Aug 172015
 
tashilhunpomonkspic2

Tibetan monks from Tashi Lhunpo return to Aberdeen for the first time since performing at Queen’s Cross Church in November 2011

With thanks to Paul Kohn.

Monday 24th August sees the return after four years of Tibetan Monks to Queen’s Cross Church Sanctuary in Aberdeen.

The dances and music are performed by Tibetan monks from the Gelugpa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, a sacred world filled with the chanting of Buddhist texts, the recitation of mantras, ringing of bells, blowing of trumpets and beating of drums.

Recreating the mysteries of Buddhist monasteries, Tibetan monks from Tashi Lhunpo offer a dramatic presentation of sacred dance, music and prayer with traditional costumes and ceremonial masks.

Founded by the first Dalai Lama in the 15th Century, Tashi Lhunpo is one of the most important monasteries in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Re-established in exile in South India it is becoming one of the major centres of Buddhist learning, best known for its artistic tradition of masked dances and sacred learning.

The show comes straight from the Edinburgh Fringe and is part of a three month tour
of UK and Europe organised by Tashi Lhunpo UK Trust.

The performance will be held at Queen’s Cross Church Sanctuary, at the corner of Albyn and Carden Place, at 7.30 p.m. on Monday 24th August. Tickets on
the door cost £8.00, concessions £5.00. Doors open 7.00pm

Aug 082015
 

Aberdeen are out of the Europa League after a tie that demanded maximum concentration from its players, remarks Voice reporter Andrew Watson.

pittodrie2It was almost a perfect summer’s day, come kick off. Come the final whistle, however, rain was falling and somewhat appropriate to the inner tears of the Dons and the Red Army faithful.

Generally speaking, the initial stages of the game were spent somewhat sizing each other up, despite the previous leg in Kazakhstan.
Sides tend to play a different game at home, it’s often said.

Having said that, amidst this Aberdeen survived a very early scare within the first minute but keeper Danny Ward saved their blushes.

This and another fine stop arguably woke up and composed the Reds.

A mixture of Kenny McLean and Peter Pawlett in the centre of midfield; Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn on the wings; and Shaleum Logan coming forward from the back, bombarded Kairat’s defence.

Bar two chances from the feet of Hayes in the first half, any real incision was somewhat muted by an aggressive defensive display by Kairat.  They accrued five yellow cards throughout the match.

Despite this, Aberdeen more or less continued in the same attacking vein in the second half; whilst defending with discipline; mopping up, shutting down and out any pressure.

This didn’t last too long, though. Ward had to react to a close range effort and Kairat’s Gerard Gohou responded, netting the rebound.

0-1 Kairat (Gerard Gohou) after 59 minutes.

Aberdeen made their first substitution nine minutes from that goal, with Adam Rooney replacing Pawlett.

Hayes came off for Willo Flood come the 81 minute mark. Paul Quinn then came on for David Goodwillie.

Three minutes after these two changes, twenty five after going a goal down, Aberdeen hit back. McLean dived well within the box to head past the keeper, via a McGinn free kick.

1-1!

Quinn, Ashton Taylor and even Ward piled forward for a corner in the dying moments of the game. The former had a fine header denied by the opposing keeper.

If they’d snatched that second goal, a further half an hour of extra time would’ve been secured. It didn’t turn out that way, though, and it’s hard to measure progress when they’ve dropped out of the competition at the same stage as they did last season.

Final score:  1-1.

(2-3 aggregate. Aberdeen are knocked out).

Jul 252015
 

Aberdeen go through to the third qualifying round of the Europa League in what was at times an edgy affair at Pittodrie, recounts Voice’s Andrew Watson.

merkalndpic3It was a bright, fairly warm summer evening, but not the kind of heat the Reds contended with in the first leg of the draw in Croatia. No water breaks this time round, but again, plenty seagulls swooping.
The first half had went by in such a fashion that people would be forgiven for thinking it would end in the same stalemate as that Pittodrie showdown against Shkendija a couple of weeks back.

Rijeka after the interval, however, set about a shock bid to try and make amends that three goal deficit accumulated last Thursday.

Some fine dribbling beat the Dons defence, and a well-placed shot beat keeper Danny Ward 58 minutes into the game.

0-1 (Marin Tomasov).

It was only 63 minutes in when Rijeka found themselves only one goal away from potential success via the away goal rule.

A cruel deflection put the ball in the net once again, and the scorer had not long come on the pitch as a substitute.

Pittodrie was stunned.

0-2 (Zoran Kvrzic).

Only seconds later Niall McGinn rushed up the field, receiving a David Goodwillie pass and shooting at goal. He clawed one back.

Potential crisis everted 64 minutes into the game.

1-2 Aberdeen, and three goals in the space of about five minutes!

Goodwillie again turned provider eight minutes later, with Jonny Hayes picked out in the box to score from close range.

2-2 Aberdeen!

Two substitutions followed that goal.

Peter Pawlett came on the pitch at the 73 minute mark, with McLean coming off. Goodwillie came off two minutes later, with Adam Rooney coming on.

A final change took place after 83 minutes with McGinn coming off for Willo Flood.

The former, prior to this, was also involved in a humorous tussle as he slid for the ball in the Main and Merkland Stand corner. There was absolutely bare minimum contact but the Rijeka man went down as if dealt with by a supreme marksman.

This incurred fierce boos from the crowd, to which he responded with a rude, cupped and shaking hand gesture of self-love to the fans. This resulted in derisive cheers from the Pittodrie faithful.

However, this wasn’t the first time it appeared that someone had whipped out the sniper rifle, and to be honest McGinn’s fellow man coming off the park, Goodwillie, was seemingly another culprit in that.

Most importantly though, McGinn saved the Dandies’ with that earlier goal which killed the game for the Croatians. Hayes goal also made sure of that, making victory that bit more comfortable they go through to face Kazakhstan’s Kairat in the next round.

Final score:  2-2.

(5-2 aggregate. Aberdeen through to next round).

Jul 112015
 

Aberdeen were lucky to reach the second qualifying round of the Europa League but did so without the presence of defensive stalwart, Mark Reynolds, reports Voice’s Andrew Watson.

pittodrieThe only thing that blemished the fine evening conditions were the sizeable flock of seagulls dive bombing the pitch, and even flying through the stands themselves.

Attendance wise, it looked sparse in places. However, the actual amount there was deceptive, numbering well over fourteen thousand.

Graeme Shinnie, arguably his first proper game with the Dons, was given a start at left back.

Shkendija started much like they did in the first leg in Macedonia the previous Thursday. They were a threat going forward, incisive enough to run at and cut through the back four from time to time.

On the other end of the pitch the Aberdeen attackers sometimes struggled to break down the defence, and it was telling that some of their best chances were struck from distance.

The Reds only really found their rhythm towards the end of the first half. Jonny Hayes passed well to find Shinnie, who forced an excellent save from the opposition keeper.

Steven McLean made that first of two of the Reds’ significant long distance efforts not long after.

Come the second half, Aberdeen goalie, Danny Ward, had had an excellent game. However, there was an occasion where instead of the ball being caught in his hands, it fell to and bounced off his feet.

Another time he made his only poor clearance of the game, something that had become part and parcel of watching Jamie Langfield play. Thankfully both times he was rescued by team mates.

After 67 minutes Peter Pawlett came on for McLean. His impact was palpable, making the second of two of significant long distance efforts.

This one seemed to rattle off the underside of the crossbar, and many believed it crossed the line. Many would’ve been curious as to what goal line technology would’ve made of that one.

Hayes came off the pitch 12 minutes later, with David Goodwillie replacing. Barry Robson also came on for Willo Flood.

Shkendija will probably feel displeased with the result. Aberdeen will probably have to do better to progress beyond their second Europa League qualifier. They’ll face Croatia’s Rijeka.

One thing that must be said, though, is that with a player like McLean as an attacking option, there’s much to look forward to. Despite having been rather unremarkable until now, he had an excellent game.

Shinnie’s definitely a good addition to the squad, with defensive attacking play akin to that of Shaleum Logan. A Scottish Cup winner, he’ll have the necessary winning mentality.

Final score:  0-0.

(1-1 aggregate. Aberdeen through on the away goal rule).

Sep 122014
 

scotland2By Keith Marley.

Now, I am not a politician or an economist. I have 2 o’levels, Arithmetic and Engerlish, so I hope you don’t mind if I offer a simplified view of the situation. No doubt some ‘learned’ person out there may be able to illuminate me with a bag full of numbers, but, this is just the way I see it.

There still seems to be some confusion about the currency, so what happens if Westminster says no to a currency union?

To me Westminster does not have a choice. Ask yourself what would happen to the pound without Scotland. At the end of June the national debt of the UK was £1,304.6 billion.

A figure which has continued to climb despite all the austerity measures put in place. In other words we are currently failing to pay off the debt and actually accruing more debt. Refusing Scotland to share the pound would mean the rest of the UK would have to service this debt themselves. This would mean the pound would have 4,000,000 less people helping to service a debt they are failing to meet at the moment.

They would also not have the massive benefit of oil revenue contributing to pay off this debt. Put in simple terms the debt would be unserviceable and the pound would be well and truly screwed. To refuse Scotland the pound would make the austerity measures currently in place seem like a walk in the park.

Of course we could use an independent pound in the same way as Tokyo uses the dollar, but we are told by the ‘No’ people that this would leave us high and dry because we had defaulted on our side of the national debt. Without the Bank of England as lender of last resort other countries would be scared to trade with us or loan us money because we have no track record or credit history.

However, the way I see it is if Westminster does not allow Scotland to continue to pay our side of the ‘debt’ then it is them who are defaulting.

It’s a bit like borrowing from a bank to buy a car, making your payments regularly and then the bank coming and taking away your car and then claiming you were defaulting if you didn’t continue making the payments…..I don’t flaming well think so!

As for the other scary side of this suggestion, ask yourself this question. Two people you know come to your door looking for a loan. One is deep in debt, regularly gets into fights with other people costing him a fortune, (Argentina, Iraq, Afghanistan to name just a few) pays a high price for personal protection (Trident) and is having trouble meeting the repayments he already has, he’s just lost his major asset, (Oil), which will only make it more difficult for him to earn the money he needs to service his current debts.

The other has no debt at all and has an asset which provides a good regular income (Oil), has no wish to get into fights with strangers and doesn’t have any need for personal protection.

Which one would you be happy to offer a loan to?

Speaking personally, I would choose to say stuff Westminster, we will use our own currency, however, Alex Salmond says we should share the pound, a currency union. Mr Darling says it’s not on offer. One thing they both agree on is that all the other options would not be as good for Scotland.

So what would happen if Scotland votes ‘Yes’?

Mr Salmond would press for a currency union, but what is more important is what would all the other Scottish politicians do? If they truly have the interest of Scotland at heart then they would have no alternative but to pursue a currency union as well.

So, if we vote ‘Yes’ we won’t just have Alex Salmond arguing for a currency union, he will also be backed by Alistair Darling, Ruth Davidson, Johann Lamont and Willie Rennie, all their parties, as well as all the rest of the ‘No’ campers too who still have a job in Scotland.

The formation of a united ‘Team Scotland’.

Despite all the political posturing Scotland will have a currency union if it wants one and I suspect we will also get it on our terms too.

This is just my opinion and the way I see it.

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Sep 052014
 

FergieRisesfeatLast week, following the launch in Glasgow and a media launch at Hampden of author Michael Grant’s ‘Fergie Rises: How Britain’s Greatest Manager Was Made In Aberdeen’, the books publishers, Aurum Press, kindly offered Voice two prize copies of the book.

David Innes, who reviewed the release for Aberdeen Voice was charged with the task of setting a question for readers to answer.

David asked:

“Which then player and future Dons manager accompanied Fergie to the harbour to welcome back The Red Navy from the ferryboat St Clair two days after the ECWC final in Gothenburg?”

Aberdeen Voice are delighted with the response, and glad to report that every single entrant to the competition gave the correct answer. It was of course Mark McGhee.

However, there are only two prizes, the two winners drawn are Ian Wright, Cove, and Alistair Duncan, Banchory. Thanks to all who entered and congratulations to the winners. Your details will be forwarded to Aurum press who will post your prize copies directly to you.

Aug 292014
 

FergieRisesBy David Innes.

Following last week’s launch in Glasgow and a media launch at Hampden, Michael Grant, author of Fergie Rises: How Britain’s Greatest Manager Was Made In Aberdeen, launched his book in the city where Sir Alex Ferguson first tasted real managerial success.

Michael was accompanied by heroes of the Fergie era, Neil Simpson and Neale Cooper. A respectable turnout at Aberdeen’s Waterstones saw Michael host a lively Q&A session where anecdotes and reminiscences delighted and informed those attending, some too young to have lived through the era.

The garrulous Cooper, in particular, was at his entertaining best, prompted by Simmie whose recollections were slightly less manic and animated, but no less warm.

What came across was that Sir Alex (‘We still call him ‘Boss’’, said Cooper), for all his snarling, strange logic and mind games, is still revered by those whose careers he founded. The reminiscences were affectionate and respectful and the gratitude heartfelt.

The author was delighted by the attendance and he and the ex-Dons were kept busy signing copies of the book, having commemorative photos taken with fans and buyers and chatting animatedly with those with particular memories of their own.

The publishers, Aurum Press, have kindly offered Voice two prize copies of Fergie Rises.

To enter the competition, just answer this:

Which then player and future Dons manager accompanied Fergie to the harbour to welcome back The Red Navy from the ferryboat St Clair two days after the ECWC final in Gothenburg?

Send your answer to competition@aberdeenvoice.com. Since the publisher has volunteered to mail the prizes directly to the winners, you’ll need to include your postal address with your entry. Good luck.

Aug 292014
 

“Just the way I see it” writes Keith Marley.

scotland2As I understand it the Scottish Government is currently responsible for 7% of taxes raised in Scotland. However it does have the ability to reallocate some, if not all, of the funds it receives from Westminster.
As a result we have a superior education system at all levels, a not perfect but superior health service, free university places for Scottish students, free prescriptions, free travel for the elderly and have even done away with toll bridges, yet despite all these benefits I am not aware of any services or standards which are in any way substandard to the rest of the UK.

Our country has massive oil reserves with enough oil discovered in the North Sea already to ensure prosperity for at least the next 3 generations.

We are at the forefront of renewable energy technology with 25% of Europe’s tidal and wind potential. All this in addition to our successful, established industries in Whisky, Tourism, Manufacturing, Construction, Agriculture and the Creative industries from fashion to computer games which is enough to make us a wealthy country even if we didn’t have oil.

Here’s the bit I don’t understand……If we vote ‘Yes’ we will have complete control over our whole economy, but if we vote ‘No’ we may be given some more powers such as raising taxes.

I don’t know about anybody else but the promise of paying increased tax hasn’t swung my vote yet. As for these other ‘powers’ there seems to be much shuffling of feet and unconfirmed mumbled answers. Of course it will all depend on who is in power if and when Scotland actually becomes independent.

It seems to me that just as many in Westminster will take a ‘No’ vote as a good enough reason to put an end to the Barnett formula resulting in a decrease in money coming back to Scotland as well as fewer M.P.s which means less representation for Scottish interests.

If we vote ‘Yes’ we are told we will lose the pound, but I think, and I suspect the majority of Scots also think, that this will also be detrimental to the rest of the UK and simply political posturing. If not, there are other options many of which are becoming more appealing as time goes on.

We are told that an independent Scotland will no longer enjoy the status of ‘being a world power’ influencing international politics. That suits me just fine, I didn’t agree with getting involved in Iraq or Afghanistan any more than I agreed with the conflict with Argentina over the Falkland isles. If we are no longer a nuclear force then I am confident we will be no longer a nuclear target either.

We have been told by the ‘No’ campaign that we will be out of the E.U. which frankly, seems to be strange threat for 2 reasons.

Why would Europe not welcome a country with a strong economy, which already meets all the standards and criteria for acceptance as well as having Europe’s main oil reserves, wind and wave potential and is Europe’s main provider of fish as well as being an existing trading partner with strong import and export links already established? It seems to me that there will be a rush to ‘fast track’ Scotland as quickly as possible.

The second reason for my doubt about this being a potential threat is the fact that the UK government has already promised (if re-elected) to hold a referendum about staying in the EU which judging by the recent U-KIP wins could well result in Scotland being pulled out of the EU like it or not along with the rest of the UK.

I am not affiliated to any political party and my hope is that come independence and Scotland’s first general election I will be able to vote for a party that truly reflects my own opinions and desires.

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Aug 152014
 

FergieRisesBy David Innes.

I feel sorry for Aberdeen’s intensely loyal and still proud younger generation of fans. In the same way as I would listen in awe to older relatives recount the 1947 Cup triumph and the 1955 title win, these young people can now only gain an insight to the triumphs of 35 years ago through dewy-eyed reminiscences of washed-up, ageing curmudgeons like me.

To them, and to those of us who were there, Fergie Rises may be almost biblical, as it tracks the UK’s most successful-ever manager’s genesis as he turned the Scottish and European game on its head during eight riotously-successful and controversy-packed years.

Wordsworth was probably a Barrow or Workington fan, but he predicted the 1980s for Dons fans,  ‘Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven.

Michael Grant, Chief Football Writer at The Herald, has, for once, put aside his neutrality and written directly from his red heart about the most exciting time of our fitba lives.

Like his BBC colleague, Richard Gordon, Grant, on air, does not hide his allegiance, and whilst others purport to be fans of Partick Thistle or Dumbarton or St Mirren whilst toeing the media party line, the pair take the jibes in their stride and remain coolly professional, honest and unbiased. Fergie Rises has allowed this Highland loon the opportunity to cast aside neutrality and produce a labour of love.

The outline tale is familiar and bears no re-hashing here, but the author, as much out of interest as research, one imagines, has added significantly to the known narrative by interviewing those involved and several opponents of the era. With the benefit of elapsed time, the insights are fresh and new and the through-gritted-teeth admiration expressed by then bitter adversaries add a new dimension.

We weren’t popular, having shattered the incestuous and expected duopoly of you-know-who, but where there was bitterness, there is now an appreciation of Sir Alex’s single-mindedness in making Aberdeen the force that everyone feared, Scotland’s most successful-ever European representatives.

But above all that, it is Grant’s own passion that permeates and defines Fergie Rises and makes it the book that all of us would have loved to have written. Chapter titles like, ‘Be arrogant, get at their bloody throats’, ‘Ipswich fall to the Jock Bastards’ and ‘This season’s target is two trophies…minimum’ give a flavour of the content and the author’s personal buy-in.

Fergie Rises can rightfully take up position on your shelves next to your Leatherdale, Rickaby, Gordon and Webster tomes as an indispensible chronicle of the defining common sporting cause of NE Scotland.

Michael Grant will be signing copies of Fergie Rises at Waterstones, Union Street, Aberdeen on the evening of 27 August. We’re hoping to arrange an interview with him too

FERGIE RISES
Michael Grant
Aurum Press
ISBN 978 1 78131 093 9
319pp

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Sep 132013
 

Well, that’s Offshore Europe over and done with for another two years, and yet again it was a relative success, writes Fin Hall.

Taxis. Credit: Fred Wilkinson

The word relative is important here.

Thousands upon thousands of visitors, mainly males in light blue shirts, descended on the city and its surroundings, spending their company’s money on taxis, buses, restaurants, bars and ridiculously overpriced hotels.

There were keen ones taking photos throughout the city to show to their spouses and some might have bought a souvenir or two, if they were able to find the time between meetings, cocktail parties and free dinners.

After all, they were on business trips, and not (ahem…) an all expenses-paid party trip.

Personally, as a taxi driver, I thoroughly enjoy the experience, apart from the traffic jams of course, and not just for the extra business to my trade, although that does help.

I enjoy meeting people who tend to be here for the first time and are interested in hearing about the history of the city, and are fascinated by the grey granite buildings which look so much better in the really good weather that we had during the this year’s show. Some have even made up their minds to return for a holiday break with their wives.

There seem to be mixed feelings about the actual exhibition itself. Some say they don’t really enjoy attending, but do so because their boss tells them to, whilst others don’t mind at all. Some really enjoy it and get a lot out of it.

The general consensus is that there is very little, if any, business done inside the marquees and buildings, where the focus is mainly on a great deal of networking, exchanges of business cards and putting faces to names. There’s a lot of and catching up with old friends and making new ones.

I have been told that most solid deals and promises are done over dinner or, believe it or not, in the taxi queue.

But everyone agrees that the city makes them feel welcome and whole experience is really well run.

As yet, nobody has explained why the gates were locked

But….ah yes, there is always a ‘but’.

To return to the term ‘relative’ in relation to the Exhibition’s success, there were a couple of black marks against this year’s proceedings.

First was the well-publicised locking up of one of the overspill car parks, not only because cars were still awaiting to exit, but, for some inexplicable reason, concrete blocks were dumped on the ground inside the gate. This occurred after a car went on fire in the area, causing two hour delays, resulting in an extensive line of traffic.

This chaos was heightened by the fact that the Dons had scheduled a match against Viking FK of Stavanger with a 1900 kick off time.

As yet, nobody has explained why the gates were locked when cars were still inside. I know that the sign said that the car park was scheduled to close at 1900, but surely anybody with half a brain would have been aware of the situation? Also, what was the idea of putting the concrete blocks in place? I am aware that normally this empty lot is kept blocked off to restrict entry to it by travellers, but surely with 24 hour security in place, the need for laying blocks was totally unnecessary?

Not to worry though, the police finally managed to get somebody to nip over and relieve the blockade. After much persuasion, he grudgingly did the business. At 2300.

As for the P&J, I believe it was, pointing out that amongst the cars trapped inside there were even ‘Mercedes and Land Rovers‘.

How puerile and sycophantic was that? Should we be impressed or feel even more sorry for those vehicle owners than for the guys involved in the lock-in who had Mondeos or Skodas?

An edition of Aberdeen Voice seemingly cannot be published without the council coming in for criticism. This time, it is to do with their efforts in trying to lay on some free events for the visiting masses.

First of all was the three-day closure of Belmont Street for the country fair, which ran from mid afternoon until nine at night. On passing several times, it looked less than mobbed, although it was hard to differentiate between folk actually at the market and people coming and going from the street’s pubs and cafes.

The second laid-on event turned out to be an even bigger waste of your council tax

Why they insist on blocking off thoroughfares for this and the pseudo-continental market, when they have a ready-made market stance at Castlegate, and the larger Union Terrace Gardens, still mystifies most folk

The second laid-on event turned out to be an even bigger waste of your council tax, and that was the non-advertised free music shows held in the quadrangle of the Marischal College.

These concerts, which some of you may still not be aware of, consisted of an international evening, a Scottish evening and a jazz night.

Another faux pas here by our city fathers. Never mind that they seemed not to let anyone know about this, they decided to start the shows at 1800 and run until 2100.

This is really anything but an ideal starting time. It’s even worse than the free match at Pittodrie, since the exhibition didn’t end until 1800, and the taxi rank generally cleared of the remaining stragglers around 1945.

After a busy day, and before dining, the exhibitors and the visitors probably needed at least a half hour rest. So maybe if someone in the corridors of power, had really thought this through, then 2000 would have probably been a more sensible start time.

I picked up a man on Wednesday night who had been performing at the Scottish event, and he said that there were only around thirty people at the show. He also said that the line-up was ‘crap’, although he did use a stronger term to describe his fellow performers.

On passing the Thursday event in my car, it appeared that the jazz evening had a slightly larger audience than previous nights and there were even some people dancing. But overall I don’t think the term ‘success’ can be used to describe what should have been an entertaining affair.

Finally turning to my own profession, whilst most taxi drivers come out to provide a good service, and, yes, to make some extra cash, others decided that, and I quote, ‘I couldn’t be bothered’. Again, a stronger word was used.

It is unfair that some deride the industry which has helped stabilise the city through some lean years

What? You couldn’t be bothered providing a service? Couldn’t be bothered making some extra cash? Oh I see, it’s the idea that the regular Joe Public is being neglected whilst all attention is aimed at the high rollers. Well, in fact, the taxi companies make a point of servicing both their regulars and the visitors, being aware that once the Exhibition is over, life goes on.

It is unfair that some deride the industry which has helped stabilise the city through some lean years, when other cities have suffered high unemployment. The oil business is far from perfect and some feel that it should have been doing more for the city and the populace, but maybe history is to blame for that.

When the big companies first came here and wanted to build, the then council should have said, ‘OK, but first you must do THIS for the town’.

Is that too naive? I don’t think so. When Stewart Milne wanted to develop at Portlethen, Aberdeenshire Council insisted that his company build a new underpass and road system, which he did.

Contrary to this, many years ago, when a company moved into the big house on Howes Road and turned it into an office block, warehouse and yard, they applied to the council to build a road linking their new premises to Lang Stracht to save juggernauts trundling through the housing estate where children would be playing. Unsurprisingly, the council declined their offer.

I realise that this seems to be ending on a negative note, and that really was not my intention. I really wanted this to be a relatively positive piece. Hey, there’s that word again,

So what lessons should be learned from this week?

First of all, obviously, when organising something, make sure that it is well-advertised and that citizens and visitors are aware of it.

Secondly, organise events to start and finish at reasonable times and have them somewhere people passing by will come across them, like the top deck of St Nicholas Centre, or even Union Terrace Gardens.

And finally, make sure there are security or police at every car park exit until all the vehicles have departed.

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