P&J Column 21.9.17

The signs on Broad Street are right, it’s very much ‘business as usual’.

View From The Midden – rural affairs with MTv (Meikle Wartle Television) presenter Jock Alexander  

It’s been a constructive wik in the village. Noo that the temperature has taken it’s annual Autumnal plunge fae ‘nae bad’ tae ‘michty ‘at’s caul’! I hiv spent maist mornings tucked up in my jimjams, listening tae the radio ‘til the frost on my baffies his melted and I wis sorry tae hear aboot the city’s latest travails fae that aul’ buggerbear Road Works.

Aye, it’s the bane o’ a’ wir lives. Here, as in Aiberdeen, they only iver seem tae dig up the busiest roads at the maist inconvenient times. Of course we in the village suffer mair than maist as we only hiv the one road, and fan I say ‘they’ dig them up, I mean Feel Moira efter she’s ta’en a bucket files watching ‘DIY SOS’.

Therefore, I hiv ivery sympathy for the peer shopkeepers of UpperkIrkgate fa arenae chuffed that Broad Street will remain closed & dug up well past the hoped-for completion date fer Marischal Square.

Someone fae the council telt me it wiz ayewiz earmarked tae reopen in late summer; it’s jist naeb’dy wid admit it was late summer 2018.  And in fairness, officials in Marischal College may have some trouble working oot fan summer actually is, thanks tae being in permanent shadow. Onywye, workers hiv encountered “unexpected issues” fan digging the road up – unusual items such as concrete and drains hiv got in the wye. Fit begs the question – fit wis they expecting tae find, Narnia? So, aye, Broad Street and Upperkirkgate remain shut, but on the bright side it his given the hale area a quaint period feel for the tourists, although it is a peety that period is “The Night O’ the Big Blitz”.

Though as I say I’m nae an expert; the road in Meikle Wartle wisnae sae much built as evolved slowly ower time wi’ the slow accretion of the fossilised sharny dubs of mony centuries. It saves a fortune on tar, but ye dinna walk it barfit on a warm day. Weell, nae twice onywye.

But I digress. I hiv heard great things aboot Marischal Square. Fowk fae Aiberdeen spik aboot little else. Unless they bide near Kingsford, obviously. I’m told the hotel bittie is something tae behold. Apparently even after ye close yer eyes, ye canna unsee it.  And the development itself is set tae be nae jist the city’s premier outlet fer coffee, ice cream, and local news, I overheard someb’dy say it that in a very exciting and praiseworthy move it’s also gan tae be a sanctuary for white elephants.


Education round–up with Jonathan M Lewis, local headteacher

Last week was another tremendously exciting one here at Garioch Academy, as our young learners continued to lead us into tomorrow, developing skills and capabilities to an exceptionally satisfactory standard. 

One of the most rewarding parts of being entrusted with the education of our future achievers is when an external body, for example the Scottish Government, gives us the opportunity to participate in a new initiative. We relish the chance to meet the challenge of modifying all our teaching plans on an enormous scale.

Parents will be familiar with “World Book Day”, when younger pupils come to school dressed as their favourite figure from world literature. I’m sure, like me, you are annually astonished by the depth of our young people’s cultural knowledge; they never fail to choose a character who appears not only in books, but also in film or on television.

Well, last week was devoted to matters mathematical. The inaugural ‘Maths Week Scotland’ saw pupils across Garioch take part in “Maths wi nae Borders”, a nationwide competition that celebrated both mathematical thinking and our linguistic heritage. 

Of course, the usual, ill informed but vocal minority amongst the parent body have responded, unfairly, with howls of derision and complaint about the sudden imposition of vast amounts of additional maths homework, but what better way to celebrate Mathematics and make it exciting for pupils than by making them think about nothing else for a week?

Unlike my detractors, I am always ready to see the glass half full. I know that the class lucky enough to have had a qualified Maths teacher during the current staff shortage thoroughly enjoyed the competition. For those that had the benefit of an ever changing cast of talented, if not specifically qualified, cover teachers during Maths Week, they now have a superb understanding of the concept of irony.