P&J Column 30.8.18

Digging for ruins and dancing ruined

View from the midden with Meikle Wartle Television’s Jock Alexander

It’s been an paleolithic wik in the village. Quite the wik for being surprised by exposed ancient ruins, and I’m nae jist spikin’ aboot Skittery Wullie’s streak through the tea-tent at the Lonach Gathering. Due tae the recent warm and dry spell, a previously unknown Pictish symbol stone wis revealed on the banks of the River Don.

Noo, you may nae be interested in matters o’ archaeological antiquity; truth be telt I wisnae o’er fussed masel’, but fan she heard how valuable such finds were Feel Moira launching straight intae her latest project – uncovering long-lost ancient steens in Meikle Wartle. Within twa hours, she had dug a 6 foot trench near the burn at the end of her field. I dare say she’d hiv daen it faster if she’d used ony tools, instead of jist howking awa at the grun wi her bare hands.

Moira’s exhaustive digging hasuncovered a rough granite block fit has got her a’ excited, given that it does appear tae hae mysterious carvings upon it. I hiv hid a look, and I da wint tae be in the vicinity fan Moira turns it the ither wye up and spots that the symbols are in fact just a roughly-hewn love heart wi’ the words “Skittery Wullie luvs Moira, 1962”. Mind you, she might see the bright side. She’s got a wee soft spot for Wullie, especially since she seen him at the Lonach.. Cheerio!


J Fergus Lamont, Arts Correspondence and author of “One Flew Over the Girdleness” – a history of aviation in the North East

The world of dance suffered a grievous loss this week, with the death of Lindsay Kemp, mime artiste extraordinaire.  But where there is darkness there is also light, for we also saw the birth of a dazzling new talent.  You may be unaware of her – her performance has attracted little, if any, publicity – but in a humble township in South Africa, the avant-garde dance phenomenon ‘Theresa May’ exploded into brilliant life.

May’s ouvre is remarkable; an extraordinarily dark and challenging form of terpsichorean expression.  Standing with her feet seemingly nailed to the floor, she jerks and shuffles in a manner that defies both rhythm and the forces of gravity.  What is causing it?  Electric shocks?  Psychic pain?  It cannot be natural.   With the rictus visage of a 3-day old cadaver, she lurches like a double-jointed newborn giraffe.  And on and on it goes, past the point of humour, past the point of pity, into the realms of the grotesque – and then beyond.  “What is this?” I cried,“An entreaty or a threat?”  And on and on and on. And on.

I was watching the performance on my iPhone.  You may not have heard of the device – it has attracted little, if any, media comment – but it provides an effective means of catching up with popular culture whilst on the go.  I was still watching , rapt, as I walked out onto Broad Street and into the path of the number 19 bus.  And as I lie here in ARI, encased from head to toe in plaster de Paris, I consider the pain a small price to pay, to have seen great new art in the making and to discover that even when only able to move my upper lip, I still dance more naturally than Theresa May.


Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit who lets you know he’s there

I was gutted to hear that ex Spurs skipper Gary Mabbutt had a rat chew a bit off his foot whilst on holiday in South Africa. My missus, the lovely Melody, is always in at me to take her on a safari but Old Kenny is a bit feart at being eaten by something like a lion or a crocodile or a hypotenuse. Now, thanks to poor Mabbo, you can add rats to that list.

It made me think, though, about some of the bizarrer injuries I seen in my extinguished career. Thankfully, I never spent too much time on the psycho’s treatment table, but sometimes the reason I was there would have made your ice water!

One time, when I was playing for Culter, I was nipped on the unmentionables by a forky-tail that had crawled into my jock strap.  Another time, when I was playing for the Dandies, we was all out celebrating a win against Morton in the league cup when we ended up dancing the night away in Ritzy’s. Me and Stuart Kennedy was strutting our staff to “Hit me with your rhythm stick” when he accidentally elbowed me in the coupon giving me a right keeker. Stuart tried to apologise by buying a round of tequila slammers, but Gordon Strachan says it would just be adding in salt to Ian Dury.