Aberdeen with his withering description of the city as 'an epicentre of gloom' and 'one of the darkest places imaginable'. Blooming heck!Apparently Amis is using Aberdeen -- without its permission -- in a forthcoming novel, even though he's never set foot in the place. In the old days his picture would have appeared instantly in the urinal of the Paramount bar in Bon Accord Street, where gents could splash to their hearts' content against images of Rangers games, the 1966 World Cup final and David Beckham. Alas, the Paramount has drifted upmarket -- it has leather sofas these days -- and no longer offers this valuable social service. What's the world coming to?There's no disgrace like Home WHETHER Amis will succeed in his quest to produce the Great Aberdonian Novel remains to be seen. Personally I doubt it, since it will take more talent than even he possesses to capture the pungent glories of the Doric.Perhaps, too, he is unaware of 69 Things To Do With A Dead Princess, published in March, by Stewart Home, the admirably disgraceful London writer who left the mugging capital a couple of years ago to settle in Aberdeen. Home is an admirable cove who makes an art of pursuing feuds and wears a badge with the legend Will Self Is Stupid, which I heartily endorse. He also claims he once distributed fake Booker Prize dinner invitations to down-and-outs, promising free booze, in the hope of causing mayhem when the derelicts tried to crash the do.Among his many inventions is the Necrocard, which sanctions complete strangers to experiment sexually with peoples' bodies after their death. It may be overstating the case to say that Home is a renaissance man, but I do not believe so. Who but he, for instance, would open his novel in Union Street, that once-wonderful boulevard which today makes even Princes Street look classy?Though not oblivious to Aberdeen's grim side, Home has a message for Amis and his ilk. 'If Brighton was San Francisco on the south coast,' he writes, 'then Aberdeen was Los Angeles on the North Sea.' If that doesn't please the horticulturalists, heaven knows what will. The northern bites of old Aberdeen