P&J Column for 31.12 12

Hogmannay (noun) Annual festival when the Scots, rightly famed for their incredible capacity for alcohol, really step it up a gear.

This week we asked some of our regular contributors: ‘How are you bringing in the New Year?


Weel, michty, it’s been a busy wik o’ preparation in the village for the big nicht! That’s richt, it’s the world famous Meikle Wartle‘s Hogmanay. With spectacular events, incredible bands and amazing crowds from every corner of the village and 5 mile roon, we show Rothienorman how to perty!

We’ll hae the ceilidh in the hall, where we’re hoping for a repeat of the impromptu lock-in of 2010, fan the doors wiz frozen shut and the Orcadian Strip the Willow lasted siven hours.

Then it’s the Concert in the Gairden, this year it’s Feel Moira’s gairden , and fit a stellar line-up we’ve got. Jimmy Shand’s cousin, een of the Bay City Rollers, and Emeli Sande tae sing the Mucking o’ Geordie’s Byre. Also this year we proudly present the hale thing on the BIg Screen; a 24 incher on loan fae the Hydro Electric shop at Huntly.

But the Street Perty is the highlight.  The good news is we’ll hiv D.J. Mackie in the hoose, (he’s nae a disc jockey, that’s jist his initials. He’s a moany-faced auld tee-totaller, but so as lang as he stays indoors, he winna poop the perty) and various locations around the village will be transformed into sophisticated alfresco bars, fan abody piles oot of the pub with their drink.

The hale thing culminates in the fireworks. Once again we’ll be doing it ‘Oban style’ and letting the hale display aff at once. This does grand job of waking abody up in time for the all important Bells. And the equally vital Whyte & Mackay.

And for the brave souls still vertical come Janurary 1st, it’s time for the New Year dookin, fan you can shake aff ypur hangover by taking a dip in the Wartle Burn Sewage Works. Feel Moira swears by it, daily. Cheerio, and a Guid New Year tae abody!!!


DODDIE ESSLEMONT, Radical Independence Campaigner

I shall be having a traditional Hogmanay at home, eating black bun, drinking whisky, and hurling abuse at the telly throughout “Only an Excuse”.

Some people mistake my desire for political independence not just for Scotland or Aberdeen, but for my own flat, as a desire for seclusion, but nothing could be further from the truth.  I am an intensely sociable person, and hope to tempt any passing first-footers into my home (The People’s Democratic Republic of 39G Seaton Drive) with ceilidh music, a welcoming dram, and an expedited visa application process which should take no longer than 3 hours to complete.


KEVIN CASH, Money Saving Expert and King of the Grips

Hogmanay presents a real dilemma for the cash-conscious fun-lover.  On the one hand, fa dizna like to get together with their pals at this time o year?  But on the other, coming hard on the heels of Christmas, money is tight.  My ain method is to invite a selection o’ freens roon, telling them that I’ll lay on the food if they bring their ain drink.  Then, fan yer last guest his arrived and been relieved of his coat and cairry-oot, stick a bag of cheesy wotsits into the hand of each reveller, and set aff yer smoke alarm. After an orderly evacuation (I recommend flapping your airms and shouting ‘Get oot! Get oot!’) refuse to let them back in ‘til the Fire Brigade’s given the all clear.  They’ll last one, maybe twa, hours in yer gairden afore they drift awa tae some ither mug’s shindig.  With luck, their booze will last through ‘til mid-April, and the sale of their jaickets and mobiles will pye for your summer holidays.


“CAVA” KENNY CORDINER – the football pundit who kicks back!

Hogmanay is a funny time of year in the Cordiner household.  On the one hand, it is a time where me and the lovely Melody celibate the New Year, but on the other foot I gets awful melon colic.  You see, it was in the early hours of New Year’s Day 1994 that my pride and joy was taken from me.  Enforcer’s Wine Bar was Inverurie’s cheekest sports themed nitespot and I was definitely the hostess with the mostest. Me and Melody had invented some classy cocktails like the Straight Red, the Reducer and the Two-Footer.  A bit like my football career, a few Reducers, a couple of Two-Footers followed by a Straight Red usually meant an early bath!

Sadly Enforcer’s was mysteriously burned to the ground shortly after the bells 19 years ago.  I was guttered.  Thankfully I’d just taken out a massive insurance policy that started at midnight so Melody and I weren’t out of pocket.  My brief says to me, he says, “Kenny, for goodness sake don’t say another word in the paper about the fire!”  So I’d better leave it there.

So, this year I’ll spend New Year much like I have done for the last 18 years.  With a bottle of whisky in one hand and a lit cigar in the other.  Wait a minute – make that the last 19 years.