P&J Column 31.12.15

                     A project to stop couples from attaching locks on the Bridge of Feugh, footbridge, Banchory. In the picture are the locks on the bridge. Picture by Jim Irvine 22-9-15

Love’s Labours Lost. Alang wi’ aboot a hunder padlocks.

Tanya Soutar, local lifestyle guru

I dinna ken about yous, but I’ve ayewiz been a fan of public declarations of affection.  As soon as I’ve locked moos wi’ some young stud in the Three Lums, I wint the world tae ken.  But sometimes posting selfies on Snapgram, Instabook and Facechat disnae reach a wide enough audience, and ye need tae dae something even mair special.  Christmas night, fan I got aff wi’ Derek fae the dry-cleaners, wis jist such an occasion.   I used tae dae the ‘lovelock’ thing, far ye scratch something romantic like “Tanya + Deek 4EVA” on a padlock then attach it tae the railings of a bridge.  It’s a great wye o’ capturing the magic of romunce and can also act as a handy reminder fan ye’ve forgotten the loon’s name.  Mind you, I pit mair than a hunder padlocks on the Bridge of Feugh last year alane, so it’s nae fool proof.    Onywye, me and Deek headed oot the A93 tae publicly celebrate oor relationship.  It wis only fan we got there that we realised we didnae hae a padlock!  Derek’s a resourceful lad, though, and he soon found een, attached tae a Cannondale racing bike that somebody else had left lying aroon. In their locked garage.  Spik aboot lucky!  He wis awa tae scoor oor names on the lock wi’ his Stanley Knife fan I got the shock of my life.  A’ the locks on the Bridge of Feugh had been taen aff!    Weel, I wis ootraged.  A’ that memories – memories of me and Daz, me and Baz, me and fit’s-his-face fae the bookies – gone.  Apparently the Cooncil removed them because of fears that the weight of the padlocks could compromise the structural integrity of the bridge.  Now, I’m nae a scientist, but I reckon that’s a load o’ guff.  I eence played pooh sticks aff that bridge wi’ my pal Big Sonia and her sisters Big Tasha and Big Stacey, and if it survived that, there’s nae enough padlocks in the world tae bring it doon.   Me an Deek headed back intae toon. Oor plans in tatters, the romance hid jist been sooked right oot of the evening – so that’s fan we split up.  Weel, there wis nae sense leaving a perfectly good bike lying aboot!

Kevin Cash, Money Saving Expert and king of the grips

I see a German mannie wis killed fan a money-making scheme went wrang.  Apparently he wiz struck on the he id by some shrapnel efter he decided to blow up a condom machine.  Peer gink, but it wiz a pretty misconceived scheme fae the outset (pun intended).  Jist in case ony of you is wondering – there is absolutely nae value in detonating prophylactic vending machines.  I speak far experience, as some time ago, purely for research purposes, I took an oxy-acetylene torch into the Gents at Exodus. Fit I discovered wis that the resale price of a charred packet o’ three is disappointingly low.  So – for yer ain comfort and safety – I strongly recommend that if you are planning on blowing anything up this Hogmanay, mak it a balloon animal.  It’ll ging doon a bomb, without actually being een.

Ron Cluny, Official Council Spokesman

In 2015, the City Council delivered to a high standard against our key performance indicators, namely, blaming other people for our failures and making obtuse decisions.  The decision to blame the delay in the delivery of the Third Don Crossing on the Western Peripheral Route’s success at recruiting staff as a master stroke, and the decision to box in Provost Skene’s House, so that it can only be viewed by standing on tiptoes and craning one’s neck round from the top of the St Nicholas Centre, has been rightly regarded as an outstanding example of it’s type.  I can assure citizens that 2016 is rich with potential for more of the same.  In case you don’t believe me, five little words.  “The pedestrianisation of Broad Street.”

Struan metcalfe, MSP for Aberdeenshire North

In politics, the proper work/life balance can be difficult to achieve. It is all too easy to find that one spends too much time on Holyrood affairs. And recently, those who work most closely with me have suggested that I’m too ‘hands on” and ought to take a step back. So, my New Year’s resolution is to be more ‘hands off’. Specifically with Tiffany, my gorgeous researcher. I can’t afford another harassment claim. I have my reputation to think of!