P&J Column for 22.12.14

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Now that Christmas looks like a drunk office manager in a Santa hat.

TANYA SOUTAR, Local Lifestyle Guru

I dinna ken aboot yous, but I love the Christmas Hol’days! It’s that magical time of year fan drinking in the middle of the day is nae frowned upon, yer kids’ll behave fer five minutes if ye threaten them that Santa winna come, and ye can take the great pile of rubbish ye get fae yer pals and femily and exchantanks in the sales for stuff ye actually wint. Mind you, the pairty season diz bring its ain set of dilemmas. Here’s my guide so yous can avoid gan crazy this Christmas!

First of a’, ony Christmas nicht oot is a chance for us quines tae get dolled up tae the nines. It’s the time of year fan we can bring a touch of the Paris catwalk tae the Broadsword Bar. So it’s affa important tae keep yer fashion fresh. If yer onything like me, ye’ll hae invites tae hunners o parties, soirees and full-blown drinking sessions ower the next few wiks. The last thing ye wint tae dae is weer the same claes tae different parties, especially with aa yer photies gan on Facebook! I niver hae this problem, because my pal Big Sonya works in Debenhams. She smuggles me oot a couple of new ootfits ivry wikend, I weer them, then she pits them back in store on Monday morning. Ye’ve tae mind and pretend that yon security tag thingy they funcy brooch fae Claire’s Accessories, though. And watch ye dinna boak on them either. This season’s patterns is aa geometrical, so a smattering of 3 am kebab doon yer front winna ging unnoticed, mair’s the pity.

Spikking of food, if yer throwing a party of yer ain, dinna let snacks brak the bank. Wi as these funcy foods ye can get these days like pulled pork and aromatic duck and mini chicken kievs, catering fer yer pals can be a costly business. But ye dinna wint tae be a total grip that disnae pit on a spread. So tak my advice an buy snacks that naebdy could possibly wint tae eat. Potted Heid Humus Is a good een. As is Sweet and Sour Corned Beef Hash and, of course, Bombay Mix. They winna be touched and ye can keep pitting the same stuff oot time and again!

Last of all, eence we get tae Hogmannay, there’s the hale question of First Fit presents. I love tradition, but sometimes it’s a right scutter. The last thing ye wint tae dae on New Years Eve is tae trail a bug fer life full of parcels aroon wi’ ye. Particularly on a nicht fan yer plan is tae celebrate the dawning of a new year by necking a bottle of bacardi, snogging a random and blacking-oot in a bush on Great Northern Road. So, instead of turning up at yer pal’s hooses wi’ gifts, yous should dae fit I dae. Jist afore ye get there, phone the Bobbies and anonymously gi’e them a tip off aboot drug dealing activity. There’ll be a tall dark stranger through their door with a search warrant afore ye can say ‘Happy New Year’. Fan they eventually get back fae the cop-shop they winna care ye hinna brocht nithing. Better still, files yer waiting for them tae be liberated, ye can help yersel tae the contents o’ their drinks cabinet. Boost!

View from the midden – JOCK ALEXANDER

Weel it’s been a hyperborean wik in the village. It’s that time of year fan the temperature drops sharply, ice and snaw sterts forming indoors, and ye hiv tae chisel yer dog fae aff a lamppost. Toasty it is nae, although strangely eneuch, efter 5 minutes in the toaster my fingers stert tae recover. It wiz files daeing this the other day that I read reports in the press of dizens of ‘ice pancakes’ the size of dinner plates found floating in the River Dee. Weel, michty, here in Meikle Wartle cauld weather phenomena are nithing new. We hiv ice pancakes in the village stream maist years. Though in oor case this is because Moira sterts practicing her bannock tossing for Shrove Tuesday gye early, and in the interest of public safety his been persuaded tae dae it ootside, trustin tae her thick winter pelt tae keep warm. Also, at this time of year, frozen ‘country pancakes’ can be found dotted aboot the fields. As weel as sheep and coos staggering awa fae them wi’ a look of blessed relief. The village kiddies tak great delight in collecting up these items, cos wi’ the correct angle and velocity they’ll skim them fer miles on frosty grun. Mony’s the resident crossing the square of a winter’s morn that’s hid tae duck a low-flying ice doldie. Like those in the Dee, they are often the size of dinner plates, and indeed I highly recommend them as a good wye of getting the extra plates ye need fan the fem’ly come roond for Christmas. Just mind and chuck them oot efter. Ye dinna wint them stacked in yer sideboard come the thaw. Cheerio!