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Iain Maciver: Learning new words as I have no idea what gift to get herself for Christmas

Christmas is just an orgy of unnecessary spending.
Christmas is just an orgy of unnecessary spending.

What Christmas pressie do you order for a wife who says she doesn’t want anything but you know she really, really does? Because I keep seeing her looking at a certain glitzy mail order catalogue and it keeps being left open at the jewellery page. What’s more, she keeps leaving the jewellery catalogue open at the page for necklaces – gold ones.

Iain Maciver

Christmas is just an orgy of unnecessary spending which benefits only international businesses cashing in on ridiculous associations with reindeer and a wee babby called Jesus. Why give your hard-earned to such a movement? Give the gift of real kindness instead. Like learning. For instance, in this column I will teach you two new words that you probably didn’t know before.

I am uxorious. Having no idea what that meant, I had to look it up myself earlier this year. Having no opportunity to use it until now, I gift it to you. Gentlemen, google it and decide if you are too. Where was I? I may have to sell the car, or a kidney, but I had to ask about her gift. So I asked Mrs X if she would like a diamond necklace for Christmas. She replied nothing would make her more happy. Oh well, if nothing will make her more happy, that is exactly what I’ll get her.

I no longer care for Christmas, CalMac or liquorice

We get sentimental about Christmas but for me it is just razbliuto – my second new word today. English, but derived from Russian, it means something we cared for once but which we no longer want to bother with. For me, razbliuto covers many things – short trousers, politics, politicians, liquorice allsorts and the management of ferry company Caledonian McBrayne. Liquorice put my teeth on edge. As does CalMac management.

It has just made new board appointments. Again, no Outer Hebrideans appointed. So CalMac has no effective way to gauge islanders’ views. It has a so-called community board but it needs to be board level to be heard. A majority of board members should be from the islands but instead it is stuffed with nondescript bean counters who care little for the western seaboard and the islands. Even though that’s where they have a sacred duty to provide lifeline services.

CalMac has no effective way to gauge islanders’ views.

Why Scottish transport ministers Michael Matheson, Graeme Dey and the First Minister have not read the riot act before now to CalMac chairman David McGibbon and his clueless gang in Gourock shows they don’t care either. Dey keeps rabbiting on in Holyrood magazine about becoming a rail evangelist and linking ticketing for the railway to the non-lifeline Ardrossan ferry. Razbliuto is not a strong enough word.

Stormy times over Christmas party claims

The warning about Storm Barra were strong enough. As soon as she heard another hooley was on the way, Mrs X got out the big pot. She makes ready for every gale with torch batteries and a pot of lentil soup. Then, disaster. No lentils left. “We’ll have to make do with yellow pea soup this time,” she announced, stirring. Yellow pea? Ugh, that sounds unpleasant. Minutes later, the Met Office issued a yellow snow warning. It seems to me Storm Barra preparations are based around yellow pea of one kind or another.

Like Downing Street’s answer to a lockdown was to hold a Christmas party – allegedly. Even Dominic Cummings has joined the clamour for answers and he’s already suggesting some pally political journos were at the Downing Street hooch as well. It’s beginning to feel a lot like … more is coming up.

Would you Adam and Eve it?

Also coming up are Christmas carols which schoolkids practice to learn the story of the birth of Jesus and to be cute. A few years ago, a little island boy after a long day as the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay, asked his father, a well-known church minister: “Daddy, how are people born?” His father diplomatically replied: “Well, Adam and Eve made babies together. Then their babies became adults and made babies, and so on.” The wee boy then went to his mother, who was not quite as devout as her husband.

The lad asked her the same question and she said: “I actually think we were like apes once. Then we evolved to become what we are now.” The wee boy ran back to his father and said: “Mum said we were like apes. You lied to me, daddy.” Thinking on his feet, his father looked up and replied: “No, I didn’t lie. Your mother was only talking about her side of the family.”

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