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This is Dundee and the silver river from the south side earlier this afternoon. It’s almost a mirror and it still soothes my soul way better than looking in a real mirror – but don’t worry I’m not into selfies! Nor do I quite buy the old cliche about a picture being worth a thousand words – but damn if I was going to it would be a picture of this.

The Tay was apparently named by Roman historian Tacitus around a couple of millenia ago when the boys from the Tiber were on tour over here! And looking at this view I’m surprised they didn’t build Hadrian’s Wall a bit further north. But then if you’re coming from Mediterranean climes I get that Scottish weather is about as appealing as root canal treatment. Memo to self – google whether the Romans invented that as well!!

It is too the longest river in Scotland but you probably didn’t need to know that unless you’re about to play Trivial Pursuit or do a pub quiz. So there are of course several different ‘Tays’ through time and space. The one I grew up with in Dundee had until 1966 only one bridge – the famous Rail Bridge. My grandad who as well as being a half-timer ( child labourer) in a jute mill aged around ten, driving a steam train and working in the Robb Caledon shipyard over the years used to take me for trips on the ferry. We called it the “Fifie” because it crossed from Dundee to Fife and back. Then they built the beast of the road bridge on the beauty of the river. Excuse me? However one pimple on a face is just one pimple I guess!

As for the name of the city there are a couple of theories. One is that Dundee is from ‘Dun Tay’ as in the Gaelic for fort on the Tay. Another is that it’s from the Latin ‘Donum Dei’ or gift of God. Now you pays your money and takes your choice folks but given the view I know which one I go for. It’s what our friends across the pond call a no brainer!

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