Dec 232017

This is an attempt at satire. Any resemblance to a person living, dead or somewhere in between; competent or wholly incompetent; greedy or otherwise is purely and yugely coincidental. By Suzanne Kelly.

It was a cold November rain that fell on the glistening, gleaming, sparkly, shiny granite stone of the Granite City.

The rain even dared to fall on the city council’s Town House and Marischal College.

Inside said Town House, a vulnerable Willie Wonky was clearing out his desk. It was late at night and unusually he felt tired and emotional.

And indeed angry – too angry even to throw out a few enlightening tweets to his many admirers – though being agitated had never stopped him before.

“It was only a fence, a wall, pathways…” Willie thought to himself; he was feeling rather hard done by.

“What about everything Dean for instance got away with?”

He had been forced from his office and his post on the City Council unceremoniously.

He felt that the science-based evidence against him was insignificant – after all, there was Pete Leonard, the man responsible for the crematorium scandal, and on a lesser note, he had formally reported that the Tullos Hill deer should be wiped out to create a forest – cost neutral no less – when he already had a letter telling him it wasn’t possible to have a forest on the hill, a former rubbish-tip.

The man was soundly hated by 99.9% of his staff – yet got months of gardening leave with full pay and a golden parachute.

“If only the public knew how much we gave Leonard.” Wonky muttered to himself.

He opened his desk and began taking out the files, deciding which to keep and which to leave behind – or destroy.

‘City Garden Project’ was by far the largest folder in his desk.

“Humpf” Wonky thought

“What a load of old cobblers. F me that was a stupid idea – ramps going up to a steep height only to descend to the other side. So much for the excuse of ‘accessibility’ being the reason to turn the gardens into a parking lot with astroturf. You’d have to be a mountain goat to get up or down those f-ing arches. So much for anyone in a wheelchair.

“Anne Begg easily accessed the gardens as they are . The idea of spending £180 million on this drivel and expecting people to fly in from all over the world to walk up and down a ramp or sit in an outdoor theatre – an outdoor theatre no less – to shop at Next and Boots; old Ian Wood must have thought we were out of our minds.”

Willie pulled this thick file out of the drawer and unceremoniously heaved it on his desk.

Rifling through the file drawer was considerably easier with the bulk of the Union Terrace Gardens out of the way.

“Oh look, the Stewart Milne Stadium plan.” Willie snorted derisively.

This huge white elephant was going to be great for everyone, especially one Stewart Milne.

File after file Wonky pulled out of his desk, from cabinets; dust was flying. Outside the rain intensified and the wind howled.

With each passing file he found – ‘Tree for Every Citizen feasibility study’ (by the man who gained £100k if it went ahead), ‘Art Gallery renovation costings’ (a work of sheer fantasy Wonky thought to himself with a sneer), ‘Donald Trump impact study – benefits for Aberdeen City, by VisitScotland’, ‘Invitation to Trump’s doctorate celebration’; ‘Benefits for Torry of having a breaking yard and incinerator’ – dozens of reports, papers, invitations and so on were piling high on Wonky’s desk now.

The wind moaned louder and the windows rattled, but Willie ploughed on.

‘Gerry Brough – curriculum vitae and list of academic credentials’; Wonky laughed aloud as he found this file; Brough was the bully who shouted down all opposition to the Garden project and stopped the public having a vote on just fixing the gardens up.

“F this wind and rain.” Willie thought as he turned on his computer – well, it was still his for a day or maybe two, as he decided to have some Netflix and chill.

The computer warmed up, and the next thing Willie heard was an old familiar voice

“Ahn tae all me friends – comrades – I should say – This is Alex Salmond, welcoming you to another instalment of McRussian TV. Have I ever told ye about the time I was doon te Balmoral and was singing with Prince –“

“F that!” shouted Wonky at his computer and closed the tab for the Alex Salmond show,

“how the f did that get on my computer?”

He opened an new tab and waited for Amazon videos to load up; he swiped haphazardly at the screen and hit the Christmas movies button.

Willie unlatched the window; as rainy and windy as it was, he had unaccountably become clammy, hot and excitable.

When he crossed the room to return to his desk, he could see there was a big box still on top of the cabinet, a yuge box.

“F that, I’d better see what the F’s in that F-ing thing.” Willie said, his anger growing.

A random Christmas movie whirred into life on his laptop; ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ had started. He could hear it play in the background.

Pushing his swivel chair close to the cabinet, Willie stepped onto its seat, reached for the huge cardboard box high on the shelf and started to pull it towards him. At that moment several things happened all at once.

The wind suddenly gusted, blowing the windows wide opened. This caused the papers in the room and on his desk to spring to sudden life and swirl through the air.

“Waa F!” Willie thought as this sudden commotion caused him to lose his footing and the chair started to wheel away. Alas, he had not lost his grip on the giant box.

The box Willie had grabbed slid off the shelf, knocking him straight between the eyes, causing him to wince and howl in pain as he fell backwards. Then to cap things off, a long-forgotten trophy ‘Aberdeen – best employer in Scotland’ made of faux granite and cheap metal clonked Wonky straight on the head. Down and out he went.

#          #          #

A voice in Wonky’s head was saying: “Congratulations! You’re the final winner of the Aberdeen Art Gallery renovation lottery Golden Ticket contest!”

“What the F?” Willie thought, then he opened his eyes. He was in a vast crowd in front of the Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Crowds cheered. There was a podium on which were about 8 of the most ridiculous-looking people Willy had ever seen. The man who congratulated him was a tall, thin man of about 70.

The man, dressed in a top hat, tails and with a big bow tie kept speaking.

“I better cut down on my order” thought Wonky as he was helped to his feet.

The oddly dressed man was addressing the crowd:

“Friends, thank you for buying the 7 million Aberdeen Art Gallery refurbishment tickets in a single afternoon! We will have the art gallery back opened in no time – say 3 to 5 years! Result!”

The frenzied crowd roared with its approval.

The man fixed his top hat, adjusted his satin waistcoat, and continued:

“The art gallery lottery promised there would be six winners whose golden tickets would get them an amazing prize! More about that in a moment. We’ve raised £7 million pounds! Hooray us!”

The crowd cheered some more.

“We’re going to raise even more money through some – ah efficiencies! We’re going to stop the Youth Festival – that’ll save £100k! No more kids wandering around town in the summer! No need to thank me or your councillors!”

The crowd were delirious with joy.

“Back to the Art Gallery Golden ticket winners” said Ian Wood – for it was he,

“These lucky people are the winners who will get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to come inside Marischal College and see where all the great ideas you love are dreamed up!”

There was more cheering, as you’d expect.

“The final winner is Willie Wonky here, who won the final golden ticket when he bought his Art Gallery lottery ticket. He too has won this vibrant and dynamic look behind the scenes at Marischal.”

“The other winners are Donnie Trump from America, who loves watching television and playing with guns; He is with his lovely assistant and spokesperson Sarah Malone Bates!”

Again with the crowds cheering.

“We also have Professor Bill Ritchie, former Head of Housing Peter Leonard, and… Stewart Milne!”

The crowd was delirious by now with joy.

“And friends” continued Sir Ian, bowing and tipping his top hat,

“Before I take the lucky winners on the tour of the dream factory that is Marischal College, I just want you to know it is pure coincidence that most of the people who have won are friends of mine – but then again – who isn’t?”

The crowds cheered more furiously than ever, as the lucky winners – Donald Trump, Sarah Malone, Willie Wonky (who was still feeling groggy and confused), Professor Bill Ritchie, Peter Leonard and Stewart Milne all stepped away from the crowds and past the statue of Sir Robert The Bruce towards a revolving door which would lead into the magical Marischal College building, where the magic happens.

Willie looked at the statue. For an instant he thought the horse snorted and Sir Robert bowed his head to expose a tear, but the fancy lasted only a moment.

Here we are! All pack in now! And Sir Ian stepped into the revolving door.

The other guests did their best to cosy up to him.

“Easy Stewart, if you get any closer you’ll be behind me.” chuckled Sir Ian.

Willie didn’t see why they all had to crowd into the same section of the revolving door, but no one else complained; they just looked adoringly at Sir Ian.

“ARGH!” shouted Willie – “What the F-’”

“-No need to worry my boy, it’s just one of the Troompa Loompas who run Marischal College.” Smiled Sir Ian Wood.

“But it’s hideous! Why is its hair that colour and doesn’t it own a comb or a mirror! Why is its skin bright orange? Is it human?” said Willie, pointing

“That’s my reflection you’re pointing at pal.” Said Donnie Trump angrily

“I’ll be tweeting about this, mark my words!”

“No, that other hideous thing!” said Wonky, pointing to another orange skinned creature that looked only half human.

“Ah, that’s Valerie Watts, the old Chief Executive. She’s been stuck in this revolving door for years now, one executive appointment after another, going around in circles.” Said Sir Ian.

“Stick with me everyone, you’re on the ride of your lives!” Ian said, as the real Troompa Loompas, orange skinned minions with frizzy white hair started to make the revolving door spin faster and faster.

The revolving door was jam packed, the Troompa Loompa s made it go faster and faster.

Willie Wonky could see shapes as the revolving door spun round – there were flowers, birds, meadows of grass, gorse and birds. The elevator slowed, and out the occupants all spilled onto Tullos Hill.

A deer ambled past. A quick gunshot rang out, and the deer fell dead.

“Isn’t it beautiful?!” asked Sir Ian. Wonky looked at the dead deer, but noticed Ian was pointing at a parking lot by a new building.

“Wood House and its new parking lot!” Sir Ian sighed.

“I’d like to thank you Pete Leonard for helping me. Aside from the unfortunate crematorium debacle – which we won’t talk of .” Wonky said, noticing the obsequious yet bullying Leonard had coughed,

“if not for how you handled the Tullos situation, I might not have got that parking lot made.”

“I have to hand it to you Pete. You knew there was no chance of growing a ‘Tree for every Citizen’ forest on this hill – it’s a rubbish heap, and you were sent a letter proving it. But, on you went – and here’s the genius thing – you told everyone in a report it was – cost neutral! Brilliant!”

Everyone laughed and clapped. The deer made a further spasm. Gunshots echoed all around.

“Pete, I like your spirit. You not only got rid of these deer, the migration of which was also a stumbling block for other projects – more of that soon – but you let the land donated to the city fall into such disrepair that the private owners took it back. If there’s now coincidentally a parking lot I need for my beautiful new building, then I thank you.

“And all that money paid to the consultants – what was that guy’s name – Chris Piper? Then well done you” Sir Ian said pinching and shaking Peter’s cheek.

“I hope if any crumbs fell off that table, you swept them up Pete.”

As the group surveyed the parking lot, the now barren hill save for a few dying saplings in tiny tree guards, a group of the Troompa Loompas marched into the scene.

As the Troompa Loompas gathered the group together to go to the next destination, they broke into song.

Troompa Loompa doopity dee
If you are wise you’ll listen to me
If Ian Wood wants a new parking lot
Wildlife and habitat don’t matter a jot

Let the land he needs fall into disuse
So he can get it – use any excuse
Kill a few deer and ignore the public outcry
Peter Leonard, you’re our kind of guy

You lied to the public
You lied to the public
You can live in luxury too
Like Sir Ian and Helen doopity do.

As they were getting ready to leave the hill, Willie was sure he saw Sir Ian give Pete a bag marked ‘swag’. The deer’s tiny back leg gave its final twitch.

“And now if you’ll all pile onto this magic bus” said Sir Ian as the Troompa Loompas helped the guests get on a Number 3 Stagecoach.

All the while Willy Wonky felt something was wonky.

The next stop is Loirston Loch! Where I’ve got a surprise for my friend Stewart!

“Sir Ian,” asked Sarah Malone-Bates.

“That’s like great an’ all, like, but it will take ages in this traffic?”

She pointed to the gridlocked cars on Wellington Road.

“I have a nail appointment at 5, Botox at 8, then my colonic at….” She droned on

Willie started to ask whether the new Wood building with its full parking lot was a good idea for this already congested road (which was and still is one of Scotland’s most over-polluted Roads) but a Troompa Loompa shot him a dirty look.

“It will take us no time to get to Loirston, isn’t that right Stewart?” said Sir Ian with a wink.

The doughy, sweaty kitchen fitter Stewart Milne nodded emphatically:

“Yes, anything you say Sir Ian, you look wonderful today. Yes, that’s right. In my plan to build a new stadium on top of Loirston Loch, we told the public and the planners that you could get to Loirston Loch by bus from the centre of town when a football match was on in 15 minutes.”

“Fifteen minutes? It takes that longer than that to get to Torry as it is.” Willie thought as the last of the entourage climbed on the magic No. 3 bus which sped off and to Willie’s amazement flew through the air over the gridlocked cars.

Before the group knew it, the Troompa Loompas were helping them off the bus and out onto a construction site near a lake. Not a bird could be seen or heard amid the rising girders and hum of machinery.

“Well Stewart my dear friend” started Sir Ian

“We might not have got you that football stadium at Loirston you wanted – yet – but look at all these houses and businesses going up! More office space! Just what we need!”

Willie looked around, and noticed he was standing on a faded, splintered wooden sign that said: ‘The City of Aberdeen recognises the importance of Loirston Lake both to wildlife…. A first view of our city… agree it should never be built on…’

“But Sir Ian, er, don’t we already have a glut of office space? asked Willie Wonky, whose head was hurting and spinning now.

We can’t even fill the new Marischal Square, even though it does have a giant leopard statue in it?”

The looks of the rest of the assembly were of scorn and derision, but Sir Ian said:

“My boy, Willie – when I say ‘we’ need office space – I mean WE. The construction industry, Scottish Enterprise – we have to keep building stuff so we have work to do and can brag about new buildings.

“Then there’s all the – ah – associated benefits – consulting work, subcontracting… We definitely need this building. Who’s going to let a few threatened species of birds stand in our way?”

Everyone laughed and Willie smiled weakly.

Stewart Milne toddled forward, and hugged Sir Ian – although this amounted to hugging him by the waist given the height differential.

“I’ve got a wee something for you in your Swiss account Stewart, see you at the next ACSEF meeting after this tour’s over.” Said Sir Ian winking again

“You mean the next First meeting don’t you, Sir Ian; we changed the name and the logo – remember?” asked Stewart Milne?

“Whatever.” Said Sir Ian.

And the Troompa Loompas again broke out into song, which was beginning to wear thin thought Willie.

Troompa Loompa doopity doo
I have another conundrum for you
What good’s a loch and a birdie or two
When there’s money to be made for you-know-who?

If a bird can’t earn enough to feather its nest
Making it clear off is definitely best
More office space is what we all really need
A ‘Smart successful Scotland’ well, and maybe some greed

You can live in luxury too
Like Sir Ian and Helen doopity do.

The group were ushered awa from the lock, and Sarah humpfed as her 6” Jimmy Blahnik dolphin-hide heels sank into the grass.

A helicopter was waiting for them marked Scottish Enterprise

“All aboard, and I’ll show you places where Aberdeen city and Shire have made several dreams come true!” said a jubilant Sir Ian Wood

“Who’s the pilot?” asked Sarah, who looked a little green with envy at the tall blond woman.

“Everyone, this is Jennifer Claw.” Said Sir Ian with a wink to the pilot.

“She’s got a degree in nutrition and the cutest little dimples when she – ah – smiles. So, as she had a degree in nutrition or something, so I made her the head of Scottish Enterprise Grampian and put her on the board of my Wood Family Trust – is it holding £25 million now? I forget.”

“Jennifer’s also on the Robert Gordon University board – no need to thank me just now Jennie darling – and– look you can see it down there as we fly over!” said Sir Ian, distracting everyone away from Jennifer who had blown him a kiss by pointing out the sprawling campus

“And that’s the Sir Ian Wood building” he said as all the assembled marvelled and clapped.

Except for Willie. Willie was beginning to sense a link to all these Aberdeen City Council projects, and he wasn’t sure he liked it.

“So, where’s Lady Helen today Sir Ian?” Willie asked. You could have heard a pin drop.

“Ah, she’s off playing tennis; her ball control’s improved, and her strokes are decidedly better.” Sir Ian said as he mopped his brow with a hugely oversized hanky.

“We’re not going to stop in, but look over to your right as we fly up the Aberdeen Coast – that’s Torry and Nigg, near where we were at Tullos – isn’t it beautiful?”

Sir Ian gesticulated towards the coast south of the city centre which the copter was now flying over.

All Willy saw was a plume of smoke, lots of lorries, barbed wire and a huge construction project on the bay of Nigg.

“The people there are so lucky Aberdeen City and its Harbour Board helped come up with these huge improvements” said Sir Ian – “well, with a little help from Scottish Enterprise and ACSEF.”

Again all those aboard laughed and clapped.

“Hey, isn’t this the same helicopter youse guys paid me to fly in to the Menie Estate in when I came over looking for a place for a golf course?” asked Donnie Trump.

“The very same.” Sir Ian replied.

“The wonderful, important golf course at Menie, the wonderful, important cruise line for Torry – does everyone know who we have to thank for these developments?”

Professor Bill Ritchie gave his head a jaunty tilt and a little shake of false modesty.

“Oh, I’m just happy to help my friends Donnie and of course you Sir Ian.” The professor started,

“I was once on the board of the East Grampian Coastal partnership. I used to think we needed a public marina, wildlife habitat, and a place to educate young people for maritime careers. But (he said looking at Sir Ian) I changed my way of thinking.

“I was proud to be helpful to you too Donnie when you wanted your golf course. I said it was easy to build 900 homes, a hotel, 2 golf courses and a country club – as well as living quarters for the lackeys – without harming the environment or the protected sites. I’m so happy to have been proven right.”

Professor Ritchie’s chest puffed out, he was filled with self-satisfied pride and almost everyone on the chopper applauded him.

“F me not another F-ing song” thought Willie as those Troompy looking hobbits geared up for another verse.

Troompa Loompa doopity da
If you’ve no scruples you’re sure to go fa
What does an expert get whose opinions for hire?
Consultancy cash from SE, ACSEF and Aspire

Using his titles to feather his nest
Swearing to everyone that he knows best
Just don’t talk to reporters
Don’t talk to reporters

You can live in luxury too
Like Sir Ian and Helen doopity do.

Willie Wonky was starting to get fed up with his golden ticket tour of all the magical things Aberdeen City was making happen. And that bloody singing.

Willie asked:

“Professor, weren’t you supposed to lead an environmental monitoring group with Sarah to protect wildlife, and isn’t it true that since the monitoring fell apart you won’t answer any questions from the press about your role?”

He immediately sensed he had overstepped the mark with this question; for a moment a shadow passed Sir Ian’s face and Sarah wrinkled her expensive nose. The professor scurried away and didn’t say a word for the rest of the trip. Donnie was turning blue in the face.

Sarah spoke.

“Oh, we did that, but it was too cold for me to go outside in my Prada, and besides, it’s the world’s greatest golf course on the world’s largest sand dunes.”

At her words Donnie Trump calmed down a bit, his face returning to its orange hue.

“Sarah’s right” started Sir Ian;

“She’s smart as a whip. Why everything’s fine and just how we want it. Sarah’s so smart I had one of my little groups invite her to give a talk, isn’t that right honey?” he asked her.

“Sure, it was fun too,” Sarah Malone-Bates said, “I got to give a talk called “’The Bigger the Vision, the Bigger the Opposition,” and the event – held at the Sir Ian Wood building of course at RGU where Woody – I mean Sir Ian – runs things. I must thank whoever wrote that speech for me sometime.”

Sarah continued to list her accomplishments, how she was whisked out of the Gordon Highlanders Museum to be Trump’s first ever Scottish Executive Vice President, how good she was at moisturising and accessorising, and how much her husband, coincidentally who used to edit the local newspaper, loved her [surely some mistake? – editor].

Willie audibly groaned as the Troompa Loompas circled Sarah Malone, whose shoulder pads were a marvel to behold, as he knew another song was coming; he felt he was going to be sick.

Troompa Loompa doopity de
I have another puzzle for ye
What’s more important than designer clothes,
Having the right hair and a beautiful nose?

Attracting the right man, obviously
Especially if that man has lots of money
She’s the Face of Aberdeen
She’s the Face of Aberdeen

What do you get when you tell lots of lies
If you are Sarah then you get a pay rise
Trading your looks in for cash is her solution
So what if other people think it’s prostitution?

(Sarah’s a Vice President)

You can live in luxury too
Like Sir Ian and Helen doopity do.

Willie Wonky’s brain was putting together all the puzzle pieces from the day, and was starting not to like the picture they were forming.

But on the copter flew, and just before they started to land on a helipad with a giant letter T, Donnie Trump exclaimed:

“There they are, the world’s largest sand dunes! I even made a plaque, didn’t we Sarah Malone honey, to say so! Biggest! Bestest! Yugest!”

A tumbleweed blew past as the rotor blades slowed, and out the lucky Aberdeen Art Gallery golden ticket winners scrambled into the freezing air.

“Anyone for 18 holes?” bellowed Donnie in the freezing winds as the rest of the group ran for the shelter of the clubhouse.

Once inside this building on an empty parking lot, Sarah snapped her fingers, and waiters and waitresses appeared with bottles of whisky and glasses.

“Trump whisky – £50 a glass or £500 for a bottle. £250 a bottle if signed by Donnie.” She hawked.

“Later Sarah Dear” said Sir Ian, adjusting his top hat and billowy bow tie.

“No one’s here, aren’t there supposed to be golfers – what’s going on?” asked Willie; everyone smiled at him.

The room started to spin as he sipped one of those whiskies.

“We don’t want anyone here.” said Sir Ian quietly, the others faces started to look mean and contorted.

Willie Wonky stumbled and fell into a chair – a chair with a big Donald Trump crest on it. The other winners, the Troompa Loompas leaned in closer.

Willie felt quite ill now, as these ghastly, grotesque faces sneered at him and laughed. Sir Ian spoke.

“We don’t want anyone here; never did. Another few years of tax write offs in the USA for Trump – if he doesn’t get impeached or jailed yet – no offence Donnie, but you’re not quite as subtle as you should be sometimes – and then it’ll be sold off. Donnie – we’ll talk about that international charity US tax break later.

“It will go to housing – we’ll all see to that. And what housing developer is favoured in this neck of the woods? That would be my good friend Stewart Milne.

“And what organisation would get involved with such a huge or if you will ‘yuge’ undertaking? Why Scottish Enterprise of course. I may have retired, but after decades as head of the thing, don’t you think I still have my claws still in it one way or the other?

“Think of the construction jobs, the consultancies, the money to be made. And Willie, the granite web is making a comeback; do you think I give up that easily? And when the idea was being promoted so hard, ask yourself two questions – who stood to benefit is one.

“Stewart owned the adjacent Triple Kirks, and he needed parking; we could have got that for him, but it’s not all over yet. The other thing to ask yourself – what did the public miss while we were distracting them with a design consultation vote when we already knew what design we wanted – the ludicrous web design.  And they fell for it.

“We have Donald Trump in charge of the USA; over here he will be allowed to do as he pleases.

And while tens – hundreds of millions are moving through Scottish Enterprise, land deals – like when the city sold that land to you Stewart for a peppercorn, and while public land is snapped up – we’ll get people to focus on other things.

“Either we’ll threaten to take away what little arts provision they and their children get, or the more mean-spirited ones will be convinced that people from abroad are taking their land, money and jobs – not you Donnie though” Ian winked, any previous trace of gentility gone from his features.

“While we’re at it, there’s one more item on the agenda for your tour Willie Wonky – we’re going to look at the City of Culture Bid.

“All aboard the helicopter for gigs on oil rigs! How much public money and time did that nonsense soak up? Well, here’s Rita Stephen to tell you all about it!

“Remember Willie – whether it’s a football stadium, a parking lot, a breaking yard, Trump’s golf course – and his honorary degree from the University I own that has a building with my name on it – you now know who’s behind everything in this town. Nothing, I mean nothing goes on in this town without my say so.

“I said as much to people before, and I’m telling you now.”

Oor Willie whined as, while his eyes fluttered open and closed, the Troompa Loompas broke into one last verse of their song:

Troompa Loompa doopity do
I have final question for you
Who in Aberdeen is behind everything
That is environmentally damaging?

ACSEF, First, RGU and SE.
As the saying goes, ‘follow the money’
Sir Ian is behind it
Sir Ian is behind it

You can live in luxury to
Just do what Sir Ian Wood –




#          #          #

Willie’s eyes had glazed over; the other golden ticket winners’ laughs had turned to a huge roar of noise, and he fluttered his eyes.

As if he hadn’t been through enough, standing over him was… Rita Stephen

“NOOO!” shouted Willie,

“Anything but the City of Culture bid! – Anything!”

“Willie, are ye alright mon?” She said.

“I was just going to re-write the symphony for orchestra, ship’s horns and horses that was part of me great City of Culture bid tonight, when I saw yer door open.

“I’d seen you passed oot and thought it was the usual, but I noted the gash on yer heid.”

His eyes focused and leaning over him was Rita Stephen, the woman behind among other things the City of Culture bid that made Aberdeen the laughing stock of the western hemisphere – again.

“AIEEEEE” Willie screamed, and sprinted out of the office, leaving all of his paperwork behind.

He didn’t stop running until he was safely locked in his house and under his covers.

The sun was shining. Willie woke up as the phone rang.

He remembered with a sudden start his horrible nightmare. He shook his head violently from side to side and answered the phone.

“Hi Willie, well, you’ve been gone long enough; what’s it been, a few days now? Fancy being deputy Lord Provost?”

Willie thought of all the corruption he knew about; he thought of all the pieces that had fallen so neatly into place in his fevered dream. He took a deep breath.

“Sounds great Barney; I’ll be over in a few hours. I’ll want a bigger office with a view mind.”

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Aug 112017

A report on waste infrastructure by consultants Eunomia released this week, highlight a “major risk of financial failure” of Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils’ multi million pound incinerator project. This is according to leading Aberdeenshire Councillor, Paul Johnston.

Aberdeenshire Councillor, Paul Johnston.

“The report indicates that under likely scenarios the plant will be at risk of being surplus to requirements with increasing recycling rates even before it is fully working.” Said the leader of the council’s Democratic Independent and Green Group.

“Eunomia as respected researchers indicate that too much capacity could either reduce recycling rates or make surplus capacity incinerators go bust.

“The councils , if they decide to legally commit to such a major project, face a major risk of financial failure”

“This should be a signal for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Council to stop, take a deep breath and to go back and take a long hard look at the alternatives before they waste as much as £180 million on a white elephant. “

“Each new report such as this from Eunomia or the chartered institute of Waste Management and even from advice out of the European Union waste directorate is adding more and more evidence that the city and Shire have they got it wrong in opting for incineration. It is financially too risky as well as being environmentally unsound.”

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Nov 102016

grant-keenan2With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

A leading Aberdeenshire organic recycling company is warning local food businesses to comply with Scottish waste legislation or face receiving new on-the-spot fines.
Keenan Recycling, which is headquartered in New Deer, is urging business owners to comply with their duty of care for waste to avoid the £300 fines that have been imposed on non-compliant firms since June this year.

Since 1st January 2016, it has been a legal requirement for all businesses that produce more than 5kg of food waste per week to have food preparation waste, spoiled items and plate waste collected separately for recycling by a registered waste carrier.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has started its fixed monetary penalty (FMP) campaign to identify businesses that are persistently non-compliant with the duty to separate food waste and other key materials for recycling.

Keenan Recycling, which turns food and garden waste into compost for farming and horticultural use, was the first company in Scotland to provide businesses with the opportunity to recycle items such as leftover food and coffee grounds.

The firm is now working alongside organisations such as SEPA, whose FMP campaign targets offices, retailers, restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes and takeaways that are failing to acknowledge and adhere to the regulations.

SEPA is tackling the issue by working in partnership with local authorities to identify persistent non-compliance within organisations across Scotland. Those found to be making no effort to make improvements to their waste management system will face a £300 fixed monetary penalty.

Keenan Recycling provides comprehensive guidance and advice to its customers, ensuring that they are all fully up to date with waste regulation.

Eleanor Strain, senior policy officer for SEPA’s national waste unit, said:

“Since starting the campaign, most offenders are making a conscious effort to train their staff to recycle and secure an improved service from their waste management contractor. The penalty system we’ve introduced is a much more proportionate enforcement tool, and gets the attention of small business owners who may not be aware of the legislation.

“Whilst I appreciate that SMEs have lots of other pressures, it’s important that they are aware of laws which can have a direct impact on their business. It’s simple to remain within the law, make sure that  recycling systems are established and all bins are labelled to avoid mixing food waste, recyclables and non-recyclables.”

Grant Keenan (pictured), managing director of Keenan Recycling, said:

“Companies need to ensure that they have suitable plans in place to keep them in line with the duty to recycle. Disposing of food waste will keep them within the law and also helps the environment.

“Businesses that are struggling to abide by waste legislation need to remember that they may lose their consumer confidence, as customers want to know that businesses are acting responsibly and are helping to look after the environment.”

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Sep 162016

cfine1With thanks to Cath Deans.

Do you want to get involved in a creative activity but don’t know where to start?

CFINE are delivering various educational courses to teach practical skills so if you want to learn something new or indeed brush up on your existing skills in sewing, knitting, crochet, upholstery or cooking, please get in touch.

Our newly completed training kitchen is also available for hire to run your own course – special prices for charities.

Or, if you want to join a social group on a Wednesday, we have two hobby groups – am and pm – bring along your craft activity and join others over a cuppa and a blether.

What we do:

  • Community Food Outlets: fruit & veg at affordable prices
  • FareShare – fighting hunger, tackling food waste
  • Food Bank
  • Community Training Kitchen
  • Benefits and Budgeting Advice
  • Employability, Energy Efficiency & Housing Referrals
  • Environment: Zero Waste Scotland Project
  • Volunteering opportunities

We offer:

  • Fruit & Veg: Excellent Quality at Great prices
  • Cook at the ‘Nook – Cooking/ Nutrition courses
  • Knitting, Sewing, Crochet & Upholstery Courses
  • Hobby Groups
  • Mailboxes
  • Room Rental

All this and so much more at our premises at 2-4 Poynernook Road, AB11 5RW

If you want more information, please check out CFINE’s Facebook page or contact us on 01224 596156 /

We look forward to hearing from you!

CFINE is a charity and Social Enterprise supported by Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Climate Challenge Fund, Zero Waste Scotland, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, FareShare UK, Scottish Government and corporate support through Technip, Wood Group PSN and individual donations.

CFINE was a finalist in the 2015: Guardian Charity of the Year, Northern Star ‘Outstanding Contribution to Society and PWC Social Enterprise of the Year Awards.

CFINE is a private limited co. registered in Scotland no. 262156 Registered Charity no. SC037833. All profits are reinvested into our charity tackling food poverty, building resilience in communities and supporting vulnerable individuals and families throughout the north east of Scotland.

Oct 222015

With thanks to Angela Theobald.

AberdeenforwardThmEnvironmental charity Aberdeen Forward are hosting a range of workshops and courses up until the end of 2015.

Aberdeen Forward works closely with local communities, businesses and individuals to educate and promote projects that help to protect our environment, reduce waste and encourage sustainability.

Course Details

Hobby Club: Every Wednesday, 10am-12pm/1.30pm-3pm, these are drop in craft sessions. Donation of £2 per person.

Upholstery afternoon class: 2pm-5pm, £200, every Monday in this block

  • 2nd November to 7th December

Upholstery weekend class: 31st October to 1st November, 10am-4pm, £200

  • If you book with a friend, we will give you a £10 discount each.
  • Also if you are already booked onto another course with CFine, you will get a £10 discount.
  • There will be breakfast and a homemade lunch included.

Back to Basics Sewing courses 2015: 6pm-8pm, £92, every Thursday in each block

  • 19th November to 17th December – a two week break for xmas and new year – then the last date on 14th January

Advanced Sewing courses 2015: 6pm-8pm, £92, every Monday in each block

  • 16th November to 14th December – a two week break for xmas and new year – then the last date on the 11th of January

Crochet: 6:30pm-8:30pm, £60, Every Wednesday in each block

  • November 4th, 11th, 18th


To book or find out more please contact or 01224531376.


Unless otherwise stated, the venue is:
Aberdeen Forward, 2 Poynernook Road, Aberdeen, AB11 5RW

Jan 082015

AberdeenforwardThmWith thanks to Angela Theobold.

Environmental charity Aberdeen Forward are hosting a range of workshops and courses up until the end of 2015.
Aberdeen Forward works closely with local communities, businesses and individuals to educate and promote projects that help to protect our environment, reduce waste & encourage sustainability.

Available courses are as follows.

Hobby Club: Every Wednesday, 10am-12pm/1.30pm-3pm, these are drop in craft sessions.

Plant ideas workshop: We are pleased to offer this plant ideas ( workshop which teaches how to make the most of plants in various useful ways. The cost is £35 per class. Here is the format of the classes:

Personal Hygiene: 24 Jan 11-13:00 at Aberdeen Forward building Make your own deodorant, toothpaste, hand sanitizer and shampoo. Learn about the cold process that produces Plant Ideas soap, used as a base for the shampoo. Discover the actions of the ingredients in your products that keep you clean and smelling fresh.

Household: 21 Feb 11-13:00 at Aberdeen Forward building Natural alternatives are often pretty pricey so why not make your own? Learn with us about natural household scents – make your own incense, evergreen and citrus infusions and orange oil lamps. Make your own natural polish and laundry liquid and learn about citrus cleaners, citrus dustcloths, anti-bacterial sprays and washing up liquid. Find out what houseplants can purify the air in your home.

Herb Walk: 21 Mar 11-13:00 Location to be announced Join us as we identify plants and their uses. Learn some wild food recipes and simple plant remedies and many other great plant ideas. Expect some surprises and the chance to sample some finished products made from wild plants

Wild Food: 25 Apr 11-13:00 Location to be announced
Skincare: 16 May 2015, 11-13:00 at Aberdeen Forward building Learn how to make a moisturiser, lipbalm, bath melts and massage bar all with organic base ingredients and essential oils

Intensive Upholstery Weekend: 31 January to 1 February 2015, 9:30am-4pm both days, £190

Evening Upholstery (Tuesdays): 20 January to 17 March (one week break on the 17 February), 6pm-8pm, £190

Back to Basics Sewing courses 2015: 6pm-8pm, £92, every Thursday in each block

15 January to 19 February
5 March to 9 April
23 April to 28 May
11 June to 16 July
30 July to 3 September
17 September to 22 October
5 November to 10 December

Intermediate/Advanced Sewing courses 2015: 6pm-8pm, £92, every Tuesday in each block

12 January to 16 February
2 March to 6 April
20 April to 25 May
8 June to 13 July
27 July to 31 August
14 September to 19 October
2 November to 7 December

Curtain Making: 12pm-4pm, £92, every Saturday in each block

7, 14 and 21 February 2015
2, 9 and 16 May 2015
1, 8 and 15 August 2015
7, 14 and 21 November 2015

Candle Making: Wednesday 18th February (6pm-8pm)

Crochet Beginners Course: Wednesday 4th, 11th and 18th March 2015 (6pm8pm)

Booking: To book or find out more please contact or 01224560360.
Venue Unless otherwise stated, the venue is: Aberdeen Forward, 2 Poynernook Road, Aberdeen, AB11 5RW

Dec 022014

Environmental charity, Aberdeen Forward, is once again welcoming the Aberdeen community to their premises on 2 Poynernook Road for a Christmas Fayre.

Aberdeen forwardthm174All stands will have excellent quality Christmas gifts for sale from local producers, such as wooden candle holders, clocks and wooden fairy houses.
There will be Fruit and vegetables on sale from the Community Food Initiative North East, Inspire will be selling handmade soaps and there will be some of our tutors on hand to tell you about the exciting courses and workshops available.

The Christmas Fayre takes place on Saturday 13th December between 10am and 1pm where Aberdeen Forward will showcase the varied work they’ve been doing throughout the community in 2014.

Attendees will have the chance to purchase unique hand-made Christmas gifts all from local Aberdeen producers and crafters. The in-house Roots and Shoots team are also very excited to be hosting a stand with a variety of beautiful items made out of wooden logs and reclaimed wood. Delicious Christmas-themed snacks will also be on sale!

Visitors will enjoy complimentary spiced apple juice and Short bread on arrival. Christmas activities for the children such as Snow globe making (So please bring along an old jar to use for it!) and ginger-bread man decorating will take place throughout the morning, as well as face painting. There will also be a raffle (tickets £1 available now) with plenty of fantastic prizes from local businesses to be won!

As if all of this was not enough, Aberdeen Forward will host talks about one of their projects Zero Waste Scotland on the day, giving visitors tips on what they can do with the waste likely to be generated from the festive period.

Entry to the Aberdeen Forward Christmas Fayre is £1.00 for adults and 50p for children. The open day is located at 2 Poynernook Road, AB11 5RW. No need to book and please bring as many friends and family members as you like! Just pop along and enjoy this great community day out. Also remember your used glass jar complete with lid to create a snow globe!

For more details phone 01224 560360, email or visit

More info: Aberdeen Forward is an environmental charity, established in 1999 to distribute landfill community funds.  It now also funds and supports a number of waste minimisation, sustainability and social projects across the North East. All the funds made from this event will go into a range of local projects which work around Aberdeen city and shire to help various groups from young parents and to ex-offenders and those with disabilities.

Scottish Charity No: 034866.

Nov 072014

Donald Trump bought the Menie Estate in 2006; by 2008 unprecedented planning permission was granted to create ‘the world’s greatest golf course’.

Environmental protection was swept aside for the optimistic promises made: a one billion pound investment, jobs for local people in the thousands, a massive increase in tourism and, er to ‘put Aberdeenshire on the map’. Menie Estate residents and those who stood up for them or the environment were vilified in the press. Farmer Michael Forbes was said by Trump to live in a ‘pigsty’. Residents had their lives transformed, but not for the better.

Some would argue that putting profit before the environment and the rights of the affected families was justified. No one could argue that these promised benefits never materialised. Part 1 of Trouble with Trump focused on how rubbish and waste are dealt with by the 5 star resort, showing that if anyone is treating the land as a pigsty, it is not Michael Forbes.

What is life like at the estate for residents now? What are some of the issues and problems? Why is nothing being done by the Aberdeenshire planners, outdoor access officers, and the residents’ MSP, Alex Salmond? Suzanne Kelly reports.

Bunds: Not per planning permission – so why no enforcement?

Munro bunds gate

The gate erected by TIGLS which conspires with the bunds to restrict access between the Munros’ property and the Menie golf Links car park.

Menie Estate residents at Leyton Farm Cottage and Hermit Point once had views across open land filled with wildlife; they saw the coast and the sea.

However, Trump had giant mounds of earth bulldozed into position between Leyton Farm Cottage and his resort.
He also planted scores of conifers between Hermit Cottage and his land.

The mound was not given planning permission in advance.The bund at the Munro property is over 2 metres high.

Dirt and sand from it has blown into the Munro’s Leyton cottage property, damaged their garden and got into their automobile engines.

The bunds serve no other purpose but to screen the cottage from the resort visitors’ delicate vision. Trump’s objection to offshore wind farms is also to avoid stressing golfers from having to see anything they might not like. The cottage used to enjoy the sunlight; the bunds has changed this. The mounds seem even higher than their 2 metres, as they are covered with trees which are routinely replaced when the plants which cannot thrive die.

There was apparently an order issued to the resort to reduce the height of the mounds; this has not been done. Trump had at one point commissioned an environmental report which made the outlandish claim the bunds were good for the cottage occupants. The report’s authors had made no contact with the residents when coming to this conclusion; in fact it was already very public knowledge that residents wanted the bunds removed.

No one at Aberdeenshire Council’s planning office seems to be doing anything to remedy this situation.

Right of Access – A worsening problem; an impotent enforcement system

In Scotland people have the legal right to access the countryside for recreational purposes – even to cross golf courses if they wish (with certain conditions when golf is being played). No one is interested in enforcing these rules at the Menie Estate.

Aberdeenshire has officials who are specifically charged with ensuring land owners comply with the access code; they have over the years largely ignored the Estate and ignored specific claims brought to them. The officers initially sent emails saying they were meeting with residents; then they admitted they had not met with either the Forbes or Munro families.

They have complaints and photographs of the issues. They refused calls to come and meet with the residents and see the situations and discuss them. Instead, they handed out forms, which many were reluctant to fill out, given their access was being blocked by an organisation known the world over for its litigation. Gorse blocks some of the paths; some frequent visitors believe the gorse was planted deliberately to block their way.

A main issue is the gate locked shut separating Leyton Farm Road from the parking lot. (The parking lot itself was not as per the planning permission – and nothing seems to have been done about that either).

Here is how the main gate currently looks which separates the club’s parking (itself apparently not built to the agreed specification) from Leyton Farm Road, the track the Munro property is on. The situation is worse than it was a few months ago – the locks seem nearly fused by rust, and the right-hand side of the gate is all but impassible. This contravenes the right of access laws without doubt.

Anyone who is old, infirm, has mobility issues, or who would wish to cycle is not getting past this gate, whatever the law says.

The Shire will again be asked again to have this situation remedied. They are long aware of the problems including the gate, and have sat back as the situation continues to deteriorate.

Michael Stow Your Boat Onshore – another access block

Michael Forbes used to take his small wooden boat from the farm to catch salmon in the sea. Access from the Forbes’ farm to the sea has been halted. While this is not an absolutely clear cut access right, Michael caused no damage to the area when moving his boat, something he did for years with the previous owners’ consent.

The access pathway is not part of a course or being used in any way at present by the Trump organisation. But one day a gate was erected and was locked shut, contrary to access laws. The police told Michael that he if touched this gate that was put on the path he would be arrested – a very interesting interpretation of access rights, and a curious way for police to enforce the will of a landowner over the long standing use of a resident.

A senior politician has written a letter many months back saying he would look into the matter. Michael is still waiting for action. The boat sits unused on the farmland.


Reliable running water is no longer a right for Michael and Sheila Forbes – and Michael’s 90 year-old mother, Molly. When construction was initially underway some years ago, a Trump vehicle broke the water pipe serving Michael’s farm. The site manager is filmed in the Anthony Baxter / Richard Phinney documentary ‘You’ve Been Trumped’ telling the journalists that the pipe will be restored and made better than before.

This never happened. What did happen nearly immediately after the pair visited the site office was that they were illegally arrested, bundled into the back of a police car and had their gear confiscated. The National Union of Journalists condemned the arrest.

It was made clear in the new Anthony Baxter / Richard Phinney documentary, ‘A Dangerous Game’ that despite several years going by, the pipe has never been fully repaired. Michael and Sheila recently confirm that the water supply is not always reliable and they still need to take water from a nearby burn on occasion.

Surely someone in the Aberdeenshire administration would intervene to ensure residents and taxpayers have reliable running water like they once did?

The built historical heritage – optional

There were a number of traditional outbuildings near Leyton Farm Road constructed in traditional materials. After the Trump organisation arrived, a new building sprung up which is hardly in keeping with the other buildings, and which may not have had complete advance planning permission. If someone elsewhere in Aberdeenshire erected a similar building without advance permission, they would likely be ordered to take it down.

Did this have permission? The indications are that it did not. The Shire’s officers are welcome to clarify this point.

Other deviations from planning include the parking lot, the lights in the parking lot (two which shown in Susan Munro’s cottage windows all night long were eventually ordered removed: this seems to be one time that the enforcement of planning actually took place).

One Law for the Rich and another for the poor?

It seems as if the agreed environmental conditions and the agreed planning specifics and access laws are neither being followed nor enforced with any conviction. The losers are the residents and those who want to exercise their right to access the countryside.

It’s hard to argue that the Shire’s planning department, the outdoor access officers, and the MSP Alex Salmond are doing anything to help these people. Salmond has sent representatives to the property before; one or two letters were subsequently sent. And as a result – absolutely nothing has changed. The invitation for Alex to personally visit his constituents still stands. We would hope he will make this as much of a priority as he made dining with Trump.

Is it politics, the fear of Trump legal action, an incompetent system, or a reluctance to acknowledge the problems here that is allowing these situations to go unchecked? You may wish to think on what is going on at the Menie Estate the next time you hear of the shire enforcing a minor piece of planning. The law is not applied equally or fairly in this corner of the North East Scottish coast, and the people who are meant to uphold the law are doing nothing.

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[Aberdeen Voice accepts and welcomes contributions from all sides/angles pertaining to any issue. Views and opinions expressed in any article are entirely those of the writer/contributor, and inclusion in our publication does not constitute support or endorsement of these by Aberdeen Voice as an organisation or any of its team members.]

Oct 262014

Donald Trump bought the Menie Estate in 2006. By 2008, unprecedented planning permission was granted to create ‘the world’s greatest golf course’. The promise was a one billion pound spend, jobs for local people in the thousands, an increase in tourism in the thousands, and prosperity.

Menie Estate residents and those who stood up for them were vilified in the press; farmer Michael Forbes was said by Trump to live in a ‘pigsty’. What is life like at the estate for residents now? What are some of the issues and problems? Suzanne Kelly reports, in the first of a series.

A brief history of Trump
It was all meant to be better, so the proponents promised us: thousands of jobs, houses, tourists and money pouring into the north east. Never mind the loss of unique greenbelt and wildlife. To achieve this end, the existing environmental protection and normal planning procedure were swept aside.

Donald Trump was in the news whenever he opened his mouth, got on or off a plane, dined with Alex Salmond, or spoke out against wind farms. But when he vilified Michael Forbes, he really went to town. Forbes and his wife, and 90-year-old mother Molly live on a farm on the estate. They refused to move for Trump. Trump has had some damning things to say about the Forbes family, calling Michael the ‘village idiot’. About the Forbes Farm and home Trump said:-

“I just wish he would clean up his property, it is a pig sty. It’s terrible, his barn is all rusty and falling down. The hotel has the chance to be something really outstanding but it’s awfully hard when a window is overlooking a slum and you see rusting oil cans.”

Trump International Golf Links Scotland must therefore be a rather special place. It recently won “The first and only Six Star Diamond Award” in Scotland, from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences [what that? Ed]. The property must of course be cleaned up, there must be nothing slum-like about the place at all.

It may just be a coincidence that Donald Trump is on the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Board, where he is listed as ‘Ambassador Extraordinaire’. Surely then, he and his companies know all about cleanliness, hygiene, environmental management and waste management.

At first glance at the golf course you see giant clocks, oversized lamps, parking, and a rather nondescript looking ‘temporary clubhouse’. Here is what you see today if you step off of the beaten track, photos supplied to Aberdeen Voice.

crestfallen waste at trump estate

Wooden frames featuring that Trump family crest are part of the debris off to the side of the parking lot, just adjacent to the Munro family property.

lamps at trump estate

Lights which shone into the Munro cottage from the parking lot were, amazingly, ordered to be removed by the council. On the day the council was to visit to make the decision about the lights, the lights were not switched on, as they normally would have been.

They are now dumped in the grass. Hopefully any chemicals such as mercury, or other toxic materials, will have long since been removed, even if the lamps remain.

plastic material at trump estate

Teed Off
Possibly most worrying are the yards and yards of plastic waste which could prove fatal to wildlife, either birds, or aquatic creatures, should it wind up in the nearby sea. The shore at Menie is unfortunately regularly peppered with plastic waste from marine activity.

A Lot Of Old Rubbish
These photos were taken in March 2013. They show mounds of rubbish on land on the Menie Estate. Whether the trash was burnt, buried, or disposed of legally remains unclear.  The issues with these piles of mixed waste include:

  • seemingly no attempt made at waste segregation for recycling;
  • plastic bottles with labels removed which contained unknown chemicals;
  • danger of chemicals leaching into the soil – and the sheer scale of the amount of rubbish involved.

Molly Forbes keeps chickens at her home on Michael’s farm; she calls her house ‘Paradise’.   Michael and Sheila live on a working farm; there are cats, chickens and geese (including a wild goose which is currently visiting).  As far as I could see, none of the taps at the farm place are gold plated; there are no red carpets and no hired showgirls to greet visitors. There are a good number of chickens, a few cats, and a warm atmosphere. Molly, Sheila and Michael might not get a ‘6 diamond’ special award. Perhaps they don’t want or need one.

The Forbes farm with friends

Wrapping Up
Perhaps rubbish is not really pollution if it has a Trump family crest carved on it. Perhaps the garbage will be properly segregated, recycled, and disposed of in the very near future. And just maybe someone who lives in a glass house who is so offended by the goings-on at a genuine working farm should clean up his own act before throwing any more stones.  Trump Golf Links has been asked to comment on the waste close to Leyton Farm Cottage.

In Part 2
Environmental monitoring evaporation, planning breaches and access issues.



Oct 242014

AberdeenforwardThmWith thanks to Angela Theobold.

Environmental charity Aberdeen Forward are hosting a range of workshops and courses over the coming months.
Aberdeen Forward works closely with local communities, businesses and individuals to educate and promote projects that help to protect our environment, reduce waste & encourage sustainability.

Available courses are as follows.

Plant ideas workshop:

We are pleased to offer this plant ideas ( workshop which teaches how to make the most of plants in various useful ways. Here is the format of the classes:

  • Skincare: 25th Oct, 11-13:00 at Aberdeen Forward building
  • Herbal First Aid: 22nd Nov 11-13:00 at Aberdeen Forward building
  • Tea Tasting: 6th Dec 11-13:00 at Aberdeen Forward building
  • Personal Hygiene: 24th Jan 11-13:00 at Aberdeen Forward building
  • Household: 21st Feb 11-13:00 at Aberdeen Forward building
  • Herb Walk: 21st Mar 11-13:00 Location to be announced
  • Wild Food: 25th Apr 11-13:00 Location to be announced
    £35 per class, if you book and pay for all seven in one go, you get the last one free.

Beginners Knitting: Wednesday 5th, 12th, 19th November 2014 6pm-8pm, £60

Green Wood working course: with Green Aspirations (, Saturday 22nd November, 10am-4pm (start 9:30 for tea and coffee). To be held at Scotland’s Rural College, Craibstone Estate, Bucksburn, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, AB21 9YA, £45

Christmas Wreath Making: Monday 1st December, 6:30-8:30pm, £35.00

Beginners Crocheting course: Wednesday 3rd, 10th, 17th December 2014, 6pm-8pm, £60

Christmas Jumper making: Monday 8th December, 6:30-8:30pm, £30.00

Candle Making course: Saturday 13th December, 10am-12pm, £35

Booking: To book or find out more please contact or 01224560360.

Venue Unless otherwise stated, the venue is: Aberdeen Forward, 2 Poynernook Road, Aberdeen, AB11 5RW

For more information, go to: