Voice’s Old Susannah takes a look over the past week’s events in the ‘Deen and beyond. By Suzanne Kelly.
Alas, the vibes don’t seem so vibrant and the dynamics seem less dynamic this week in Aberdeen city and shire, for Donald Trump is leaving us for Ireland, apparently.
Instead of security guards, bunds and dyed-green turf, we’re going to be fobbed off with renewable energy in the form of offshore wind farms near Blackdog. Much as a crucifix is said to frighten vampires, the mere thought of the wind turbines have sent Trump packing. What would his Scottish granny have said?
The once beautiful concrete fountain lovingly installed at Menie House (or is that MacLeod House now?) is just a forlorn reminder of all those Great Gatsbyesque events held there.
This was the Trump Effect, which brought in so many international tourists (well at least a few dozen people more, who went to stay at the Marcliffe) and billions of pounds and gave meaningful employment to thousands (or at least half a dozen waiting staff in the luxurious clubhouse restaurant and some self-employed caddies).
We can only hope that Damian Bates will be able to keep his bride Sarah Malone, Trump’s Scottish VP, in the style to which she’s accustomed until she lands her next post as real estate project manager/golf course supremo. Rumours that other golf courses up and down the country are trying to poach Malone-Bates for her expertise remain unconfirmed.
I for one assume Trump will fly her in to Ireland to manage the new course. Old Susannah will report on the Irish celebrations in due course.
When Turnip’s Scottish court bid to stop the wind farms failed, only the cruellest snide cynic would have found any poetic justice or karma in the sad decision; how can the same Scottish Government that got rid of two SSSIs for the course possibly go against him now? The thing is that the Donald dared to dream, and dream big. Dreaming even featured in the court case (more on that later). Therefore, without further ado, here are some dream-related definitions.
Dream Big: (Modern American phrase) to be ambitious (if not megalomaniacal, deluded, overblown)
All you need to succeed in this life is a big dream. Of course, it’s more likely to come true if your family has a big, big bank account. Here is a delightful little excerpt as to Trump’s Dream Big philosophy:-
“One of Trump’s motto [sic] – something that he’s lived by all his life – is to think big and dream big. The fact is that if you think small, you’ll only achieve small. But if you think big, dream big, you will achieve big things in life, and Trump’s whole life – including his rise to fame, the success that he’s had, and the things that he’s achieved – provides plenty of proof about that!
“People will probably ridicule you for being too ambitious, or being a dreamer when you think big. But if you’re not going to think big, you’re never going to get there. Dreaming big provides us with motivation to actually get there. Once we dream big, we start looking for ways and finding means to actually achieve our goal and get to our destination.
“For anyone reading this, I highly recommend picking up Donald Trump’s book ‘Think Big: Make It Happen in Business and Life’ (Amazon link here) as it makes for a really fascinating read.
“The book has been co-authored by Bill Zanker – a guy who started The Learning Annex with $5,000 and grew it into a $5 million a year company. That was before he met Donald Trump. Thirty months later, after Zanker learned to Think BIG himself, The Learning Annex is generating over $100 million a year in sales—and still growing.
“Amazon.com asks Trump is there ever was a time when he didn’t think big enough. He replies: ‘I don’t think so. I always had big plans, even when I was very young. I would build skyscrapers with my building blocks’.”
What can one say? First of all though, no sniggering at the name ‘Bill Zanker’ – I wonder if his friends call him ‘Willie’? But you see, it’s very easy – you too can rise to the heights of Manhattan’s real estate elite if you dream big dreams. Simples. I don’t understand the assertion in the above text about anyone ridiculing someone for being too ambitious; it’s hard for me to see what that has to do with humble Mr Trump.
But isn’t it absolutely amazing that the young Donald used to make skyscrapers out of building blocks? Perhaps if the rest of us had such an imagination in childhood, we would have wound up owning skyscrapers as well.
So there you have it. Great men have great big dreams that come true. Some people just have little dreams. The inhabitants of Leyton Cottage on the Trump estate dream of not having security guards spying on them night and day. They also dream of Trump’s giant earth bunds coming down so they can see the sea and coast again.
The residents of Hermit’s Point on the Trump estate dream of no longer looking out their windows on dead and dying trees planted by Trump to block his home, and Michael Forbes in his farm on the Trump estate may dream of being allowed to take his boat to the shore again to go salmon fishing. Who knows? Maybe someday little dreams will come true, too.
Cheese Reverie: (modern Scottish Legal term) – the condition of being so engrossed by food at a dinner, you can’t remember if anything of national importance or anything sensational was said.
The court case must have been very interesting – Donald versus Scotland over wind farms. It certainly seems that most of Scottish policy decisions are made over dinners here and in New York. But even when listening to the First Minister talking about the country’s future energy plans, sometimes your food is just more interesting.
The Scotsman reported on how a blogger was more fixated on his cheddar than on Alex Salmond:-
“… remarks allegedly made by Mr Salmond at the lunch in the sponsor’s tent at the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart in 2012… were recalled in an affidavit by Kiel Christianson, a golf blogger, which claimed: ‘I heard my colleague ask about whether the wind farm off the coast, near the Trump golf course would ever be built. I recall [Mr Salmond] saying ‘Absolutely’ and then the bit about not having ‘my energy policy’ dictated by Mr Trump.
Lord Doherty found… ‘Mr Christianson was focused on the food in front of him, he was, he says, in a ‘cheese reverie.’ He did not make any note of the relevant matters at the time.” – Scotsman 12 February 2014, Mike Wade
Perhaps if faced with the chance to talk to Alex Salmond about golf and energy policy, staring at the Stilton and going into a reverie might be a pretty good strategy at that.
Nightmare: (Eng. noun) An unpleasant and/or frightening dream.
All is lost; Donald will be making Ireland’s dreams come true, and all we’ll be left with is a nightmare. You can practically picture the beautiful, subtle clocks on the Trump course melting like Salvador Dali watches in a surrealist dream. All those millions of pounds we’ve been enjoying will be going to the lucky Emerald Isle.
The Press & Journal reports:-
“The US businessman vowed to turn prestigious Doonbeg course in County Clare into an “unparalleled” attraction after a court setback in his effort to block a north-east offshore wind development” http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/3573209
It’s already an existing course; perhaps it will be within Sarah Malone’s skills base to keep it running without parts of it falling into the sea.
As for Scotland, we’ll soon be inundated with unemployed if Donald does pull up stakes, as well as losing all the benefits you’ve been enjoying due to the ‘Trump Effect’ (c. Stewart Spence). Thankfully one of our councilors is going to beg Donald to stay here, too:-
“Last night Aberdeenshire Council leader Jim Gifford said he hoped both the Menie and Ireland resorts could be developed in ‘parallel'” (IBID)
Let’s hope so indeed. I’m sure our Irish cousins will welcome unmarked security patrols demanding to see identification at all hours of the day and night. I’m certain they’ll love paying £200 or so for a few holes of golf. Perhaps some sand could be imported, and the Great Dunes of Menie could be replicated?
As to jobs creation, I imagine that Scottish labourers will be imported to work on the Irish course, in a fair reversal of what largely seems to have happened here. No doubt the Garda will happily give Clan Trump an escort to and from the airport every time they visit just as Police Scotland gave this international VIP when he came to Aberdeen.
No doubt Irish President Michael Higgins is already promising not to build any wind farms. I guess it’s true – Scotland is closed for business. It will be interesting watching the Trump operation at work in Ireland.
But I wonder – is there a newspaper in County Clare where the editor’s wife is a beauty queen? There just might be one job loss when Trump leaves Scotland after all.
Next week: reaction from a mourning nation as Trump departs Menie. A condolences book will be started, and councilors will be on hand.
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