Ladies and Gentlemen, please give it up…for Lent!

This month we observe that special time in the calendar between Lemon-Pancakes-for-Pudding Tuesday and Chocolate-Egg Sunday, when we remember that Jesus spent forty days and nights in the wilderness, resisting the temptations of Satan. His poor mother. She couldn’t get to her bed for worrying, and did he ever think to phone?

During Lent, people traditionally give up luxuries as a form of penitence, so this week we’ve asked some of our regular contributors to tell us what they’re packing in until Good Friday.

DODDIE ESSLEMONT – radical independence campaigner.

In preparation for the glorious day when Scotland finally casts off the shackles of imperialist Westminster rule, I’m giving up anything to do with the rest of the UK.  For the next forty days, only the produce of Caledonia’s bounteous shores will pass my lips. I look forward to feasting as did our forefathers, the clansmen of old, upon good Scotch beef and porridge oats, washed down with Highland Spring water, Irn Bru or a pint of Tartan Special. Perhaps with a Tunnock’s Caramel Log for afters. I’m sure I’ll be able to resist temptation; doing without English breakfast tea will be a doddle.  Irish potato farls, I can live without.  But I have to admit, not having a leek for a month will be a struggle.

‘CAVA’ KENNY CORDINER – football pundit.

It’s no secret that I likes a flutter on the racing. So my good lady, the lovely Melody, is suggestive that I give it up for Lent. Melody and me has been together through thick and thin (she is a size six), and she knows me like the back of her head. She says to me, she says “Not just the gee-gees, Kenny, the greyhounds as well!” So I promised her I would not gamble on nothing with four legs. But I is not as daft as she thinks I look, ’cause I never said nothing about having a bet on something with two legs, like the Champions League Quarter-Finals.

GRAEME SMART – head of the Northeast’s fourth largest business empire.

I’m going to give up trying to portray other local tycoons in a negative light.  You’d never see Stewart Milne doing that. Although I happen to know he once over-fed his goldfish, with predictably tragic results. Damn, damn.  Resist the temptation, Graeme.  RESIST!

SHELLY SHINGLES – showbiz reporter.

Just back from a post-Oscars party! (Easily the most glamorous cocktail bar in Inverurie!) I suppose I could give up going to the movies, it feels like I’ve been doing nothing else for weeks! Loved Meryl Streep in ‘The Iron Lady’, her performance was amazing, though, as is often the case with sequels, I don’t think it lived up to the first two, with Robert Downey Jr. (Delish!). ‘The Artist’ has picked up a load of prizes, and I’m sure it’s great, but unfortunately, when I went to see it there were some technical hitches. In fact not only had the colour gone, but so had the sound! (Sad face). If I do have a teensy-weensy bad habit, it’s that, with my glamorous life-style, I just can’t help sometimes seeming like a bit of name-dropper! So I’m going to give that up for Lent. Just like my great pal Madonna.

JIMMY HOLLYWOOD – the Sandilands Smoothie.

Een o’ my extremely numerous exes (the ‘previously lucky’, as I like to think o’ them) suggested that, for Lent, I should become celibate. But, hey, Jimmy Hollywood disnae ken the meaning of the word. Literally. Onybody help us oot wi’ that? But, if I hiv tae gie somethin’ up, foo’s aboot this?  For the next 40 days and nights, Jimmy Hollywood is gan tae totally desist fae trappin’ bits o’ stuff in the Soul Bar.  I’ll ging tae The Paramount, instead.


After the recent hullaballo surrounding my playful head-butting of Jock Rankine, Labour MSP for Cumbernauld in the Holyrood Members bar (for which I apologise, unreservedly), I have decided to give up the innocent rough-housing that constitutes my trade-mark bonhomie, lest it be, yet again, misrepresented as thuggery by the po-faced moaning minnies of the press.  So no more wedgies,  (or ‘stinky flosses’, as they were known at Gordonstoun), for the BBC’s Brian Taylor, an end to giving Tavish Scott a friendly nipple-cripple, and I’ve gnumpfed Kenny MacAskill for the last time.  It’s sad, really, because my chum Annabel Goldie is really going to miss her regular wet willies before First Minister’s questions.

JOCK ALEXANDER – Mtv (Miekle Wartle Television) presenter.

Here in Meikle Wartle, Christianity is slowly beginning to hae an influence upon wir auld country wyes. So, this year I am gan tae give up makin’ my traditional spring sacrifice tae Cernunnos, the horned god o’ fertility. Weel, it’s a sair fecht tae find a virgin in Aberdeenshire these days, onywye. I am also givin up the drink. Mainly because, efter that fifteenth bottlie o’ home-brew Tattie, Hemlock and Dubs, my legs hiv stopped workin’ and I canna stot oot tae the coo-shed tae bring in anither crate. I am reliably informed that efter 40 days the effects wear aff, so I’ve timed it nicely, michty aye!

TANYA SOUTER – lifestyle guru.

I’ve been tryin to give up smoking since Hogmanay, so for Lent, I’m ga’an to give up giving up.  Well, naebody likes a quitter! My pal fat Senga his pushed the boat oot though, she’s signed up on the Internet for a forty day De-tox diet. Worse luck for her she’s a bittie dizlestic, so she’s ended up on a Dettol diet. She’s nae been weel, but on the plus side, her cludgie his niver smelled sae fresh!

The Retain Union Terrace Gardens Campaign

…oh, we give up.