I want you to imagine that it’s the year 2028. I also want you to imagine that you have 10 grandchildren and, at the last count, 15 great-grandchildren. Maybe you have.
European immigrants – resented or respected and necessary?
I am still haunted by a chilling encounter I had with a young woman who was being shockingly abused –half way through a phone call she told me she was trying to kill herself.
View from the midden – rural affairs with MTV (Meikle Wartle Television) presenter Jock Alexander
Erica was on dessert duty at Lunch Club.
Autumn has well and truly arrived, winds and floods punctuate the daily routine as we get the children off to school or tackle our commute to and from work. We curse the elements and, keeping our heads down, casually wish our lives away, already hankering for those lengthening evenings in spring.
There is something very wrong when a political party can get hours of TV coverage to say nothing, but scientists warning us of catastrophic climate change get a minute on the news bulletin.
Someone has sent me their phrase of the week. It is in Latin. Oh help. Something by that great Roman philosopher Cicero, apparently. “Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit.”
I was talking to one of my daughters and she used a phrase that to me was so profound: “environmentally respectful”. Flora followed that up with “‘environmentally-friendly’ is just an excuse to seem as though you are doing something to make a difference”.
Our daughter Hannah went to New Zealand on her own, booking a room in a hostel at random, from her flat in Edinburgh.
How is it possible to hear when so much noise is happening all around us? This is one of the biggest problems of our age.
The year is 2010. Donald Trump is whistling through Aberdeen like the north wind, blowing all and sundry to one side or another as he goes.
J Fergus Lamont, arts correspondent and author of Highland Fling – My Lost Weekend with Molly Weir at Boat of Garten
It’s not been a great few weeks for those of us with two X chromosomes.
A new phrase was coined by the head of Highlands and Islands Enterprise last week to describe the region’s most pressing problem.
If you visit Orkney you can see the sites where ancient peoples built their homes. At the heart of these old buildings was the hearth, around which a family could gather. Here they could cook and warm themselves and the room in which they were sitting. In many places although the walls of these houses have been removed, the hearth still remains, a historic reminder that being warm is a basic need for everyone.
I have relatives who toasted white supremacists of the US south. The moment occurred decades ago, according to a family tale, a story only recounted once, and in disgust. That it was all a long time ago is the point – we forget our sins.
It’s only the beginning of October but it is much colder already. Mind you the chilling wind of Brexit could be the cause. It makes my blood run cold.
I am going to say a word. A very naughty word. It has four letters, begins with an S and is likely to cause a large number of people some degree of distress... so be sure to cover your ears if you don’t want to hear it. Are you ready? Okay, here goes:
Earlier this month, I was on the coast road in the north-west of Sutherland.
I sit looking at the majestic hills of Hoy out of the window of our wooden Norwegian house. It is a wonderful view, and I am privileged to see it every day in life. I never tire of it.
Two down. Two to go.
Cosmo Ludovik Fawkes-Hunt, 13th Earl of Kinmuck
I remember, when I used to live in the central belt, being cynical about what seemed like incessant moaning from the north of Scotland about sport, politics and everything else under the sun.
Admiral Viscount Nelson was master of the art of savage, close-fought, naval combat which brought his crowning glory at Trafalgar – and death at 47 – but he was often all at sea with the daily trials and tribulations which are familiar to many in public life today.
Who would be a councillor? Sure, the position’s often rumoured to come with lots of payments, perks and privileges. But even if these tales were true, and they aren’t, the job would be the worst in politics. Because it has been stripped of what gives point to being in politics at all.
There are three people in this marriage” said the Lady Diana, showing an ability to gain headlines, tell the truth and count. For a long time the British electorate have yearned for the luxury of three options on Brexit - they’ve had to make do with one.
I enjoy a good political debate.
There was a day that you could go to the pub, drink your fill, talk utter nonsense about politics and politicians, pretend you were an expert about sport and motorcycle maintenance and burp loudly. That was it. A great night.
When I was attending King Street primary school - just half a mile from the University of Aberdeen’s King’s College - I could never have imagined that a time would come when I would take up the position I am so fortunate to hold today.
Today I sing the praises of an inspirational young woman. But first, I need to provide some context.
Wow. What a week that was.