Friday, 21 December 2012

Jingle Bells

For an easy read version of Stewart Cree's posts see Nigel's Blog above or follow this link for a full translation
“Jingle Bells, Convener.”
“Oh nae you an’ aa’ Nigel.  I’ve jist aboot hid enough o’ aa’ this Christmas cheer an’ YO HO HO’in aa’ o’er the place.  There’s really difficult decisions tae be made in here an’ Christmas disna’ mak’ it oney easier.”
“Yes, I’m sorry Convener.  The budget consultations will have left you with a lot to think about.”
“Aye, bit it’s worse than that… I thocht I wid stan’ ma’ han’ tae gie the Cooncillors a funcy piece wi’ their Christmas fly cup bit there’s nane o’ them can agree fit tae ha’e.  I think their choices are bein’ affected by their political aspirations.  There’s ae lot needin’ Scotch Buns and anither lot insistin’ on Empire Biscuits!  I thocht I’d keep some o’ them happy by hae’in a Battenberg cake, bit it’s a job findin’ ane wi blue squares in it!”
“Well why don’t you have something more traditional like mincemeat pies or even ‘clootie’ dumpling?”
“Na, Na – that’s nae eese.  Gary Coull disna’ like raisins an’ I canna’ tak’ the chunce o’ him spittin’ them oot!”
“Well perhaps you could compromise and get something else for Gary.  Do you know if there’s anything he particularly likes?”
“Weel, he’s a loon frae Keith - so I’ll nae go far wrang wi’ a buttery”
“But a buttery’s not very festive Convener.”
“Ach, I’ll spread it wi cranberry saace an’ pit a bit o’ holly on’t.  That’ll mak’ aa’ the difference!”
“So do you have any other Christmas festivities planned, Convener?”
“Oh naethin’ much Nigel – fit aboot yer ain lot, the officers, are they daein’ onythin’ for Christmas?”
“Oh just the usual, a few office parties here and there – nothing too disorderly.  Of course Sandy Riddell will be off skiing again with the jet set.”
“Oh aye, I heard aboot that.  Bit that’s naethin’ new - Sandy’s been goin’ doonhill for years!”
“Oh, very droll Convener – but are you all organised for Christmas yourself?”
“Weel, I’m daein nae bad considerin that maist ‘ears I dae ma’ shoppin’ at the Shell Garage on the wey hame on Christmas Eve.  Min’ you, I aye think that ye canna’ hae too mony Winter Car Care Kits bit some fowk dinna’ agree!  So this year I’m mair or less sorted.  I’ve got aa’ the femily’s an’ I’ve even got the hardest ane o’ aa’!”
“Whose is that?”
“Ma mithers!”
“Your mother Convener, why that’s remarkable.  And what have you got for her?”
“Weel, I didna’ need tae think for lang – she tel’t ma exactly fit she wis wintin – a Kindle Fire HD.  I tel’t her it wisna’ somethin’ for gettin’ the Aga goin’ bit she said she kens fine fit it’s for, an’ she’s needin’ tae read some o’ yon electronic books.  Nae bad for 88 ‘ear aal, eh?”
“Quite remarkable, Convener.  And, tell me, which books is she interested in?”
“Oh, am nae affa’ sure, bit I got them aff a’ Amazon for her.  I think ane o’ them’s aboot knittin’ patterns or somethin’ like that.  It’s caa’d 50 Shades O’ Grey so I’m expectin’ a gey borin’ jumper oot o’ that lot!”
“Perhaps not as boring as you might expect Convener!  But what about yourself?  Are you going to be up to anything exciting?”
“Na, na, Nigel.  Christmas is nae the same fin ye’re gettin’ on like me.  Nae bairns stockin’s at the fireside.  Nae Santie Claas - oh I fair miss him!”
“Bur Convener, surely you don’t still believe in Santa Claus?”
“Oh, abso-bloomin’-lootley Nigel!.  Jist ‘cos ye dinna’ understan’ somethin’ disna’ mean it’s nae true.  Jist tak’ a look at wir Annual Accoonts – dae you ken fit ‘Amortisation Of Intangible Assets’ is?  Nae chunce – bit that disna’ mean tae say we dinna believe it, or that the Finance Officer disna’ exist!  Aye, there is a Santie Claas – and I’ve seen him wi’ ma ain een!”
“Seen him Convener?”
“Aye, I’ve seen him.  It wis a lang time ago noo tho’ – fin I wis a young Bobby daein’ ma duty as the scourge o’ Banff an’ Buchan, an’ stationed at Boddam.”
“You mean to tell me that you actually saw Santa Claus?”
“Well, I’m pretty sure I did - tho’ I hiv tae admit that it wis Christmas Eve an’ I’d been daein a tour o’ the village pubs jist tae mak sure they were aa’ adherin’ tae the licensin’ regulations.”
“And did you have a drink in any of these pubs?”
“Weel it wis Christmas - so I maybe hid a wee deoch an’ doris here an’ there.”
“Tell me – how many pubs are there in Boddam?”
“Weel ther wis four pubs at that time, bit I jist thocht I’d be sociable - so I did the anes in Cruden Bay as weel!”
“And then you saw Santa Claus?”
“Aye I did, an’ I’ll tell ye this – he’d a richt reed nose!”
“Perhaps that was Rupert, Convener?”
“Na, Na – it wis Santie aa’ richt.  Listen, like aa’ bobbies hiv tae dae, I wrote it doon in ma’ notebook.  So maybe I’ll look it oot an’ pit that in my blog next Christmas.  Richt noo - I’m awaa.  I’m taakin’ twa or three days aff tae enter in tae this Christmas Spirit thing.”
“Well then – Happy Christmas, Convener”
“Aye, an’ Jingle Bells tae you an’ yours, Nigel!"

Monday, 17 December 2012


For an easy read version of Stewart Cree's posts see Nigel's Blog above or follow this link for a full translation

““Aawww yeuch!  Aawww gyaads! That’s disgustin’ that is.”
“Morning Convener – why the grimace?”
“Oh!  Fit like Nigel – you’d be puuin’ faces tae if ye were readin’ this report!”
“Report Convener?”
“Aye, it’s a report that wis up at the Committee the day.  It’s aboot aa’ the unsavoury practices that this Cooncil his tae deal wi’.  A’ve jist got tae the bit aboot dog poo – for gyaads sake it wid pit ye aff ye’r denner!”
“Ah yes!  But I think that it’s more delicately referred to as dog fouling these days”
“Nigel – this is jist you aa’ ower.  Dog fowlin’ soun’s like ma collie’s been chasing a hen.  Ye’d be better caa’in’ a spade a spade and this is jist dog shi……”
Convener!  That’s highly inappropriate language!
“Ahh weel, ‘ave nae doot that’s fit you’ll say if ye stan’ on’t.”
“So what does the report suggest that we do about it?”
“Weel the report says that we’re daein’ quite a bit aboot it a’ready.  The Community Wardens hiv been sharpenin’ their pincils an’ they’ve already got the names o’ five offenders in their books.”
“Five offenders?  What like,  Fido, Rover, Rex and ……”
“Nigel! I’m nae tellin’ you again.  I dae the funnies in here!!  This is a serious business.  This report says that lots o’ fowk are respondin’ tae this initiative an’ there’s a wheen o’ reports comin’ in aboot faa’s daein it.  An’ afore ye start – it’s the owners’ names, nae the dogs!  I’ve heard there’s even a group o’ dog owners hiv jined the gather tae fecht this menace – jist like fit I used tae dae fin I wis the scourge o’ Banff an’ Buchan”
“Ah yes, Convener.  That would be the Green Dog Walkers.  A very worthwhile initiative.”
“Richt enough.  Bit there’s only one problem – there’s an affa’ shortage o’ green dogs!”
“No Convener – you don’t have to have a green dog.  A Green Dog Walker is someone who cares for the environment and who, when walking their dog, encourages other dog owners to act responsibly and to dispose of any dog mess that may occur.  They’re only GREEN in the environmental sense.”
“Encourage them?  I cwid encourage then a’richt.  I cwid gae them an encouraging size 12 richt up their …..”
Convener. The days of geriatric bobbies dispensing summary justice are long gone.  Better behaviour can be achieved by education and good example – not by brute force!”
“Aye… well maybe ye’re rich bit there’s ither hooligans costin’ the Cooncil money by their antisocial behaviour.   Tak’ graffiti for instance – I canna’ stan’ grafitti, an’ it costs the Cooncil money tae clear it up.  De ye ken we spent £8,000 last ‘ear removin’ aa’ these vile slanderous remarks aff o’ waa’s aa’ oo’er Moray?”
“Slanderous, Convenor”
“Aye.  Dae ye ken fit ane o’ them said?  It said ‘Stewartie Cree’s a baldy gype’.  Is that nae slander?
“Well, as it’s the written word, it would be more correctly called Libel.  However, I suppose that it could be argued that in some ways it’s a fair description as you must admit that you’ve lost most of your crowning glory!”
“Aye, weel moss disna’ groww on a busy road.  Bit it’s worse than that.  There’s fowk dumpin’ rubbish in lay-bys an’ car parks an’….. oh aa'wey.  The’re jist a menace!”
“Ah, yes – the fly tippers”
“Fly tippers?  There’s naethin’ fly aboot them.  We’ve tae come along an’ redd up aa’ the mess that they mak’ – an’ that’s even mair money spent.  Fit are we goin’ tae dae aboot it?
“Well, one thing that you can do Convener is to remind the public that they can report these sort of incidents to our Hotlines.”
“Hotlines?.  Oh nae mair buzzwords Nigel.  Jist tell it like it is.  Gie ma a list o’ aa’ the numbers that fowk kin phone tae report the grafitti mongers an’ the sofa dumpers an’ I’ll pit it at the bottom o’ ma blog.  If we can get the fowk oot there tae help us then we’ll maybe mak’ a difference”
“And does that hold true for unserviceable street lights Convener?”
“Fit lights, Nigel?”
“Oh just a minute Convener - I think I know that one – ‘Nae bad, foo’s yersel?’”
 The Council's Environmental Health Section will accept complaints relating to dog fouling and will make contact with the dog owner to prevent a recurrence of the practice. Tel: 01343 563345.  Or Report Dog fouling using our online form

If you see anyone dumping rubbish illegally then call the Dumb Dumpers Stop Line on 0845 2 30 40 90, or contact Moray Council at 01343 557045 -  email:

For all other cases of antisocial behaviour - call 0800 58 77 197.  You can also use our - online form  to report such behaviour.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Economy Drive

For an easy read version of Stewart Cree's posts see Nigel's Blog above or follow this link for a full translation.  Follow me on Twitter - @Stewart_Cree
“Morning Convener, what on earth are you doing under your desk?”
“Oh, fit like Nigel?  I’m jist hae’in a good rake aboot.  I ken I hid a lottery ticket lyin’ aboot somewey an’ I canna’ find it.  It micht o’ fell on the fleer under ma’ desk”
“Is it a winner Convener?”
“A’ve nae bloomin’ idea Nigel – bit I’ve got tae find it ‘cos there’s only eight ‘oors tae go!”
“Eight hours to go?  To go to what Convener”
“Eight ‘oors tae go until I canna’ mak’ a claim on it.  Did ye nae hear the news?  There’s a jackpot ticket worth £64 million oot there somewey and if it’s nae claimed by eleven o’clock the nicht - then it’s tatties o’er the side”
“Tatties? Convener”
“Aye, tatties – ye ken po-tat-oes, pommes de terre.  An’, if that ticket’s nae fun’ afore eleven o’clock, then the ‘pommes de terre’ will be richt ‘dans la mer’.
“Oh whatever Convener but what makes you think that you’ve won it?”
“Ah dinna ken Nigel but a’ve got a feelin’ in ma waaters that something good is comin’ oor wey.  Last week I won a raffle at the Sports Moray Awards and twice this week I found 20p in the coffee machine.  Things is definitely lookin’ up!!
“But Convener, the missing lottery ticket was sold in Hertfordshire six months ago – how on earth could you be the winner?”
“That’s as maybe, but I’m nae taakin’ ony chances.  Wi’ a hole in the budget like we’re goin’ tae hae, £64 million’s worth scrabblin aboot on the fleer for.”
“Convener – I fear you’re going to have to be more realistic and look at other ways of saving money.  I see you have a meeting tomorrow in Edinburgh – have you ever thought about Video Conferencing?”
“Video – fittie?”
“Video Conferencing, Convener.  It’s a way of attending a conference without actually being there.”
“Waaait a mintie.  Attendin’ wi’oot bein’ there?  Are you haein’ me on?  A’ve been at plenty meetings wi’ fowk that are ‘nae aa’ there’ but at least their bums wiz on the seats!  Foo can a’ be there an’ nae be there?”
“Well, you’re image will be there and the other members of the committee will see and hear you because you’ll be connected to the meeting through a video link.”
“Fit, like the telly?”
“Yes Convener, although you’ll actually appear in a box on a large screen along with other members who are Video Conferencing”
“Oh!  I see – like Celebrity Squares.  Dis Terry Wogan run it?”
“No Convener, this has nothing to do with game shows or Terry Wogan.  It’s simply a way of saving time and money”
“Well ‘am aa’ for that.  Sign ma up – Scotty.  Jist one thing though.”
“What’s that Convener”
“I wint tae be in the top row!”
“I’ll do my best Convener, now what about some other savings.  Christmas cards for instance”
“Oh dinna’ mention Christmas Nigel!  I’m daein’ ma best tae ignore it, bit it’s richt on top o’ us noo.  I even got ane o’ yon Christmas cards far they gie ye the hale story o’ their life ower the past twal’ month.”
“Oh yes Convener – a Round Robin
“Aye, fitiver, bit the ane I got disna’ bob along!  It’s frae a wifie bummin’ aboot Lucinda winnin’ the gymkhana and Torquil ‘findin’ himsel’ in Kathmandu.  Fit’s that got tae dae wi’ me?”
“Yes, well these annual updates do tend to guild the lily somewhat.  But you could do something similar in your Blog – you know, a short, to-the-point, resumé of your first 6 months in the Convener’s chair”
“Awa’ ye go!.  Ye’d be better gettin’ Roddy Burns tae dae that – he’s short and tae the point!  Look, there’s nae been much o’ a festive feel aboot the last 6 months an’ a’ dinna wint tae pit the dampers on fit’s left.  Maybe I’ll leave that tae the New Year” 
“So no official Christmas cards this year then?”
“Na, na, Nigel – this is anither belt-tichtenin’ opportunity.  Hiv ye seen the price o’ stamps?  50 pence for second class!  It’s a liberty. 50 pence is ten shillin’s.  Fin I wiz at College I could ha’e a first-class denner and a guid nicht oot for ten shillins - and noo aa’ I can dae is send a beggin’ letter!.  My granny could……”
“Please Convener – If you’re going to bring up your granny again I feel it’s time to leave.  But before I go - remember those 20p’s you found in the Coffee machine?”
“Aye, oh dinna tell ma they wiz yours!”
“No Convener – I believe they were your change!!”

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