By the looks of it, a story fair raised the blood pressure of more than a pucklie readers last week. Mine included.
And from the many angry comments online one thing’s certain: Aberdonians are hilarious when they get their danders up.
They were reacting to news that the £400,000 project to erect illuminated name signs above certain streets is nearing reality. The cooncil having given the go-ahead earlier this year, final designs have now been submitted.
The cash comes from Holyrood’s £1.3 million for improvements to the city which will boost tourism. Well whooop-dee-doo. Can’t you just see visitors flocking to ooh and aah over lights above our apparently “most renowned” streets. Union and George streets and … wait for it … Shiprow, Back Wynd, Windmill Brae, Langstane Place, Stirling, Chapel, Crown and Carmelite streets. Inspired or not?
As it happens, the scheme is “led’ by Aberdeen Inspired – our Business Improvement District (me neither.)
An enthusiastic spokesperson said: “The signs, designed to work with the existing wayshowing totems also installed by AI in 2016, will clearly identify civic gateways, key streets and strategic connection points to make Aberdeen a leading pedestrian-friendly city.”
Hey wifie. D’ya appreciate yer wayshowin’ totem fin ye need to mak a strategic connection? What a load of gobbledegook and guff. Pretentious officialese to cover a few funcy light bulbs.
Meanwhile, the woman bearing the magnificent title City Centre Masterplan Lead, cooncillor Marie Boulton, came away with even more hot air: “It’s another strand of how we improve the city centre in terms of connectivity and how people move about.”
Okay-dokey. But if how we move about is so important, how come Toon Hoose bosses have still not granted us any “connectivity” in Union Street by removing those bizarre physical distancing obstacles, while George Street, Rosemount and Torry are being freed of their barricades.
Our buses continue to chug slow a diversion down and up the busiest streets in the centre; Bridge Street and Market Street – horrendous at rush-hours. And all because heid-yins are still ditherin’ about how much of, and when, to pedestrianise our Golden Mile, while it speedily tarnishes.
Well, here’s a suggestion I suspect loadsa locals would welcome: dig back into the civic archives, blow off the cobwebs and reinstate the simplest possible – but once highly popular plan – to breath new life into the beautiful jewel in our crown. Pedestrianise, apart from buses, the lot, from Castlegate to Holburn Junction, allowing unloading during the night. Other cities did it years ago. Why can’t we? Let’s have a real lightbulb moment.
Hats off to the late, great Professor RV Jones
Something happened the other night which fair brought back memories of the late, great Professor RV Jones, head of natural philosophy at Aberdeen Uni for 35 years from 1946.
He was a bit of a legend among the students, but not all of us were aware that during World War 2 he had been one of the country’s most vital military intelligence strategists, devising numerous ways of confusing the Germans. I keep waiting to see news of a film of his life with Benedict Fitshisface cast as RV.
One of my student beaus told me about this unforgettable and utterly perfect lecture he delivered on the subject of irony. The prof recalled one night of a howling gale in Aberdeen. He’d recently bought a new car but forgtten to put it into the garage. Fearing it would be hit by flying branches or other debris, he went to move it, before his wife stopped him. She was worried he might get hit by something in the gale, so he dug out his old wartime tin helmet for protection.
He had just made it to his lovely car when a sudden huge gust whipped the metal hat off his head and sent it cannoning into … the driver’s door, leaving a massive gouge. Irony indeed.
I thought of that when I decided to resist crisps for my evening snack, in yet another desperate bid to lose weight and become healthier. Cut masellie a wee hillock of carrot batons. So did I end up feeling better? As I crunched the hard-as-Hades carrots, I broke off a huge chunk of tooth. Ironic indeed.
Will Greg be a Wise choice for Strictly Come Dancing?
I WAS beginning to despair during the long-drawn-out unveiling of Strictly Come Dancing “celebrities” because I didn’t know a soul from Adam.
Then along came hunky actor Greg Wise, hubby of the affa talented, but habitually infuriating, Emma Thompson, who was ‘woke’ before anyone even went to sleep. Trying so hard not to be on the same page as everyone else.
✨ Greg Wise, the 10th celebrity contestant confirmed for #Strictly 2021, will be channeling "my beautiful, disco queen sister"
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) August 11, 2021
Suspect her Greg’s cut from the same cloth. He said recently he hasn’t watched telly since 1985. If that’s true, he must be the ultimate snobby bore. Can’t wait to see if the jive will wipe that superior smile off his face.
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