P&J Column 14.1.16


Planet earth is blue, and the granite city too.

Ron Cluny, Official Council Spokesman

How hard it is when our heroes leave us; how hard it is, too, when our rivals trump us. As a child of the 70s I was a huge Bowie fan, even going so far as to join a short-lived local tribute act (David Rowie and the Chancers fae Ma’s). So it was with the joy of a true fan that I came across the viral footage of an organist giving a magnificent rendition of ‘Life on Mars’; and the sour jealousy of a civic leader that I saw that the video came from Glasgow’s Kelvingrove museum.

Fellow Aberdonians – I am resolved that no rival city is going to upstage us. I have therefore put together a scratch band of Aberdeen’s top musicians so the city can pay its own homage. A supergroup, no less, featuring the homeless mannie who plays the moothie, the Patagonian pan-pipers from outside Markies and the Albanian guitar wifie, performing “Changes” next to the Marischal Square development. Take that, Glasgow!

Hector Schlenk, Senior Research Fellow, Bogton Institute for Public Engagement with Science

As a scientist, people are forever asking me questions.  Questions like “Could new manufacturing methods mean that traditional light-bulbs could make a come-back?”  “Is Scotland really able to supply virtually all of its domestic electricity from renewable sources?” and “Is it really safe to eat left-over Turkey 3 weeks after Christmas?”  To which the answers are respectively yes, yes, and regrettably, no – although Mrs Schlenk and I recently discovered evidence that it can assist with sudden weight loss.  Rather a lot of evidence.  Oh my.

This week, however, people have mainly been asking me about the Bronze Age houses which have recently been uncovered Cambridgeshire.  Archaeologists have described them as “Britain’s answer to Pompeii”, which, given the dramatic scenes frozen for all time by the eruption of Vesuvius, seems quite a bold description of what appears to be some over-sized pick-up sticks in a boggy field.  Apparently, the houses were destroyed in a sudden fire and slipped into the silty water, which preserved them and their contents for three thousand years.  It seems that ancient man’s preoccupations were the same as ours – jewellery and cooking pots, complete with food still in them, have been pulled from the muddy waters.  Recent experience suggests it would be a good idea to give the food a wide berth.

Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit who knows the score.

It’s always a risk taking players on loan from bigger clubs, and goalkeeper Danny Ward’s form between the sticks has seen the Dandies get their Fish Fingers burned.  Parent club Liverpool recalled him early, and the Dons will have their work cut off, filling his goalie gloves. Especially seeing as how, according to my sources at Pittodrie, the lad took them away with him.

If you is asking me, old Kenny says the blame for this lies square at gaffer McInnes’s foots.  When he’s looking for players to get in on loan he should know better than to get somebody really good.  They’ll always stand out from the cloud, get rave reviews from the press and then get pinched away from us again.  McInnes should be looking for mediocre players that won’t attract retention. The managers in my day were much more savvier.  Three times I was loaned out and not once did the Reds ask for me to return.

I see that Lionel Messi has gone and picked up the gong for being Europe’s top footballer – the balloon door – for the fifth time. Old Kenny thinks it’s high time him and Ronaldo let somebody else win. One or other of those lads has taken it home since 2009, and it’s beginning to look like they’ve got a monogamy!

Shelley Shingles, Showbiz correspondent and Miss Fetteresso 1983

Oh my actual G!  I’m always on the lookout for the latest celebrity nuptials and I got a right shock when I seen that Jerry Hall had gotten engaged to Rupert Murdoch!  Talk about opposites attract!  I’ve never met Jerry, but her latest beau seems a million miles away from some of her exes, Roxy Music crooner Bryan Ferry and rock and roll bad-boy Mick Jagger.  With a 25 year age gap, I can’t help wondering what first attracted her to the 84 year old multi-billionaire.  Still, where there’s a will, there’s a way!