P&J Column 10.12.15


No Forth road crossing ’til 2016? Well, it is a suspension bridge.

Davina Smythe-Barratt, Ordinary Mum

Like any ordinary, busy mum, I rely on our road system and infrastructure to ensure everything goes according to schedule. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Some days, however, it seems as though ‘The Powers That Be’ are determined to throw a spanner in my works.

Take last Friday.  The school run was hell, as usual. I don’t know why so many people choose to be on the roads at 8am.  Haven’t they heard of public transport?  I should have known things wouldn’t go well as soon as I emerged from the driveway.  We were running a tad late as Fidel was uploading his little YouTube diary blog, (it’s called “Stupid Stuff My Stupid Mum Says”. He’s so creative.) so there was no time to scrape the frost from the windscreen. Well, imagine my dismay when I felt a bump and got out to find that a pedestrian had somehow managed to collide with my front bumper! Most thoughtless.  The police now allege that I was driving without due care and attention.  Poppycock!  I could barely see, whilst he had a perfect view,  if anyone was careless, it was him!

As a result, I barely got Emmeline and Fidel to the school gates in time.  In fact, I’m sure they’d have been late if I hadn’t used that lane that nobody but buses seem willing to drive in.  Then I had to hotfoot it down south for my fortnightly appointment with Sergio, my Edinburgh based hairstylist (he’s Portuguese, but he really is brilliant).

Time was tight, but I’ve done it in less than 2 hours before.  Once I’d negotiated the array of Orwellian speed cameras I put the foot down.  Of course, one has to weave in and out of selfish motorists sitting at a sluggish 70mph (what’s THAT all about?!) whilst keeping an eye out for PC Jobsworth of the Yard,  but soon I was approaching the Forth Road Bridge, with time in hand for a chai-latte before my shampoo.  Then suddenly – gridlock.  The bridge…was closed!?!

I set the Land Rover for off-road and made my way across country to the barrier preventing bridge access, in the hope that common sense would prevail  With a 40 mile detour, my appointment with Sergio was a write-off, and I faced the prospect of two more weeks of split-end misery. Sadly, there I became embroiled in a fruitless exchange with a lickspittle government lackey who told me that the bridge was closed in my best interests, before allowing an ambulance to cross!  It seems that some people have a very skewed idea of what constitutes an emergency.

Kevin Cash, Money Saving Expert and King of the Grips

I see that Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have celebrated the birth of their baby, Max, by giein’ away £30 billion to a charitable trust.  That’s the maist expensive head-wetting I’ve heard o’ since my pal, Mick the Pill, lost the plot in the Regency Casino and pit a year’s shop takings on 32 reed.  Widna hiv been a bad bet – if he hidna been playing blackjack.

Mark and Priscilla say they are making the donation because they want Max to grow up in a better world.  Is at nae sweet?  I think I speak for young Max fan I say, “Hoy, dad.  I may be less than a week old but even I am pretty sure there’s mair wrang wi the world than you can fix with £30 billion.  Noo pit the cheque-book doon and stick the readies back into the piggy bank marked ‘baby’s first yacht’ afore I gie ye a nappy change ye’ll never forget.”

Ron Cluny, Official Council Spokesman

As I think we all recognise, these are difficult times to be responsible for the administration of a major UK city. Threats are being posed to our way of life the like of which we have not known for decades.

This is no time for shilly-shallying, political correctness or pussyfooting about. That is why I am pleased to announce that Aberdeen has today closed its borders. Some will wonder if this is paranoia or an excessive reaction to world events. To them, I say, extraordinary threats demand extraordinary measures. A point of principle is at stake here. I believe that as we put our wheelie bins out; as we go to the chipper; as we nip down the Co-opie for a 6-pack of Caramel logs – as we go about the simple, day to day business of our lives, not one person – not one – should face even the remotest risk of encountering Donald Trump.