You know that thing about encouraging us all to leave our cars at home and take public transport to get where we want to go – could someone check to see if ScotRail got the memo, please?
Because what appears to be a slash-and-burn policy on the number of trains connecting north-east communities to their nearest city is a massive blow to those of us who really, really do want to commute.
And by nearest city I mean Aberdeen. Yes, yes, I know that’s stating the obvious.
But in proposing changes to timetables from next month, ScotRail is trumpeting about how it will give a huge boost to travel between Aberdeen and Glasgow.
Which is nice on those occasions we do want to visit our Weegie chums, but not so good if we’re just trying to pop into Aberdeen for work, shopping or play.
Bearing the brunt of this scorched earth policy are the good people of Inverurie who, it would appear, stand to lose dozens of trains into Aberdeen.
This comes at a time when the Scottish Government did away with peak fares to encourage bums on train seats and when businesses in Aberdeen’s city centre are clamouring to see more visitors and customers through their doors.
ScotRail is blaming a significant decline in customers buying season tickets and people travelling less frequently. So the logic to solving that problem is fewer trains, is it?
But I’m sure axing 10 of the services that run from Montrose to Aberdeen at peak times, and cutting six journeys a day between Aberdeen and Stonehaven will really encourage people to let the train take the strain.
ScotRail is also pointing to “poor reliability” as a reason for swinging the axe, citing the frequent last-minute cancellations of trains between Aberdeen and Montrose. Now, this is something with which I am only too familiar.
So often are these trains just jettisoned that if I really have to be in Aberdeen or getting back to Stonehaven for a specific time, I take the train before the one I need just to ensure I can get there at all.
But I kind of thought ScotRail might strive to improve the service, not just take it away. I mean that logic gets us to a rail service that runs on time by not stopping to pick up passengers.
The crumbs being offered in appeasement appear to be having intercity services stopping at more stations along the way to Aberdeen. But there’s no way ScotRail bosses can disguise the fact that the number of trains is being slashed.
The travelling public in the north-east is clamouring for ScotRail to provide a service they need and deserve.
Going down this completely wrong track isn’t going to help anyone.
Celebrate Aberdeen awards uplifting and humbling
So there I was on Saturday night loving the glittering, joyous atmosphere of the Celebrate Aberdeen awards ceremony.
It was a night that was both humbling and uplifting as worthy winners from the Granite City’s third-sector organisations and individuals – volunteers every one of them – had their time in the spotlight to receive the adulation they deserved.
There were stories of courage, of unstinting generosity, of perseverance in the face of unthinkable hardship and love of others and the communities they serve.
It was a reminder of just how much voluntary hard work goes on in the north-east to keep people safe, help them through tough times, to give folk the chance for the sort of life so many of us just take for granted.
But while this was an evening of celebration, there was still an essential, gritty question that should cut to the heart of our society – why do ordinary people have to do this at all?
Why does it fall on volunteers to ease the grinding poverty caused by austerity, why are they having to run food banks so families can be fed or organise campaigns to raise awareness of the brutal reality of the cost-of-living crisis for so many?
These people are brave and fearless in reaching out, lifting up and speaking out.
So why aren’t the powers-that-be – the politicians with their hands on the levers that could make real and genuine change – answering that call?
Why are they scrapping the cap on bankers’ bonuses instead of eradicating poverty in this country?
Everyone who attended the Celebrate Aberdeen awards night deserves an answer to that question.
North-east weather scarier than any Halloween spook
Now, this bit was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek comment on the creepy and chilling ghost tour of Crathes Castle I went on at the weekend.
The only problem was, I never got there. With a storm raging, rain lashing, wind howling and the small matter part of the Slug Road being washed out by earlier flooding, I decided it was too risky to make the drive from Stonehaven on Sunday night.
All this extreme weather we are living through fits exactly with the modelling for the effects of climate change on the north-east – and that is scarier than any spook.
Scott Begbie is a journalist and editor, as well as PR and comms manager for Aberdeen Inspired