P&J Column for 8.7.13

Unusual and dangerous weather condtions for the North-East. Three consecutive fine days!

VIEW FROM THE MIDDEN – Rural affairs with MTV (Meikle Wartle Television) presenter, JOCK ALEXANDER

It’s been a thermogenic wikend in the village. It reached 22 degrees on Setterday, and as I sit here, plotting, in my seemit and long johns, I am well aware that we in Meikle Wartle are simply nae equipped fer this kinda thing. Fan enjoyin wirsel beneath a bakin hot sun, it is all too easy tae forget aboot the hazards of prolonged exposure; dehydration, sunburn and heatstroke, but there are also other dangers. The incidence of road accidents gings through the roof fan fowk stert strolling aboot strippit doon tae their bare necessities. We’re only human, and it’s hard enuch tae concentrate on the road fan ye see Dottie Scottie the village totty in her teeny-weeny tweed bikini. Worse still is fan you’re temporarily blinded fae the glare bouncing aff some auld fairmer’s pasty torso.
But the village diz look affa summery of noo. The flies are buzzing languidly aroon the midden, and amongst the locals there is a torpor, a unique Meikle Wartle quality fit can only be descrbed as Canna-be-ersedness’. There’s a heat haze in the air. Though that may jist be the alchol evaporating fae oor Meikle Wartle summer cocktails; Sex on Balmedie Beach, Tullynessle Sunrise or my ain favourite, Pimm’s and neep. The grass in the square is sterting tae look a bittie parched, so we’ve sent for Skittery Wullie fa has a big hose plumbed in at the sewage works. Those of us fa survived the Cholera ootbreak of 1976 are jist hoping that, this time, he minds fit een’s the watter main and fit een’s the works’ outflow pipe. Cheerio!

STRUAN METCALFE, Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire North-by-Northeast – An Apology

 As you well know, I am a fair and kindhearted soul who means no harm to man nor beast (apart from the odd fox, hunted in my youth; but let’s not dwell on that blood-thirsty, if hugely enjoyable, episode). So I was deeply saddened that my latest foray into the Twitter-sphere has caused such upset. 

I had the good fortune to attend Wimbles this week – as a guest of my pal Sir Cliff Richard– he of Bachelor Boy and Devil Woman fame.  Of course, a lifetime bachelor, the Cliffster is still to meet his Devil Woman, but we live in hope. Anyhoo, after watching the particularly vigorous women’s final – I was appalled to see that a certain BBC commentator had suggested that the new champion was ‘not a looker’. So, by way of riposte, I tweeted the following:

“Oof! Gah! Hi-yaa! I don’t care what John Inverdale says; Bartoli can volley my dropshot into the net anytime! #Centrecourtcuties”

 Of course I am deeply sorry that my tweet has been misinterpreted.  Obviously my intention was not to suggest that I found the exertions of the players arousing, or that these wonderful, fascinating, complex, talented athletes should, in their adorable little white outfits, be reduced to objects of desire. Heaven forfend.  I was, of course, attempting to highlight the issue of sexism in sport and the media. Until we eradicate these lazy and outdated attitudes, women are never going to be able to walk down the street without being wolf-whistled at, shatter the glass ceilings of our corporate boardrooms, or win major sporting events without their faces being compared to either an oil painting or a bag of spanners.

 I can’t help feel we as a society have gone backwards since Maggie Thatcher was our PM. Now she’d have taught Inverdale a thing or two. She’d have put him over her knee and given him a good thrashing I bet you. Imagine that, eh? Just imagine…that….Crikey!

 I, of course, would never make such a remark. I have utmost respect for all the ladies in my life – from the little woman at home, to the leggy researchers who bring me coffee in the office, and even the pretty little cocktail waitresses serving me G&Ts in Boodles.  Absolute sweeties, all. Even the plain ones.

 DODDIE ESSLEMONT, radical independence campaigner.

 At time of writing, I do not know if Andy Murray is going to be successful or unsuccessful in the Wimbledon final.  But I do know that the vexed question of whether he is “Scottish” or “British” will, as usual, be determined by whether he wins or loses.  Well, speaking from my position as Head of State, Prime Minister and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer of the People’s Democratic Republic of 39G Seaton Drive (official recognition from the UN still, mystifyingly, pending), I can assure Andy that we (by which I mean, I) in the Republic do not recognise such petty distinctions.  He will always be Scottish to me. And as such, as unwelcome in the People’s Republic as anyone else.

See the Flying Pigs live in ‘Finzean in the Rain’ at HMT Aberdeen November 7th-16th