Today, being the first day of May, always brings a surge of fresh hope to men across the country, and especially in Edinburgh.
The slopes of the capital’s Arthur’s Seat in particular become a pop-up communal wash basin this morning for flocks of females hoping for a miracle.
For centuries, some women have believed that washing their faces in the early morning May Day dew will bring them eternal beauty. For centuries, their menfolk have encouraged the tradition, hoping that it would come true. For centuries, both have woken up on May 2 to discover that it has had no effect whatsoever.
What looked pretty grim yesterday will look just as grim tomorrow.
I must add that no amount of dousing in dew could make Mrs F look any lovelier than she is already. I choose my words carefully for fear of painful retribution.
Strangely, there’s no real evidence of men washing their faces in the May Day dew. In fact, there’s no sign that some men take much time to wash their faces properly on any day of the year.
Perhaps our princely perennial pulchritude doesn’t need any further fettling?
Your loyal correspondent is excepted, I hasten to add. When it comes to personal grooming, I’d be wasting my hard-earned cash on any of those impressive-sounding male grooming products to be found nowadays. I am old school. A quick facial with a block of carbolic and a loofah is about as significant an impact as I can have to maintain what nature grudgingly gave me.
It’s amazing what folk do spend their hard-earned cash on, though. Take the company Standard Life Aberdeen, for example, an investment business headquartered in Edinburgh. This week, it decided to rebrand its image with a logo that removes the vowels from the Aberdeen name, leaving it as Abrdn.
The company said that the new Abrdn name will be “part of a modern, agile, digitally enabled brand that will also be used for all the company’s client-facing businesses globally”.
I can’t help but wonder why the existing Aberdeen name, complete with vowels, isn’t modern, agile and digitally enabled? But then I’m not one of those trendy and probably very well remunerated image and PR consultants who could do with having their mouths scrubbed with carbolic and a loofah to rid them of such garrulous garbage.
And if your business isn’t “client facing”, what part of your anatomy is pointing at your clients? I shudder to think.
Unsurprisingly, the adoption of Abrdn as a business brand has had a mixed reception. I’m not sure how it has gone down in the company’s home city of Dinburgh, or throughout Ast Lothian or in other Scottish strongholds such as Dund or Invrnss.
I fear, however, that councils across the country might follow this private-sector lead and seize the opportunity to rebrand all our towns and cities, seeing major cost reductions in the size of signposts and the price of lettering on them, not to mention savings in paper from having much shorter publications.
A Bn Nvis to climb
We could probably get by and guess the location of Ptrhd or Avimor, Bramar or Hopman, Stonhavn or Hlmsdal, but it might be somewhat more traumatic for Llon, Lgin, Vanton, Cht, Dzell, Nw Dr or Kith, while those living beside Loch Ewe would be reduced to having a truncated Loch W on their doorsteps.
Those on the Isl of Sky could face a copyright claim from a certain satellite broadcaster, while folk in Grantown on Spy might attract the attention of MI5.
Spare a thought for people in Portr, Bunr or Loch Mar and similarly Orcadians who would end up living in Day or Vie or Shetlanders in St Yll or Swick.
In short, I reckon the whole rebranding scheme is daft, demeaning, disparaging to a fine city and should be dumped forthwith.
They have a monumental Bn Nvis to climb to convince me otherwise.
I suggest the bright young things, or thick old buffers, who conceived this potty plan should climb Dinburgh’s Arthur’s Sat this morning and scrub their faces, and minds, in the dew, then call “mayday” and beg to be rescued from the dangers of disappearing up their own verbiage.