A woman who threw a message in a bottle out to sea as a young girl has been left astonished at its return after 27 years in the water.
Growing up in Newburgh, Emma Watt would often spend time at the beach there, particularly to look at the seals.
One day in 1994, 10-year-old Emma wrote a letter – detailing her hobbies, pets, family, and “obsession” with Take That – and cast it out to sea in a bottle.
After rolling with the waves for nearly three decades, the bottle was discovered washed up on the banks of the river Ythan, at Logie Buchan, by members of North East Sea Kayakers, who were out litter picking.
One of them took the letter to the address which Mrs Watt, now 37, had given on it all those years ago.
Although Mrs Watt now lives in Kintore, her parents still live in the house she grew up in, and were amazed to receive the letter.
Mottled though still in decent condition, it showed Mrs Watt to have been like any other 90s kid.
It reads: “I’m Emma, I’m 10 years old and I would like to have a pen pal any age.
“I go to 1st Newburgh Guides and my hobbies are ice skating and gymnastics.
“I go to Albyn School for Girls in Aberdeen.
“My favourite pop group is Take That and my favourite person out of Take That is Robbie – he is CUTE!
“I have two hamsters, a dog and a cat, and my favourite colours are black and green.”
It ends: “Hope you write soon, Emma”, followed by “P.S. My best friend is Lisa and I have lots more!”
Speaking 27 years later, and now with a daughter of a similar age, Mrs Watt said: “I’ve a vague memory of writing the letter, but it was so long ago that I’d be lying if I said I knew my reasons for doing so.
“I was in the Guides at Newburgh at the time, so it might have been something I did as part of that, but it was just as likely something I simply decided to do off my own back.
“I was probably just after a pen pal, to be honest.
“It’s proof that some rubbish just doesn’t degrade.
“However it’s not so much that it has survived that surprises me – more the fact that it was found, especially in such a remote location.
“It could well have lain there for another hundred years.”
Mrs Watt added: “My mum couldn’t believe it when the woman came round with the letter.
“It was fascinating to read my own writing from all those years ago, the handwriting itself and the little spelling mistakes.
“It felt a bit weird, like meeting my old childhood self, but funny as well – I loved the little ‘P.S.’ where I mentioned how many friends I had.
“I was probably trying to make sure that whoever found it knew I wasn’t a loner!
“I was also obsessed with Robbie Williams and Take That. That got a mention in the letter too.
“I have a seven-year-old who will have her own pop star teenage crushes soon enough, so that kind of worries me a bit now that I’m on the other side.
“But it was lovely to read, and just incredible that it’s been found.”