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What we learned this week… about podcasts, pipers, praise for Andy Murray and pub closures

Laurs Mears-Meynolds and Dawn Farmer sitting next to each other on a rainbow coloured bench in Fittie
Laura Mears-Reynolds and Dawn Farmer pictured in Fittie. Picture by Kenny Elrick

What we learned this week…

AN ADHD podcast created by two neighbours in Fittie in Aberdeen has resonated with people from Auckland to Alberta and sparked a global conversation.

Laura Mears-Reynolds and Dawn Farmer created their ADHD As Females programme to share their personal experiences and interview others with similar issues.

During the past seven months, they’ve had more than 230,000 downloads, leaving them in the top 1% of Spotify’s most followed podcasts.

The podcast has reached 166 countries including New Zealand, Australia, the US, Canada and throughout South America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

THE Met Office confirmed that this has been the warmest year in UK history.

Its provisional data has revealed that the average temperature is on track to surpass the previous all-time high of 9.88C – nearly 50 degrees Fahrenheit – set in 2014.

The exact figure will be confirmed in the coming weeks, but Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said: “2022 is going to be the warmest year on record for the UK.”

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was imprisoned in Tehran for several years.

NAZANIN Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who spent years imprisoned in Tehran, spoke of her joy at watching Andy Murray’s 2016 Wimbledon win from her cell.

More than six years later – and nine months after she was released – the 45-year-old met the Scottish tennis maestro and shared the personal significance of that Centre Court tussle, as part of her guest edit of Radio 4’s Today programme.

She told him: “I was always a big fan of you, but also there I was in solitary confinement watching the match that you actually won in the end. I can’t tell you how joyful it was.”

A clearly emotional Murray responded: “After listening to you and speaking to you, I’ll certainly make sure I’m a lot more grateful for everything I’ve got.”

ABERDEEN will stage next year’s European Pipe Band Championships.

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association confirmed the event will take place in the city’s Duthie Park on June 24. Last month, it was announced that the proposed Piping Inverness event – which incorporates the European Pipe Band Championships – would be cancelled due to being “no longer financially viable”.

A new Christmas arrival at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. Picture by Paul Glendell.

AN Aberdeen couple celebrated a magical Christmas together after receiving a very special present. Margaret Wilson, 34, and Daniel Currie, 32, were delighted to welcome the birth of the baby boy as a lovely festive surprise for the whole family.

Little Alex was born happy and healthy at 4.32am in Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, weighing 5lb 13oz. He was the first Yuletide baby to be born in NHS Grampian, joining his brother William and sister Arya eight days earlier than expected.

IT was a fiercely contested affair, but a Men’s Ba’ game, lasting almost five hours, saw Doonie David Johnstone secure victory in the traditional Boxing Day event in Kirkwall.

The outcome was doubly special for the 46-year-old Orcadian who had claimed the New Year’s Day Boys’ Ba’ three decades earlier in 1992.

One report described the proceedings as being “intensely fought on both sides, with a number of injuries, a wall falling foul of the pack, and an hour-long holdout by the Uppies down a lane by Kiln Corner”. But eventually, the Doonies prevailed.

The annual Burghead Boxing Day Swim took place in Burghead. Pic: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson.

THE festive turkey and trimmings had barely been gobbled up before hardy souls across the north-east were taking part in a series of Nippy Dip events.

Participants flocked to Aberdeen Beach to brave the cold for charity or personal enjoyment and more than 25 participants were equally resilient in Burghead.

It was estimated that 300 spectators came out for the latter event to watch swimmers jump into the water of Burghead Harbour to raise money for projects in Moray.

ACTOR and comedian John Bird, who was part of the TV satire boom from the 1960s onwards, often in the company of John Fortune, died aged 86.

The pair memorably appeared alongside Rory Bremner in the Channel 4 TV series Bremner, Bird and Fortune.

Co-star Bremner led the tributes to Bird, telling the BBC that his former co-star “had this brilliant instinct for absurdity, and the sharpest of minds”.

Jamie Oliver wants a sugar tax to fund free school meals.

CELEBRITY chef Jamie Oliver argued that the millions being raised through the so-called sugar tax should be used to extend the provision of free school meals.

The vocal food campaigner, who was pivotal in persuading the Westminster government in 2018 to impose the levy on soft drinks with high sugar content, wants more than 800,000 children to benefit from the move.

A HISTORIC pub will serve its final customers this evening. The Air Balloon in Gloucestershire is being demolished to make way for a major road upgrade.

The hostelry has been called that name for at least 220 years, but is shutting its doors with a fond farewell to its many patrons.

Sadly, one suspects it won’t be the only bar closure as we move into the new year.