P&J Column 6.7.17

There’s no Magic Money Tree. Unless you plant your Magic Money Seeds in some Magic Money Mineer. 

View from the midden – rural affairs with Jock Alexander

Weel it’s been a fiscally-challenged wik in the village; mony hours in the pub hiv been spent debating the hot topic of the public sector pay cap. Skittery Wullie wiz arguing that, as a mannie wi’ a baldie heid fit feels the caul in winter and gets burnt in summer, he thocht it wiz a very good idea. So we explained that it wizna an actual bunnet, gied oot free tae nurses, bobbies and the like but that some MPs are happy tae keep fire-fighters and teachers pay rises at 1%. (Indeed, their happy, cheering weel-fed faces were a’ over the news), files in real terms, wages for these vital jobs hiv fallen in the last siven years. In fairness, some agreed wi’ 50 year auld multi-millionaire retiree David Cameron that  folk in the public sector winting ony mair are ‘selfish’.

Mention of auld potted-heid face provoked strong feelings. Skittery Wullie in particular is nae a fan- he winna tell us fit wye, but I think it’s something tae dae wi’ his pigs.  Onywye, the general consensus wiz that it’s a double standard, fan nurses fit use food banks are being telt there isnae a ‘Magic Money Tree’, but then a billion quid appears for a massive bung tae keep the Government in power.

Oor revolutionary fervour rose in tandem wi’ inebriation levels, oor determination tae bring doon the ruling classes increasing alongside oor being ower foo tae dae anything aboot it. Then Feel Moira casually mentioned that she hid seen a Magic Money Tree growing oot beyond the village and the pub emptied as ab’dy staggered aff tae find it. I myself stayed behind wi’ ma sciatica and my pint, which is why I am able tae report that the rest of them wiz huckled by the bobbies trying tae tunnel intae Inverurie Garden Centre.  The policemen fa lifted them wiz heard tae mutter something aboot nae being peyed enough tae deal wi’ this kind of thing.  Which jist aboot says it a’. Cheerio!

Jonathan M Lewis-Local head teacher

The stereotype of we educators is that during the holidays we live the Life of Riley. Yet here I am, working away, in an attempt to dispel some malicious rumours about the Garioch Academy end-of-term staff do.

Mr Gibb’s retirement was a sad day for us all. Losing a teacher of such experience and calibre is always difficult, and it is only right that staff marked the end of his career with a meal and drinks at Thainstone House. Mr Gibb’s speech was both heartfelt and hysterically funny, but sadly, an element of his oration has been taken out of context and turned into a social media ‘meme’ comprising a list of pupils’ names, and an audio recording of Mr Gibb explaining that these were the “10 Worst Little Bams” he’d ever taught.

The remark was, of course, in jest. Those on the list were, in fact, Mr Gibb’s favourite pupils, and I am exasperated and disappointed that anyone would suggest otherwise. Who could forget the special bond forged between Mr Gibb and Dean Yeats, Andrew Thouless and Connor Graham after the three of them keyed his car and let down his tyres? As demonstrated in last year’s Staff v Pupils football match, when Mr Gibb treated the lads as equals in each and every bone-crunching tackle.

True, all the other pupils on the list were regularly suspended, and now boast impressive criminal records – but sometimes it’s the most challenging pupils that teachers find the most rewarding to teach. Especially for Mr Gibb, who was so rewarded when he recognised their faces on Crimewatch and turned them in to the police that he was able to take early retirement.
‘Cava’ Kenny Cordiner; the sports pundit who has definitely paid all his tax.

It’s been a shocker of a week for The Rangers. Not only did they lose their court case against HSBC, they also got punted out of Europe early doors by part-timers from Radio Luxembourg. The dons have their European tie next week, so I hope they don’t have to wear their new away strip. Call me old fashioned, but the Dons should not be wearing blue. Blue is The Rangers’ colour, so for the Dandies to be wearing it is sanctimonious.

I’ve been watching the egg chasing from down-upper and can’t wait for the last match against the Black Jacks on Saturday. The second test was a thriller with the Lions coming from behind to win. The Kiwi Fruits was a man down though, after one of their lads got his jotters for smashing into one of the Lions. I know how he must have feeled, because I’ve seen more than my fair share of red cards myself, and no-one never wants to leave his team in the larch like that. It was worse for me, though, because when the rugby boy went off his team still had 14 players on the pitch, whereas I left mines with only 10.