This week has seen much of the country hit by torrential rain and flooding. What we would call ‘Summer’

View from the Midden – rural affairs with Mtv (Meikle Wartle Television) Presenter JOCK ALEXANDER

 Seeing the picters on the TV of a’ the peer young fowk sloshing aboot at T in the Park fair gave me pause for thought, and, of course, a richt good chuckle. But mair nor that, it pit me in mind of the Great Storm that hit Meikle Wartle in 1968, or ‘Hurricane Beldie’ as it came tae be kent. My God, fit a wind. If we’d had any trees, they would have been awa.

Looking back, to say we wiz ill-prepared wid be an understatement, but fa could have predicted persistent heavy rain might hit the North-East of Scotland? At least the powers that be are niver caught oot like that onymair. And it wisnae like today, when we’ve a’ got GPS sat-navs, microwave ovens and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding tae see us through the worst. Back then we hid tae mak dae with a compass, a knitted balaclava and a hot watter bottlie. Full of gin.

Oh, but there were terrible times in the storm. We had to tether all the bairns in the village thegether tae stop them fae getting blawn awa.  And I can still mind the sicht of Feel Moira hudding shut the doors tae the auld Toon Hall, single-handed, against a great wave of slurry washing doon the main (and indeed, only) street. Like King Canute she wis, had that ancient ruler of the Britons been up tae his kneecaps in sharn.

But on the plus side, it’s nae such a trachle to the village shoppie noo, syne it washed up 5 mile nearer my hoose. And the rain created a very pleasant new feature of the landscape in the shape of Loch Beldie, (formerly a pot hole on the B9001).

It’s a pity Wullie Kemp’s fairm ended up submerged, but on the other hand he was spikkin about getting a pucklie fish and it saved him the cost of the tank. Jist three month later, efter the hairst, he wis able tae to afford a snorkel and oxygen tank, fit wis a real boon. Until then he’d hid tae surface every twa minties for air. But that’s the Meikle Wartle wye. Fitiver the world throws at us, we meet it with a cheery smile, a calm stoicism and a near-suicidal bloody-mindedness. Cheerio!


 Once again, as MSP for Aberdeenshire North and Surrounding Nether Regions, I find myself required to apologise unreservedly for the consternation caused by something I have posted on Twitter. Having been invited to the opening day of Donald J. Trump’s fantastic new golf course at Menie I am afraid that, from the 19th hole after one too many Bombay Sapphires, I appear to have tweeted the following:

“New set of clubs, £890. Slacks, windcheater and baseball cap, £450. Over-ruling Aberdeenshire Council to get a stonking golf course on my doorstep and a lifetime membership thrown in? Priceless”.

Now, I know what you are all thinking – “he got those clubs for a snip, the cheap-skate”. You probably assume I bought them off eBay, sold by a chap called Shuggie in East Kilbride, on the clear but unspoken understanding that they’d fallen off the back of a golf-cart. But no, let me set the record straight right here. My elder brother Blair is a lifetime member of Muirfield and doesn’t need his clubs anymore. He hasn’t played the great game since he took out Loose-cheek Littleton’s right-eye with a Sand-Wedge in abunker on the 17th.

My innocent and clearly jocular tweet has been blown up out of all proportion. Any suggestion that there is a link between my influence over the Scottish Government vote on Trump’s planning application and either my recent fact-finding mission to New York and Las Vegas or my recently awarded life-time membership at Trump International have been grossly exaggerated. Yes, I petitioned hard for Alex “Sandy” Salmond to look again at the application and put the thing through on the nod but what’s wrong with that? I was simply acting in the best interests of my country, my constituency and my handicap.

Anyhoo, what a wheeze rubbing shoulders with all the proper golfers at Trump International last week! Monty, Pauly Lawrie, Lairdy (no idea who he is). Of course, Sandy Salmond was noticeable by his absence – probably down to his spat with the Trumpster on wind turbines. Nasty business really. Can’t see why Donald J. doesn’t actually get behind the wind farm himself and invest in it as his own business venture. There are obvious advertising slogans he could run – “Trump International Turbines – putting the Wind into Trump”. There you go Donny, you can have that one on me. Cheers!