P&J Column 3.9.15

CREDIT-Norman Adams-Aberdeen City Council

Balking at a Winter Wonderland

Archie Fraser, Gentleman of the Road

I noticed in Tuesday’s Evening Express, shortly before I stuffed it inside my vest for warmth, that during December, Union Terrace is to be transformed into a ‘Winter Wonderland’.

I’m sure the powers that be have the best of intentions, but as a resident of the City Centre (I have slept in most, if not all, of the doorways on Union Street and dined from the bins of the town’s finest restaurants) I have to ask – why bother? It’s not as if we live in Edinburgh, with the grandeur of a Castle on a hill, framing the city skyline and attracting thousands of tourists every year. If we are lucky we might get a confused Japanese couple grasping their pac-a-macs and thermos flasks, utterly bewildered by the St Nicholas Kirk nativity shed, and politely fending off the efforts of my compatriot, Foggy Fraser, to denude them of the price of a tin of Tenants Super.

Aspirations are all well and good, but they should be tempered by reality. Who needs a skating rink opposite HMT when we have the icy pleasures of an un-gritted Belmont Street? Who needs a long wait in a freezing queue for a fairground ride when you can have the same experience trying to get a taxi home from Back Wynd after Christmas shopping? And who needs a simulated ‘Winter Forest’? Union Terrace Gardens is already covered in needles. It’s just a pity they’re not pine.

View from the Midden; Agricultural affairs with Jock Alexander

It’s been a seminal wik in the village. I wiz reading in the press the other day that the National Sperm Bank in Birmingham is struggling, as so far it has only has nine depositers. The Chief Executive is hoping tae boost levels of interest, because apparently only about 10% of sperm is hardy eneuch tae survive the freezing process. Weel, that’s far Meikle Wartle excels! It’s helluva cauld here at the best of times, so we jist hiv tae get on wi’ it, if ye ken fit I’’m saying, eh? Eh?

So, onywye, it’s auld Jock tae the rescue! By the time you read this I’ll be en route doon tae Birmingham in ma Massie Ferguson, puttering doon the M1, (estimated time of arrival, a wik on Sunday). Balanced proudly, if somewhat precariously, on my shoogly trailer I hiv Jim Grunt’s maist prolific bull, ‘David Cameron’ (so cried as he’s hid mair wee calfs than onybody else). This fine aminal will easy produce eneuch tae fill the bank right up tae the …errm… brim.

I canna wait tae see their faces fan I bring him in. Nae need tae thank me, I’m happy tae help. Cheerio!

Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit whose paperwork is always in on time

I loves transfer deadline day. Mind you, I felt gutted for Man United ‘keeper, David De Gea. When the Red Devils and Real Madrid finally agreed a deal for him he must have thought all his dreams had come home to roost. But it turned out the paperwork wasn’t not lodged in time, so the deal’s off, and the transfer window slammed shut on his goalie gloves at the last minute, metabolically speaking.

With all the news flashes and elevenses hour deals, it was impulsive viewing. When the lovely Melody come home at tea time on Tuesday and found me still in front of Sky Sports News in my kimono she went holistic. She says to me, she says “Have you been sat watching that a’ day?” I says to her, I says, “Of course not, don’t be ridiculous! At lunchtime I put on ‘Bargain Hunt’.”

Ron Cluny, Official Council Spokesman

The recent survey of quirky queries received by local authority help-lines just goes to show that the life of the public servant is never dull! One old lady phoned her council for help with her crossword, while another wanted to the know the right size of tin to bake a Mary Berry tart she had seen on the Great British Bake Off! It’s all harmless fun.

Here in Aberdeen, we are kept entertained by a string of similar enquiries. “When are you going to do something about the Haudagain roundabout?” “Why won’t you reverse the decision to build Marischal Square?” “Is there any possibility of you providing sufficient funding to allow the elderly and vulnerable to move into adequately resourced care homes?”

How we laugh!

See us live next year in ‘Dreich Encounter’ at HMT Aberdeen