Ron Cluny, Official Council Spokesman
This week your City’s representatives have, in a rare display of consensus politics, decided to remove the bollards and bike lanes from the Donmouth end of the beach, only a few weeks after they put them all in in the first place.
No doubt we’ll see all the usual moaners and agitators complaining about this apparent U-turn, asking why such radical measures were ever thought necessary, and why no consultation was attempted with any of those affected by their implementation.
Well, it’s easy to criticise, isn’t it? And it’s particularly easy to criticise the current administration. But put yourself in their shoes. It’s the middle of a pandemic; you’re locked-down at home – lavvie paper and macaroni are running low and your kids are producing Tik Tok videos on your work’s laptop. Suddenly, the Scottish Government chuck you the guts of two million quid to make the city safe. Step one is easy – Union street pedestrianisation – it’s a no brainer. But what comes next? Where else do Aberdonians come together? And so it’s easy to understand how the hurried Googling of the phrase ’Aberdeen crowds’ produced a photo of the Beach from 1961. And from such tiny acorns, massive public spending can grow.
But, with the benefit of hindsight and sober reflection we’re taking it all away again, There’s no fixed timescale for the removal work, but it may take a while. After all, it is a lot of bollards.
Tanya Souter, Lifestyle Correspondent
I da ken aboot youse, but I’m nae o’er fussed about the fact that this year’s Halloween celebrations hiv been derailed by the ‘rona. I’ve niver been a fan o’ Halloween perties in the first place. It’s nae really for adults, is it? and I’ve ayewis thocht that nithing spiles a nicht oot getting bleezing like a load o’ bam pots in funcy dress. Case in point, last year fan I went intae toon wi’ my pal Big Sonja in her ‘Sexy Angus the Bull’ costume. Efter half an ‘oor she couldnae get the heid aff and I hid tae spend the hale nicht feeding her jagerbombs doon a straw through her earhole.
Fit’s the big deal aboot Halloween onywye? Apart fae getting sweeties and pitting on funcy dress, there’s nithing else tae it, unless ye wint tae plunge yer coupon intae a washing-up basin full o’ aipples, which I’ve ayewis thought wiz gadsy, even afore hygiene became a thing. And I da believe some of the hooses ye see far they’ve added fake cobwebs a’wye. I dinna ging in for a’ that, cos my hoose looks like at a’ready.
And ye winna catch me trying tae hack awa at a pumpkin. Even fan I’m buying tatties I aye mak sure they’re peeled, washed, mashed and formed intae waffles, so fit maks ye think I’d be willing tae stick my hands intae a vegetable ye canna even cook in the toaster? Though I hiv tae say, that is one Halloween tradition far the American version knocks oors intae a cocked witch’s hat. Ye can scoop oot a pumpkin wi’ a spoon, but fan I wis a bairn my da must’ve snapped a hale canteen o’ steak knives hollowing oot neeps.
Ok, so trick or treating diz gie ye a good excuse tae chuck yer wee darlings oot the door an veg oot in front o’ the telly. And I winna lee, it is nice tae ken that yer kids are standing in some ither peer bugger’s living room sweering and screaming for chocolate. But ye dinna get ony peace yersel’, cos ither folk’s bairns keep ringing the bell winting sweets an ‘a. And it is a considerable test of my willpower tae be sat on my sofa surrounded by loads o’ bugs o’ fun size Mars Bars and nae just switch aff a’ the lights, mak on I’m oot and eat them a’ masel.
So, ‘Virtual Halloween’? Magic. Indoors far it’s warm and dry, nae ha’eing tae answer the door every five minutes tae pretend tae laugh at joke ye’ve heard a thousand times fae a kiddie weering a bin bag, and a’ the haribo ye wint. Plus, it turns oot that on-line is an ideal way tae gie somebody a Halloween scare. I set up a Zoom call wi’ big Sonya so’s we could show een anither wir costumes. Weel, fit a fleg I got; her webcam come on afore she’d got dressed!
Watch the latest productions by The Flying Pigs on their YouTube channel.