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The Flying Pigs: We were looking forward to a shottie on a digger in Union Terrace Gardens

Union Terrace Gardens wasn't quite ready for its close-up when its intended 'soft opening' day arrived (Photo: Paul Glendell / DC Thomson)
Union Terrace Gardens wasn't quite ready for its close-up when its intended 'soft opening' day arrived (Photo: Paul Glendell / DC Thomson)

The latest topical insights from Aberdeen musical sketch comedy team, The Flying Pigs.

View from the Midden with Jock Alexander

It’s been a silty wik in the village. I hiv responded tae the latest adverse publicity aboot Aiberdeen City Council in my usual wye: haein an richt good laugh and thankin the auld gods that I live oot here, far the only cooncil presence is the occasional lost road surveyor needin’ a tow awa. Cos, michty, fit a cerry on aboot Union Terrace Gairdens.

The Flying Pigs

The press are haein great fun bangin’ on aboot the last-mintie cancellation o a “saft opening”. I’m nae sure fit a “saft opening” is, but lookin’ at the photies o’ the current state o’ the place, yon sloping banks look gye dry and flinty and nae saft at a, it’s nae wonder they cancelled.

A’ those folkies fa were lookin’ forward tae haein’ a shottie on a digger must be affa disappointed, but ye canna hurry builders, as the mannies fa hiv been daein the extension on my coo shed have been telling me for the last 12 years.

The council is noo saying that their building contractor had telt them the top bittie wid be ready, but it wiznae. “Supply chain issues” hiv been blamed. And, sure enough, getting stuff fae A to B is currently tricky, fit wi the triple whammy o’ Covid, war and Brexit. Nae to mention massive hold ups of André Rieu fans at Craibstone.

Building work is still underway in Union Terrace Gardens (Photo: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson)

It is nae easy tae get building materials noo, although, as recent events hiv shown, if ye canna find them onywye else, it can be worth haein a teet in some mannie’s back gairden in Cults.

But, as I gazed at the big front page photie, the main thing I thocht wis: “There’s money in this.” Here in the village, we’re nae short o’ great muckle holes in the grun, so it’s high time we did wir ain version o’ Union Terrace Gairdens and watched the tourists flock in!

Once it’s deen in Aberdeen, for the local economy, they say it’ll be a goldmine. Although of noo, it looks mair like an open cast mine. Cheerio!

Jonathan M Lewis, local headteacher

What a splendid start to the new term we are having here at Garioch Academy! We’ve had some agreeable weather, senior pupils are preparing for actual exams, and the post face mask era has well and truly begun.

Thursday morning was a particular highlight. For two years, we have been unable to conduct that school staple, the year group assembly. But, as the Covid restrictions ease, we were finally in a position to gather the whole of S1 in the hall.

Digital assemblies are all well and good, but there’s no substitute for shouting one’s disappointment directly into students’ faces.

I can assure concerned parents that the current trend amongst the more boisterous pupils will be stamped out. Anyone caught administering a “wedgie” will receive an automatic detention. If it’s an “atomic wedgie”, that’s a two-day suspension.

School life feels fairly normal again after the easing of Covid restrictions (Photo: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

Monday afternoon saw the return of a favourite event of mine: the staff versus pupil cricket match. It’s always fun to play competitively against the youngsters, and, for some reason, they were extremely keen to hurl a rock-hard ball at their teachers’ ill-protected bodies.

My colleagues have implored me to purchase more protective equipment ahead of next year. Sharing pads and gloves is OK, but even before Covid, sharing a protective box is far from ideal.

The students want to take us on at rugby. What could possibly go wrong?

Mr Jenkins, batting at number 11, seemed genuinely tempted to head into bat without one – until he heard that young Tommy Green was planning to unleash some aggressive bodyline bowling. As difficult as it was for Mr Jenkins, at least he now has a real life example to use when explaining “Catch 22” to his English classes.

I’m sure word of my own performance has spread around the Garioch Academy community by now. I am not at all ashamed of being clean-bowled for a golden duck by young Andy Simpson.

And I did enjoy my own bowling spell. Pleasingly, the groundsman, Mr Foulger, has been able to recover most of the balls that the boys lashed into the neighbouring allotments off my right-arm medium pace.

So, what next for our vibrant school? More assemblies and perhaps more staff versus pupil competitions. The students want to take us on at rugby. What could possibly go wrong?

Ron Cluny, official spokesman

As a communications professional for a local authority, you become used to people running dubious ideas past you. Recently, I was asked: “Do you think we could build a tourism campaign around Barney Crockett’s sheer animal magnetism?” Swiftly I replied: “This is what the word ‘no’ was invented for.”

In these uncertain and frightening times, it is a small comfort that, somewhere in a Commons bar, there is a Tory MP being ostracised by his mates

I would like to think that the Tory spin doctors would have been similarly quick with the veto if they’d been tipped off that an anonymous MP was about to peddle to the Mail on Sunday the hackneyed line that Angela Rayner crosses and uncrosses her legs in order to distract Boris Johnson at the despatch box.

“What larks!” the MP must have thought. “It’ll distract everyone from the UK Government’s shoddy performance and enhance the boss’s laddish credentials. I may get a Cabinet role for this. Perhaps a knighthood!”

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons (Photo: House of Commons/PA Wire)

How pleasing, then, to see that this crummy piece of sexism has rebounded so dramatically, empowering female MPs to come forward and call out the misogynist culture in which they work.

In these uncertain and frightening times, it is a small comfort that, somewhere in a Commons bar, there is a Tory MP being ostracised by his mates because his nasty little plan has backfired, and they are all now under pressure to stop watching porn at work and get on with the serious business of doing the job they were elected to do.


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