Apr 182013
 

By Bob Smith.

A wis brocht up tae believe gweed menners wis a necessary social skill.

Onybody faa displayed ony kine o bad menners wis leukit on as a social pariah. Ye war learn’t bi yer mither an faither an teachers aboot sic things so a ayewis thocht fowk faa war lackin in the skills o gweed menners hidna bin brocht up richt. Nooadays a think it still is a bittie doon tae parents bit it’s  maybe a society thingie as weel.

There are still a lot o weel mennered fowk gyaan aboot bit the increase in ill-mennered cyaards is een o society’s curses

Noo yer hardly likely tae mak a gweed impression if yer rude an abrasive,an ye see plenty o iss type o cairry on in TV programmes. Fer instance TV an radio interviewers askin somebody a question an then interruptin afore the bodie bein askit the question feenishes answerin. TV soaps faar scraichin, bawlin an insultin fowk wid appear tae be the norm.

Nae wunner fowk are becumin mair ill-mennered. We hear aboot fit they ca “road rage”. Iss is jist anither name fer bad menners fin ahint the wheel o a motor vehicle.  Stickin the finger up an yellin obscenities jist cos some craitur micht be huddin fowk up is mair an mair noticeable. Cairryin o a blether or haein their mobile switched on at the picters or the theatre is anither example o modern day ill-mennered tykes.

A’ll tak ye back aroon 50/60 ear ago tae a time fan gweed menners wis jist expectit o fowk.

Fin ye wis oot on a date wi a quine ye aye waakit on the street side o the pavement. Iss gings back ti the days fin gentlemen protectit their weemin fae the perils o the road an the gutter. A still git a richt glower fae the wife if a forget tae dee iss.

Ye aye held the doors open fer fowk faa war ahint ye tae waak throwe an ye aye got a thunk ye fer deein so. An ye sure as hell lessened the chunce o anither date if ye didna staun up an hud yer quine’s coat fer her tae pit oan if yer war oot fer a cup o coffee in a cafe or a restaurant (ye only took quines oot fer a meal if ye war “gyaan steady” cos wi wages bein fit they war back then, ye cwidna affoord tae dee iss verra afen).

Fin ye took a quine tae the picters ye aye pyed fer baith seats. A chiel wid hae bin black affrontit if the quine hid offered tae “gyang dutch”, an ye nivver refused a ladies’ choice at the duncin even if the quine wisna tae yer taste. It wid hae bin leukit on as bein the hicht o bad menners.

Iss applied tae baith sexes bit a quine cwid refuse tae dunce wi a chiel if he wis the warse fer weer wi booze.

Mannies an loons ayewis got up tae gie somebody o mair mature ‘ ears or the opposite sex a seat on the bus if it wis staanin room only. Sweirin in front o weemin wis a thing  ye verra rarely heard. Nooadays it’s maistly the weemin faa dee the sweirin.

As a said at the beginnin o aa iss there are still some fowk faa display gweed menners bit they’re gettin a bittie thinner on the grun.  A div like the followin quote “Treat fowk as ye wid like tae be treated. Karma’s only a bitch if you are”  TV an radio interviewers please tak note.

O aye, an espeecially you as weel Mr Trump.

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Jan 112013
 

With thanks to  Kenneth Watt.

Kris Chapman, MSYP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine has raised numerous concerns over a North East Scotland MSP’s policy which, he says, appears to be aimed at penalising younger drivers.

Mr Chapman highlights that, according Grampian Police, research shows that ‘Young Drivers’ are the holders of only around 10% of all UK driving licences.

In the North East, between 2004 and 2009, the average number of those killed was 44 per year, and the number of those seriously injured was 293.  Of that total number, 66% were over the age of 25 and accounted for the majority of the road deaths in the region.

Kris said:

“I encourage Mark McDonald’s work to encourage road safety, but if he really wants to go down the road to better drivers of all age groups, I suggest he makes more of an effort to improve education and less of what seems to be an ill-thought-out attempt to criminalise younger drivers.

“What I have already been highlighting to Scottish Youth Parliament colleagues is the great work that Safe Drive Stay Alive does as a road safety campaign in the North East.

“We need to look at a much more controlled introduction to driving, like we have for motorcyclists who have to go through several stages before being permitted to drive.  The way to improve safety is to educate drivers of all ages, not punish them.

“It appears to me – and many of my colleagues – that Mr McDonald is aiming to just criminalise younger drivers.

“The Youth Council has invited Mr McDonald to attend our meeting this month to answer questions on his policy as we feel it is of great concern to us.  I hope he can come along to clarify his points.

“Before I can start to take his points on board I need to understand how curfews and bans would be enforced, paid for and implemented, especially with the savage cuts police forces are currently suffering from the Scottish Government.”

Oct 182012
 

With thanks to Kenneth Watt. 

A Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament says that Tuesday’s supreme court ruling gives the green light for next generation’s economic success.
Barry Black MSYP, the chair of the Aberdeen City Youth Council, said that future generations of Aberdonians have a better economic future guaranteed with the approval of the AWPR bypass route.

Barry said:

“It has been a long wait but I can speak for the majority of young people who are keen to see the region’s transport improved and make clear that we are glad of the decision made by the courts.

“It is key for the success of future generations that we have a viable and sound road infrastructure network in place.  Renewable energies will make up a significant sector in Aberdeen’s future employment market and good transport links are vital for this to succeed.

“For young people in the region – and their children and grandchildren – the AWPR will be a blessing and provide a 21st century roads system for the North East that is so necessary.”

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Jun 282012
 

The rain stopped for a while last Sunday, but the sky was suitably overcast to set a sombre mood for the ceremony which installed Aberdeen’s first Ghost Bike. Paul Kohn writes.

A group of around twenty cyclists set off from the beCyCle workshop in Old Aberdeen for the ride down to Garthdee roundabout where the memorial to Milena Gott-Konopacka has been installed.
Milena was knocked off her bicycle by a tanker driver in July 2009, and died eighteen months later in hospital after a long and finally unsuccessful struggle to recover.

Milena, a promising  science student at Aberdeen University,  was 20 when the accident occurred.

The ride from Old Aberdeen to Garthdee was not without its lighter moments: the contrast between Benedikt on the ‘high bike’ and another beCyCler on a recumbent turned quite a few heads on Union Street as we passed. There were some lovely cakes, and the usual great sense of camaraderie that develops when cyclists ride together.

On arrival at Bridge of Dee we were met by Milena’s mother and family. She had come over from Poland for the event, and was visibly grieving but happy to be sharing that grief with some of Milena’s Aberdeen friends. There was a brief but moving ceremony as those present placed flowers on the Ghost Bike.

When I returned to the spot about an hour later, I saw that Milena’s mum had also returned to spend some time alone at the memorial.

All credit to Hannah Krueger and her friends at beCyCle for organising a moving and ultimately highly affirmative event . We were all happy to participate, although we hope that no more Ghost Bikes will be necessary in Aberdeen.

Jun 142012
 

By Bob Smith.

I bade doon a fairm road
It wis roonaboot twa mile lang
Twistin its wye throwe the widd
Back an fore ti skweel I’d gyang

Fower fairms war on iss road
An a bonnie wee cottage forbye
Richt at the eyn o iss roadie
Wis far oor fairm hame did lye

There wis rodden trees an spruces
An gean trees nae far fae hame
There wis larik trees an beech eens
An sycamore or wis’t a plane?

Throwe the widd an doon the howe
The road wis gey steenie an bumpy
The grocers’ vans hid ti tak their time
Iss made the drivers a bittie grumpy

In winter time the snaw dang doon
Fillin the road up ower the dykes
Fowk fin they cam  fae roon aboot
Fun they cwidna use their bikes

The roadie noo his chynged a bit
Some trees hiv been cut doon
Bit I still gyang in bye the road
Far I waakit fin Iwisa loon

©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2012
Image Credit: COUNTRY ROAD © Iperl | Dreamstime.com

 

 

Jun 072012
 

By Paul Kohn.

Ghost Bikes are small and sombre memorials for cyclists who have been killed or hit on the street. A bicycle is painted all-white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque.
They serve as a reminder of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise-anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.

The first Ghost Bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003. Currently, there are over 500 Ghost Bikes in over 180 locations throughout the world.

For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow cyclist hits home. We all travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks; it could just as easily be any one of us.

National Bike Week is coming up, from 16th to 24th of June.  In Aberdeen, events are being co-ordinated by Aberdeen Cycle Forum,
http://www.aberdeencycleforum.org.uk/index.php?pf=news.php&nid=131

As part of the week’s activities, beCyCle, the community workshop based in Old Aberdeen, is organising the installation of Aberdeen’s first Ghost Bike, at Garthdee. It is being placed in memory of Milena, a beCyCler who was hit by a lorry three years ago.

BeCyCle comments,

Please  join us when we take the Ghost Bike from Aberdeen University to the roundabout in Garthdee. 

“This event will also see the launch of the beCyCle cycle helmet. There will be drinks and a snack provided.”

This journey starts at 1100 at the beCyCle  workshop on High Street, Old Aberdeen, on Sunday 24 June.
http://becycle.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/aberdeens-first-ghost-bike/

Mar 192012
 

A proposal to build a road through woodland in Ellon has come under fire from a group set up to support the management of the area. The intended purpose of  road is to provide access for the development of 250 new homes. Those opposed to the plan believe the road is unnecessary, destructive, and in contravention of a Blench Charter. Friends of McDonald Park founder member Lynn Gilbert brings Voice readers the story.

The plan is being opposed by Friends of McDonald Park, a group set up by Aberdeenshire Council in 1990 when the Council bought the superiority of the Park from the charity Barnardos.
The aim of the group is to support the management of McDonald Park for the benefit of the community. We have done this by planting bulbs, trees and a hedge as well as regularly clearing litter from the ground and from the Modley Burn.

The Park was given to the Burgh of Ellon in 1928 by Sir James McDonald and is governed by a Blench Charter.

The terms of the Charter state that the Park should be used for recreational purposes only, that nothing should be done which is detrimental to the Park and that its area is not to be reduced in any way.

In 1996, we successfully opposed a plan by Aberdeenshire Council to use part of Caroline’s Well Wood, the east section of McDonald Park, as a bus park for Ellon Academy. On that occasion we raised the terms of the Blench Charter and an alternative solution was found without destroying any of the Park.

In 2010, builders Barratt East Scotland and Scotia Homes were given Council permission to construct 250 houses in Ellon’s Castle Meadows but it was only when marks appeared on trees in the east section of the Park, that it became apparent that the plan was to construct a road through it, from the development site to Golf Road. I made enquiries on behalf of the Friends and was told that the road had been approved by councillors.

In August 2011, the Friends were informed in a Council Estates Department letter that an S75 Legal Agreement for the application had still to be signed, and were asked for their views on the proposed access. The same letter stated that legal advice given to the Council was that:

“vehicular access must facilitate/improve public access to the park and cannot be granted purely to allow development”.

The Friends voiced total opposition to a road through the Park, stating that it would be in contravention of the Blench Charter since it would not improve public access to the Park, but was solely for the development. It would also involve the felling of a large number of mature trees in an area inhabited by red squirrels, bats and spring/early summer migrating birds.

It would seem that councillors were not satisfied with the legal opinion offered and they sought further advice several times from Sir Steven Stuart QC. This was given in a privately-heard report presented at a Formartine Area Committee (FAC) meeting on 6 December last year. It suggested that temporary construction access could possibly be granted, subject to a number of safeguards and agreements being in place.

  The Friends and many others have lodged objections to the planning application

On 17 January, a report to the FAC, again heard in private, proposed a temporary five year construction access which would become a pedestrian and cycle path once the five years had elapsed. This temporary access would be a tarred road with lighting and other services and which would involve the felling of at least 99 mature trees.

It would take a fifteen metre slice of the woodland at the Golf Road end, this increasing to nearer thirty metres at the top, a significant area of the Park.

It seems that when councillors first approved this access, they were not aware that they themselves were in fact Trustees of McDonald Park. It was in this capacity that councillors had to consider the application at their 28 February meeting, and as Trustees they rejected it.

This application is to be considered at a Planning meeting on Tues 20 March.

The Friends and many others have lodged objections to the planning application, and I have asked to speak at the meeting should it be heard there. Quite apart from the effect of this road on the woodland, a precious asset to Ellon, there is another matter to be considered.

Construction traffic using Golf Road would access the Park at the rear of Ellon Academy, an area used by a large number of Academy pupils and mothers with buggies walking into Ellon. There are two other access roads to the development, but some residents along these routes would rather see part of McDonald Park destroyed than have traffic pass their homes.

Interestingly, the site of this proposed access is given as ‘Castle Meadows’ on the planning application, when in fact it is McDonald Park. This makes it easy to overlook the reality of the situation.

Further info: Save McDonald’s Park Caroline’s Well Wood Ellon : Facebook Page
Image credit: Ian Jukes 

Mar 152012
 

Voice’s Old Susannah considers the upcoming council elections, the UTG referendum result, the happenings on Tullos Hill, International Womens Day, blogging beasties and generosity. By Suzanne Kelly 

Tally Ho!  The May elections are coming, and not a second too soon.  Some of our tireless (or is that tiresome?) councillors are packing up and preparing to move on.  Let’s hope they bring all of their talents to their new areas.

I hear that there is now a shortage of packing crates at the Fortress of Doom (aka The  Townhouse) as heroic councillors get ready to head into the sunset.  I hope they don’t let the doors hit them on their way out.

As to the UTG Referendum?  Well, I guess that’s it – it has been a totally above-board, fair-and-square contest.

The grapevine would have it that some of the rich and powerful secret members of the Vote for the City Gardens Project are less than pleased it’s cost so very much money to have such a small margin of victory, but they still got the result they wanted, if not the landslide they’d prayed for (or is that ‘paid for’).

In the next few days I’ll write about the dozen or so wee problems that some people have with the referendum and how it was run.

Did you know that over 300 votes arrived just a wee bit too late to be counted?  Did you know it would be totally illegal for any of the campaigning organisations to see the register as to how the votes went?  No, neither did I until recently.  I also have it on very good authority who some of the VFTCGP backers are.  Old Susannah is toying with the idea of naming them.

They would be free to deny the association – but why should they want to be secret in the first place, after all, they were the heroes behind the scenes helping us poor souls know how to vote.  Who could turn down their promise of 6,500 new permanent jobs or their £122,000,000 flowing into the city each year?  Think of all the parties and portraits that would buy!  Wow!

(You might be interested to know that PriceWaterhouse Coopers were asked by me if they had intended their projections about money and jobs to be used as the VFTCGP did in its propaganda.   PwC might have been expected to say they were delighted, and that they stand behind their projections 100%.  However, they said that as the projections were made for a ‘private client’ they can make no comment on them to me.  Of course the bills I’ve seen for PwC look like you and I paid for this great work out of our taxes, but there you go).

And other great news from Tullos  Hill.  HoMalone is having her way, backed up by impartial ‘expert’ C Piper (perhaps related to the CJ Piper firm which was already paid £42,000 for the bang-up job delivered on tree planting to date?).  Yes, the gorse is gone, and with it all those annoying butterflies, bees, moths, and insects.

The birds that would have eaten these critters and the small and larger mammals which lived in the gorse are homeless.  If only I had an environmental degree, then I could say we’ve interrupted the food chain and interfered with existing biodiversity on Tullos.  As it is, I’m not allowed to make any such observation, however obvious.

Any small mammals or deer rendered homeless should apply at Marischal College reception to declare their homeless status.  Of course these creatures are likely now to wind up as road kill.  Surely not even HoMalone or Ranger Bigboy will dare to claim any roadkill we see now will be due to overpopulation?  Well, we’ll see.

  Women around the world lack rights and comforts we all take for granted

Some of those animal-loving, meadow-loving radicals will be handing flyers out and collecting signatures on petitions this Saturday at 12:30 in front of Marks & Spencer Union Street.  The petitions apparently are to protest the use of school children to plant the 89,000 trees on Tullos.

Ms Malone indicates this will be an educational experience for the little mites, and I’m sure it will.

Having seen the state of the hill, they will learn about cuts, tetanus boosters, chemical pollution, industrial waste, and dead deer.  Thank you, Aileen.  I do hope she will make it to the hill to plant a few trees herself.  That would seem only fair to me.

For the paper petition, further info, and a PDF of the new flyer, visit:  http://oldsusannahsjournal.yolasite.com/

Finally, Old Susannah attended two events in the last week which celebrated International Women’s Day, a great Oxfam fundraiser held by Bead Crazy on St Andrew Street.  A dozen or so guests were treated to cocktails (thanks for the Black Russians), brownies and beads.  Everyone made pieces from recycled materials which was right up my street.

I’ve turned an old domino into a necklace that says ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, and a bottle cap into a brooch with an Oxfam fact.  Women around the world lack rights and comforts we all take for granted.  Thanks to Alex and everyone at Bead Crazy for the event.

Then at the Belmont last Saturday I ran into a collection of women celebrating Women’s day a bit differently.  They were all dressed as fairy godmothers, and were collecting wishes from the public as to what people would like to wish for our young girls’ futures.  My wishes didn’t include any granite webs or deer culls.  Thank you Merlyn and all the other women.

As well as a definition or two, this week I am pleased to announce that Aberdeen Voice has negotiated two new Celebrity Bloggers!  They will be featured in this column for the next several weeks.

And now – the first ever Millie & Cattie joint Blog!

“Hi I’m Millie, the Caterpillar!”

“And I’m Cattie the Millipede!  We’ve had a horrible, tragic few days:  our meadow home was destroyed and many of our friends with it.”

“Yes, sadly that’s true, Cattie.  Bulldozers showed up without warning to our Tullos Hill home, and ruined our wildflower and gorse home.  We had our rescue quite by chance.”

“That’s right Millie.  We were chewing on a Foxglove plant and suddenly it was ripped up and hurled into the air.  Sometime later the plant was found by a kindly passerby, and we were all taken to a safe house where we all now live.”

“We were both reluctant to launch this blog, but Old Susannah showed us the coverage Aberdeen was giving to a talking cactus, Morris the Monkey, and Jake the Ghost.  So we thought, ‘Why not try it?’   We know Spike the Cactus is very popular, and if people are willing to take voting advice from a monkey and a ghost (no offence), then people should know our story, too.”

“Yes Millie – we have a responsibility to let people know our beautiful home is gone, and an entire generation of moths, butterflies, bees have been wiped out.  What will become of some of our larger friends like the birds, small mammals and especially the kindly roe deer is our huge worry now.”

“Agreed Cattie.  We are grateful we were saved – we only hope our friends who haven’t been destroyed yet will be spared.  Got any lettuce?”

Cattie and Millie will give us an update next week and for the foreseeable future.

Charity:  (adjective) state of being generous, donating time or money to those  less fortunate.

While our very own local billionaire works selflessly to ensure his lasting granite memorial will bring his family continued and visible dominance over a certain city, a less savvy multi-millionaire has displayed a woeful lack of commonsense.

When it looked as if there would be some public outcry against his web, he calmly threatened to take his ball and go home.

J K Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter saga read the world over, has donated over £100 million to charity in the past year and a bit.  Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard hardly anything about her donations.  Where were the press cuttings, the headlines, the photos?  What did she get in return to show for it?

Ms Rowling has a lot to learn I fear.  Not only has she given enough away to nearly pay for the granite web we all long for, she’s dropped way down on the UK’s wealthiest list.

We will remember for quite some time how Sir Ian made his gracious £50 million donation to Aberdeen.  As long as we did what he wanted with it, and let unelected entities ‘manage’ our common good land, it was a great gift indeed.  When it looked as if there would be some public outcry against his web, he calmly threatened to take his ball and go home. Charity begins at home, and we’re going to take his charity, whatever form it takes, and like it.

Sure, Rowling may have made children all over the world discover the joy of reading,  and her books got people to read together in families and groups.   Her money may have helped countless people the world over across a wide variety of problems and concerns.  She may have made important points about the value of love, courage, kindness and friendship –  

But where’s the statue?  Alas, if there’s no granite monument and not a ton of press coverage bragging about the money, then the donations might as well never have happened.  Shame.  Perhaps a great PR firm could help…

One of the more radical points I picked up from these ‘children’s books of Ms Rowling’s ran along the lines of this (I deliberately paraphrase)  “One thing the tyrants of this world fear is that one day, one of the people they have oppressed will rise up against them.”  Can’t for the life of me think why that particular idea should spring to mind, but there it is.

New Acronyms!

Hooray!  We’ve more acronyms in this town than we know what to do with.  First it was the ‘Tree for Every Citizen’ scheme or “T’FEC!’ as it is affectionately known in Torry.  The tree scheme’s supporters (all 3 of them) are so pleased with their recent successes that they have more plans up their sleeves, or so I hear.

‘Forget Allowing Citizens Anything for Free’  is a brainchild for the coming budget cuts which are  in the pipeline, reflecting the service cuts and support staff cuts.  It will be called ‘FAC AFF!’ for short.

If this proves successful, phase 2 may be launched.  Its working title is Forget Every Citizen Utterly – or ‘FEC U’ for short.

If you want to see these schemes enacted, then don’t rock the boat at the elections, and we will continue on our happy course.  See you down at the Granite Web or Monorail station soon!

Next week? – At this rate what our Council will dream up is anyone’s guess…

Mar 102012
 

Aberdeen Voice’s Suzanne Kelly learned as we all did this week that the Council plans to push ahead with unsuitable and unpopular plans to turn one of our remaining meadows, Tullos Hill, into some kind of forest.

Just a few little problems:  they want to cull the half-tame deer that have lived in the area for decades, and then there is the small matter that the trees probably won’t make it – again.

With no warning, and while Councillor Cooney was attempting to forward the idea of preserving Tullos Hill as the meadow it is, we learned this week that the cull and tree scheme is on.

Aileen Malone is in the news this week, saying the scheme will work and ‘a lot of hard work’ has gone on the scheme. I’m sure it has. Pity the hard work was against the wishes of the community councils in the area, 3,000 facebook ’cause’ supporters, and nearly 2,500 petition signatories.

It is also a pity that the scheme simply is not going to work. Following my visit to Tullos Hill tonight, I can confirm that the area of gorse just cleared for the trees is far stonier – and far more polluted – than I could have imagined. It is testimony to the resilience of gorse that it managed to grow there at all.

But the gorse is largely gone; the birds that lived in this patch are dislocated; the deer and other mammals have lost a huge amount of shelter.

(Should any deer die on Wellington Road in the next few weeks, I am personally of the opinion that it will be due to the removal of this gorse habitat).

I never saw a finalised funding application, and the draft I received was a work of fiction in places.

The draft seemed to claim that the hill was disused farmland. Part of it indeed was – but the rest was either a tip, or too stony by miles to grow any crops on. I certainly hope the finalised application was accurate.

I have asked for a copy of it, so has Councillor Cooney – who arguably should have had sight of it before it went to the Commission; he is on the Housing Committee, and I know he wanted to see it. How precisely his draft paper in support of the meadow scheme has managed to sink without trace without going before his committee is a matter I hope the relevant Councillors and officers will research with some speed.

Earlier articles are on Aberdeen Voice, and research and backing documents (and an executive summary) can be found at http://suzannekelly.yolasite.com/

If you were not previously aware that a soil report says the soil matrix on the hill is poor and not suitable for trees, or that the Council had to repay £43,800 for the previous failure of trees to grow on Tullos (largely due to weeds), you might want to start reading there.

But the subject of this article is the alarming amount of industrial waste that has been uncovered where the gorse has been cleared – and the extremely poor soil quality. The debris was everywhere: tubes, parts of rusted machinery, giant pieces of wire – it is all there where the gorse was, above and below the soil.

I am now more convinced than ever that the trees are not going to stand a chance. We are throwing good money after bad, and are going to sacrifice deer in the process.

Now our city’s tree expert has been in the news this week, saying the city has a responsibility to cull the deer anyway, because Tullos is small. He seems unaware that the deer move fairly freely in the area between Kincorth and other areas.

Of course, with the over-zealous housebuilding programmes coming soon to Loirston and Cove, we are losing more meadowland forever. This is bad news for all the local animal populations.

Why in the circumstances turning this meadow into a non-workable forest experiment is considered a good idea is a complete mystery to me, to animal welfare experts, to forestry experts I have consulted, and the local residents.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SP8qb4j32Qc 

I do apologise – my voice is awful, but I did my best to think on my feet as the light was fading, and as I was shouting into the wind. (Wind is the very thing that will get rid of any trees that begin to grow. Winds of over 90 miles per hour were a fairly frequent occurrence this winter). In a random wander into the cleared area (which should ideally have warning signs on it), I found the soil to be only a few inches deep, and with the heel of my boot I was unable to go more than say 4″ into the soil before hitting rock.

The debris was everywhere: tubes, parts of rusted machinery, giant pieces of wire, broken glass, fibreglass  – it is all there where the gorse was.

More on this story later. If you want to help: tell the City Council you oppose the scheme and are concerned about the soil’s suitability and health and safety. Parents – tell your school your child will NOT be planting any trees. Voters: vote for people other than the ones that pushed this scheme on us (a list of how councillors voted on environmental issues is coming soon).

Mar 092012
 

With thanks to Mark Beresford.

Canny fashionistas will be in their element on 15 March at Aberdeen Forward with a chance to trade unwanted and unworn garments for something fresh and new.
This free event is open to anyone with clothes to swap and fashion professionals will offer advice on nails, jewellery and makeup to help complete your new outfit.

The Swishing event will run from 6-8pm on Thursday 15 March at 2 Poynernook Road. All guests will receive a free glass of bubbly on arrival.

Aberdeen Forward is an environmental charity and social enterprise supporting local waste minimization and sustainability projects.

Its Volunteer Manager, Gillian Marr, said,

“This is a great fun way to refresh your wardrobe and get some top tips on how to accessorise your new look. We’re running the event as part of our Zero Waste Club and it’s a really great example of how we can encourage people to reduce waste whilst having fun and saving money.”

The event is supported by The Body Shop and Saffron Settings who will have a presence at the event. Zero Waste Scotland, which works with businesses, communities, individuals and local authorities to reduce waste and use resources sustainably, is funding the evening. www.zerowastescotland.org.uk

Anyone interested in coming along can call Aberdeen Forward on 01224 560360 or e-mail admin@abzforward.plus.com and should bring along at least one item of clothing no longer wanted but in good condition.

Swishing events are gaining popularity across the country and are best described as clothes-swapping parties for women. More information about swishing and other events around the country can be found at http://www.swishingparties.com/

Image credit:  © Jordan Tan | Dreamstime.com