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It’s the Queen I feel sorry for: If Philip loses his licence, fa’s going tae tak her tae bingo?

Paul Weller. Photo by Lorne Thomson/Redferns.
Paul Weller. Photo by Lorne Thomson/Redferns.

Cosmo Ludovic Fawkes Hunte, the 13th Earl of Kinmuck

Well, wrap me up like a ballotine of pheasant and simmer me gently ’til done – what a lot of namby-pamby tommyrot is being written about the Duke of Edinburgh this week.

According to the wet-nurses, hand-wringers and health and safety fundamentalists who make up the clamouring masses of our wet-blanket so-called country, it is apparently in some way a bad thing for a man of extremely advanced years to drive into the path of an oncoming car, causing both vehicles to go careening across the carriageway.

Honestly, I blame the malign influence of the Scandinavians. Brexit can’t come fast enough.

It’s utter piffle. The Great British aristocracy have always had a devil-may-care attitude to personal safety. My own forebear, the 4th Earl, a man who hunted with hounds from the age of five and spent his adolescence roaming around central Europe armed only with a sword and the knowledge of how to say “beer” in all the major languages, found run-of-the-mill social gatherings too tedious for words.

To spice things up, at his summer-house soirees in the grounds of the family pile, all chairs were replaced by open kegs of gunpowder over which guests would be suspended from silken hammocks while drinking heavily and smoking cigars.

The frisson of danger greatly pleased his lordship, right up until the moment he dropped his cheroot. To this day, we commemorate his derring-do and joie de vivre by setting off fireworks at the site, now known as Earl’s Crater.

So, the duke will do what the duke will do, and who will tell him otherwise? Apart from his wife, obviously. But more importantly, Phillip’s activities should be celebrated, not sneered or tutted at!

At these times of uncertainty for British industry, with the car industry laying off staff left, right and centre, we should applaud anything that gets another Range Rover off the forecourt and into the trembling and aged hands of a cash buyer.

Moreover, in an increasingly crowded and competitive market for luxury 4x4s, what more patriotic way than to demonstrate the Range Rover’s unparalleled safety features than for an elderly person to roll one in a high-speed collision and then walk away unscathed?

View from The Midden; agricultural affairs with MTV (Meikle Wartle Television) presenter Jock Alexander

It’s been a counter-factual wik in the village. You may recall there wiz great excitement here a month or twa syne fan a previously unknown ancient steen circle was uncovered in a fermer’s field in the exotic-sounding environs of Leochel-Cushnie.

Even though naeb’dy fae Meikle Wartle wid iver venture as far as the dark lands south of Alford, the thocht of such archaeologically-rich pickings on wir doorstep did get fowk – chiefly Feel Moira – a’ excited by the hopes o’ uncovering something similar here, and thus attracting hordes o’ weel-aff historians tae the village tae enjoy oor famous hostility, at verra competitive prices.

Weel, it turns oot the recumbent steen circle wis nae fower and a half thoosand years auld efter a’; a fact discovered by the team o’ archaeologists fan they got a phone call fae the fermer that pit them there in the 1990s.

Weel, we a’ did feel things back in the days o’ Britpop, did we nae? I got my haircut like Paul Weller. I didna ask fer it like ’at but that’s fit happens fan ye let Drouthy Dod Bowman loose wi’ the clippers, fit wi’ his DTs. And if ye think that’s daft, Skittery Wullie eence bocht a Kula Shaker LP.

Onywye, it wiz reed faces a’ roond, for Historic Environment Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council’s Archaeology service; but they were quick tae pit a positive spin on their monumental gaff by praising the fermer’s skills in so closely copying the real thing, showing the “engagement with the archaeology of the region by the local community”. I fair doot the reporter hid a tricky time noting doon ’at quote; seeing as how it came oot through clenched teeth.

Noo you would think that the danger of being outed as a fraud may have dissuaded Moira fae trying a similar thing here. However, instead she’s gaan her dinger tae build in Meikle Wartle a Steen Circle as ostentatiously fake as possible, using breeze blocks, chicken wire and an auld sofa.

And fair play tae her.

Efter a’, the revelation that the ither een wis a fake generated a damn sight mair publicity than it’s discovery did fan abdy thocht it wis the real McCoy.

In fact, it wis a worldwide news sensation. Certainly it’s the only time I can mind Leochel-Cushnie getting a mention on Al Jazeera. Cheerio!

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