View from the midden – rural affairs with Jock Alexander from MTV (Meikle Wartle Television)
It’s been a sequestered wik in the village. Dwelling as we dae at a comfortable distance fae civilisation, we often find wirsels looking amusedly on at news stories fae the big city of Aiberdeen.
Tak this wik’s een aboot the introduction o’ wee “parklets” of greenery into the toon centre, files at the same time they’re chopping doon maist o’ the trees in Union Terrace Gairdens – truly a case o’ the left hand nae kennin’ fit the right hand is chainsawing intae bits.
It may nae be a seething metropolis like Huntly, but at least we’ve still got trees in the centre of Meikle Wartle.
Weel, OK, tree. And yes, it is growing up through the roof of the village hall, but it still coonts. So is rural isolation something tae be savoured?
Weel, some say being sat oot under the stars amidst complete peace and quiet allows ye tae discover yourself and think deeply aboot yer place in the universe. Masel? I find that I canna get a decent mobile signal tae play Candy Crush, so I’m nae a fan.
I hiv been pondering wir relative isolation iver since reading aboot government plans tae reverse the so-called “Beeching cuts” made tae the railways in the 1960s.
Noo, I’m nae sae auld as I look (jings, Kirk Douglas wisnae sae auld as I look), so I dinna mind much about Beeching, apart fae the fact that his pooders wernae a patch on Lemsip. But thanks tae his report, aboot one third of the hale rail network wiz shut doon, and mair nor twa thoosan stations given the heave-ho. And the big losers wis folk fa lived in rural communities.
At the time it wis intended as a money-saving exercise, and indeed it’s estimated tae hiv saved the country 100 million quid. But noo there is tae be a “Beeching Reversal Fund”, o’ £500 million. So that’s worked oot weel.
So could the fabled Meikle Wartle tae New Pitsligo line be on the cards fer a restoration? Could there be masses o’ folk aboot tae flood the village? Might Michael Portillo be seen swanning aroon the village square in his salmon breeks?
Weel, let’s be honest, the auld railway wiznae up to much even in its heyday, as it wiz barely three carriages long, and it only cerried beasts tae mart. Its maist notable feature wiz that Skittery Wullie’s faither, fa ran it, Sharny Dod, had managed tae train een o’ his pigs tae blaw the whistle.
However, closer perusal of this story his revealed that the proposed £500m is only for “feasibility studies” and these days wid barely be enough tae reinstate 25 miles of railway track, so the chances are it, and a hillock o’ fowk, winna be coming naewye near us.
This is maybe jist as weel as Feel Moira, fa isnae keen on tourists at the best o’ times, is reed hot on keeping them oot o’ the village of noo.
This is due tae a’ the stories aboot the insidious spread o’ a particular new strain o’ deadly virus.
In fact she’s been on a one-woman mission tae halt the spread, by loading her tractor up wi’ every bottle of Corona fae the village shoppie and dumping them in the burn.
I dinna hae the heart tae tell her, and onywye, she’s chucked them in upstream fae me, and I’ve been fishing them oot as they float past.
If someb’dy wid jist drap a lime in the watter I’d be laughing. Cheerio!
Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit who goes in hard early doors
Well, that’s us into February already and 2020 has fairly hut the ground drumming. The Dons has had their winter break and the transfer window has flew open and then slammed shut on McInnes’s fingers.
Of course, they never had winter breaks or transfer windows when I was playing. Mind you, when Doug Rougvie was practising his free kicks out in the car park there was a few window breaks, and when he hut the rear windscreen on Fergie’s motor there was nearly a winter transfer!
If you ask old Kenny, I think the Dons should sack off their winter break. I’m sure they have a great time over in The United Arab Emmerdales, but they’ve come back in stinking form, looking like they couldn’t hit a backside with an elephant’s banjo.
No offence to the lads, but I’m sure they could of just as easily gone to Lossiemouth caravan park and come back playing as bad as this. Think of the money they’d save!
Speaking of money, I always enjoy transfer deadline day. It’s like watching a man who’s been in Aldi’s all day looking for his supper, only to spend £25 on a pair of flippers from the middle aisle five minutes before they close.
The Dons only signed one player on deadline day, some young guy from Vuvuzela.
He plays at full-back, doesn’t speak much English and, going by his picture in the paper, doesn’t mind halfing talented opponents. It’s like Doug Rougvie all over again!