Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Recycling Revisited

For an easy-read version of Stewart Cree’s Blog – see Nigel’s Blog above or go directly through this link.

“Nigel, Nigel come ben here a mintie will ye?”

“Good evening Convener you’re working late again.  Is there a problem?”

“Och,  it’s ma blog again Nigel - a’ve got naethin’ tae say”

“Nothing to say Convener?  Why these have been two of the most momentous weeks of your, admittedly short, career - what with the by-election and everything.”

“Oh a ken, I ken, but a’body’s heard  the result so if’a go on aboot it they’ll jist think a’m bein’ smug an craawin’.  An’ ye ken fit they say - pride comes afore a fa’.”

“Yes Convener, but surely the administration is a little more secure now that you’ve got another Independent member.”

“A weel, maybe the peg’s nae as shoogly as it wis afore.  Bit there canna’ be ony room for complacency.  We’ll jist hae tae work awa and try an’ get this job deen.  But that’s nae the pint - I’m needin’ somethin’ to pit in ma blog again.”

“But Convener, you’ve now got plenty scope for political point scoring.”

“Na, na Nigel.  It’s nae the time, an it’s nae the place.  If the sheen hid been on the ither fit I widna’ wint tae girn aboot it - so I’m nae craawin’ either.  I’ll jist hae tae spik aboot somethin’ else.  Fit is there that’s nae controversial?”

“Yes, well that’s a good question because there’s not much on the agenda at the moment that fits that category - what with the western link road and the budget cuts and all that.  Perhaps the safest bet is the wheelie bins.

“Wheelie bins?. Fit’s new aboot wheelie bins?”

“Well, you’ll remember that last year we introduced new recycling facilities for our rural residents.  So this month we’re starting to introduce the same facilities in our urban communities.”

“In the toons?”

“Yes Convener in the…. em  er ….toons

“So fit’s the difference then?”

“Well the main differences are that we are going to be collecting plastic waste in separate bins and the recycling collections will take place every fortnight rather than weekly at present.”

“Here min -  wait a mintie.  My recycling boxes are dam’t near fu’ at the end o’ a week.  I’ll be in a richt sotter come a fortnicht.”

“Yes Convener but to overcome that, we’re going to issue more bins.  As well as your usual green and brown bins you’ll have a bin for paper and cardboard, another one for plastic and cans and you’ll continue to use your present orange box for glass.  So you should have more than enough room.”

“Have ye seen the amount o’ bottles I pit oot in a fortnicht ?  The beer drinkers o’ Moray will be up in erms!!”

“Well Convener, perhaps it might dissuade them, and you, from over imbibing.  In any case, I sometimes think that politicians and alcohol don’t mix very well.  Look what happened to the MP for Falkirk, Mr Joyce.”

“Oh here - that wis afa’ wisint it?  He’s a gey boy Eric.  Canna’ seem to bide oot o’ bather.  Bit you ken fit really surprised me?”

“No, what was that Convener?”

“He wis in the Hoose o’ Commons - in a Sports Bar !”

“Yes, well there are over 600 MP’s. I suppose they need somewhere to relax every now and then.”

“Aye - bit that’s nae the pint.  I thocht they wid hae a bit mair class than haein’ “Sports Bars”.  An’ ye ken fit they were daein?”

No what was that Convener?

“They were haein’ a Karaoke nicht.  That’s nae fit ye expect fae MP’s.  That’s mair the kin’ o’ thing ye’d find in the Ploo on a Seterday nicht.  I thocht that MP’s wid hae somethin’ a bit mair sophisticated.  Ye ken - like maybe a wee string quartet in the corner.  I didna’ expect them to be murderin’ Status Quo or gein it laldy wi “My Way”.  That’s jist destroyed the picter I hid o’ them aa’ sittin’ there, wi’ a bit o gravitas, listening to Bach or Schubert.”

“But Convener, everyone is entitled to a bit of relaxation.”

“I ken Nigel, but this is the Hoose o’ Commons.  Fit will they be daein’ next - playin’ bingo?  Ye can jist imagine the Speaker daein’ the bingo numbers – Chancellors Hoose - number 11, Davie’s Den - number 10,  aa’ the Greens - number 1.  It jist disna’ bear thinkin’ aboot!!”

“Convener you are ranting again.  You’d better get back to the topic - the plans for rolling out the wheelie bins?”

“Oh that’s a good ane Nigel!  Rolling oot the wheelie bins - bit a keep telling ye - I dae the funnies in here!  So fit’s the story?”

“Well the first phase of the roll… I mean the project commenced on Friday 15th March when the new bins were issued to householders in Alves and we’ll continue throughout Moray so that, hopefully, all our households will be using the new system by Friday 3rd May.

“So if onybody his ony questions, far aboot should they go?”

“Well Convener every affected household will receive a leaflet before their bins arrive, and another delivered with their bins which explains exactly what is going to happen.  However if they have any further questions they can visit the Council’s website at or telephone our Waste Hotline on 01343 557045.”
“So come 3rd May it’ll aa’ be sorted?”

“Absolutely Convener - in every sense of the word!!!”

If you need any advice or assistance with any aspect of the Council’s recycling programme, please visit the website link above or contact 01343 557045.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Blood Donor (II)

For an easy-read version of Stewart Cree's Blog see Nigel's Blog above or go directly to this link
“Good evening Convener – you’re working late tonight - I was just about to lock up.”
“Oh fit like Nigel? I’m jist gettin’ ready for ma Civic Duties doon at the Toon Hall”

“Civic Duties Convener?”

“Aye, I’m awa doon tae the Blood Donors Award Ceremony, so I’m jist gie’in ma chain a wee bit polish afore aa go”

“Ah yes, Blood Donors, a most worthwhile and commendable sacrifice.  Are you making many awards?”

“Oh aye.  There’s 34 fowk getting’ awards for gie’in dam’t near 2,000 pints o’ blood!  So I wis hopin’ I wid pick up a few tips”.

“Tips about giving blood?”

“Na na Nigel.  It’s tips aboot the budget that aa’m needin’.  Aa’m fair scunnert tryin’ tae get enugh siller oot o’ the Government to pey aa’ oor bills – an’ ony chance o’ pittin’ up the cooncil tax a bitty his gone rich toot the windae ‘cos we’re nae allowed tae dae that.  So - aa thocht I’d turn tae the experts.”

“Well I am sure that the Blood Transfusion Service is very prudent in its financial management, but I don’t know how they can help you in your dealings with the Government.”

“Weel I thocht that they wid be jist the billies tae tell ma  hoo’ tae get bleed oot o’ a stane!  An’ file they’re aboot it -  they could, forbyes, come doon to the Cooncil Chambers on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s aboot 11 o’clock.  Aa some think there’s a few Cooncillors that wid be prepared to volunteer tae gie blood aboot that time.”

“At 11 O’clock Convener?.  Why on earth would they volunteer at 11 O’clock?”

“Well it’s aa’ this cuts ye see.  The ither week we pit a moratorium on tea and biscuits for Cooncillors - so at 11 o’clock, fin we used tae hae wir fly cup, the best we can manage noo - is a glass o’ waater.  So there’s a fair chunce that, if the blood transfusion van came doon, the Cooncillors wid volunteer jist tae get a cup o tea and a Jammie Dodger.”

Convener, you can’t go giving blood every week for the sake of a custard cream or a bourbon.  That’s not the spirit at all – and I trust that you’ve been a regular donor yourself?

“Ahhh…. weel, there’s the rub.  There’s a wee bit o’ a problem there.  Ye see – for a laang time I wis prevented frae giein’ blood on accoont o’ a medical condition.”
 “And what condition was that?
“I wis feart!.  Aa jist couldna’ look at a needle wi’oot feelin’ faint. Even ma grannie danin’ socks set ma aff.  I think it wis aa’ Tony Hancock’s fault.  He wis aye goin’ on aboot a pint o’ blood bein a hale ermfae - an’ I didna’ realise he wis only jokin!  Bit dinna you go tellin’ aabody - ‘cos it’s ane o’ my darker secrets an’ I’m probably too auld noo tae change.”
“But Convener – you’re supposed to set an example.  If you don’t practice what you preach you’ll be accused of being a hypocrite.”
“A hippo fit?”
“A hypocrite – someone who says one thing but does another.”
“Dinna’ you dare mention Politicians!”
“I wouldn’t dream of it Convener and your secret’s safe with me….provided…..”
“Provided fit?”
“Provided you mend the error of your ways and at the very least make enquiries tonight as to whether you’re suitable as a blood donor”
“Or else?”
“Or else there may be a leak of confidential information concerning the Convener’s blood donor history”
“Hoo big a leak?”
“Oh – about a pint I imagine”
“Oh touché Nigel – aa’ll dae it – aa’ll dae it!”
“Well, I’ll hold you to your word Convener”
It’s never too late.  You can start giving blood anytime up to your 66th birthday so for more details about how you can mend the error of your ways visit the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service on:-

Some of the recipients of the Awards

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Only Constant Is Change

For an easy-read version of Stewart Cree's Blog see Nigel's Blog above or go directly to this link
“Aye Aye Nigel – Fit’s daein’ the day?”

“Well Convener, I wanted a word with you about your blog.”

“Fit aboot ma’ blog?”

“Well that’s rather the point.  What about it indeed!  I’ve heard rumblings that you haven’t been very active on that front lately.  There’s been nothing heard from you for a fortnight!”

“Aye, fair dues… bit I hiv been tryin’ – honestly.  It’s jist that every time I get somethin’ doon on paper aathin’ changes before I kin get it ontae ma blog.”

“What do you mean – everything changes?”

“Weel, jist the ither week I wiz sayin’ foo unseasonable it hid been an’, as seen as I hid said that, we wiz up tae oor oxters in sna’.  I hid tae tak’ that bit oot or else they’d aa’ be blamin’ me for bringin’ it on. 

“Well you might have been tempting fate a bit but you surely can’t blame yourself simply because the weather does the opposite of what predict”.

“Ah weel that’s as maybe - bit try tellin’ that tae Michael Fish.  Oneywey, it’s nae that bad noo so we’ll jist hae tae glory on.  Then there wis ma letter tae the Pope.”

“The Pope, Convener?”.

“Oh aye – I wiz goin tae tell aabody aboot ma letter tae the Pope …. bit as soon as I hid written it doon – he’d resigned!!”

“Well but I’m sure that your reader will still be interested in that.  We don’t have a lot of correspondence with the Vatican.  What prompted you to write?”

“Weel, I jist winted tae congratulate the Pope on catchin’ up wi’ me an’ getting himsel’ ontae the social media scene.  He’s started twitterin ye ken.”

“Now we’ve had this conversation before Convener!  People using Twitter, tweet.  But why is this of particular interest to you?”

“Well, ye ken fit they say - imitation is the sincerest form o’ flattery- an’ the Pope’s tweetin’ in Doric as weel.”

“The Pope’s tweeting in Doric?”

“Aye….. well maybe nae in my Doric.  He’s tweetin’ in his ain Doric – Latin.”

“Latin is the Pope’s Doric?”

“Aye of course it is.  It’s the auld language o’ the Romans - jist like Doric is the auld language o’ the fowk fae Moray.  So I’m thinkin’ that the Pope his cotton’d on tae my idea an’ is usin’ Latin for his twits.”

Tweets, Convener.”

“Aye aye - it’s aa’ the same thing.  So I thocht I wid jist send him a wee notie tae congratulate him on his novel, weel nearly novel,  approach.”

“And have you written your….er….. notie  in Doric?

“Weel, no - but a hiv tae accept that, file Doric’s ane o’ the world’s maist romantic languages – jist like Italian -  it’s maybe nae aa’ that weel understood these days – specially doon the Vatican wey -  so I’ve hid tae dae ma usual translation for him.”

“Well I’m sure that the Pope will be gratified to learn of your admiration for his foray into the age of digital communication, but I think it’s stretching a point a bit to suggest that Doric is a language with romantic overtones similar to those found in Italian”.

“Oh nane the bit!.  Doric’s as romantic as ony ither language… It’s maybe jist a bit mair straight tae the pint.  You ken hoo the Italian’s micht say “Ciao Amore! – a’ wanna cradle a’ you inna ma arms ana shower you witha ma hot keesses”?  In Doric ye’d say “Fit like bonny quine?  Ye gonna gie’s a bosie?”  So there you are, jist exactly the same - bit in half the time!”

“Convener, I’ve no idea what a ‘bosie’ is and I believe I might do well to remain ignorant.  But this isn’t providing any material for your blog.  Can’t you think of anything that’s topical but not subject to sudden change?”


“No that’s been overdone – oh! I did it again – horsemeat…. overdone!  Do you get it?”

“Aye… bit only frae Findus … there’s nae horsemeat selt in oor butchers.  Nae Shergarburgers or Triggermince in Moray!  Bit ye’re richt… that story’s been roon the hooses mair than the joke aboot the White Horse that went intae a bar.  The barman looked at it and said – “here – we’ve got a whisky named efter you.”  The horse looked at him an’ said….”Fit? Eric?!”

“Convener… I despair, you’re just avoiding the issue.  You’ll need to find something that people are interested in and that won’t change overnight.”

“Aa’ve got it!.  I’ll pit it oot next week.”

“Won’t it change by then?”

“Na, na – this ane goes on forever!”

“What on earth is it then?”

“Budget cuts!!!!”

Friday, 18 January 2013


For an easy read version of Stewart Cree's posts see Nigel's Blog above or follow this link for a full translation
“Good morning Convener - and a Happy New Year.”
“Fit like Nigel and the same tae yersel’.  Are ye a’ riggit oot for 2013 an’ rarin’ tae go –  wi’ yer shooder tae the wheel and yer nose tae the grindstane?”

“Well, actually, I’m not sure if you can put your shoulder to the wheel when your nose is on a grindstone!  However I am much refreshed after our short break.  What about yourself?”

“Well noo that aa’ the celebrations is oot o’ the wey, it’s back tae caul’ kale and porridge.  Though I hiv tae admit – so far the wither’s nae been that caul!.”

“Yes the weather has been unseasonable lately.  I heard the birds singing the other morning – quite extraordinary for this time of year”.

“Aye and aa’ the bugs that are gaun’ aboot are thrivin’ in this wither.  I’ve been hostin’ wi’ the caal for weeks and then, jist fin that seemed tae be gettin’ better, I pit my back oot, an’ I couldna’ even get oot o’ ma bed”

“That’s dreadful Convener, but you seem to be more mobile now?”

“Aye, but that’s ‘cos I wis dowsed !”

“Doused?  What on earth were you doused in, aftershave?”

“No … no…..nae douseddowsed.  Ye ken, like fit they dae fin they’re lookin’ for waatter.”

“They were looking for water in your back?”

No.  They were lookin’ for the sair bits.  Ane o’ my Cooncillor pals is a dab hand at the dowsing, an’ she speirt if she could hae a shottie findin’ oot fit wis wrang.  I telt her she could dae fitever she winted  - jist as lang as I didna’ hae tae tak’ ma troosers aff!”

“And so she walked over your back with a pair of hazel twigs?”

“No!  Nigel – you’re nae taakin’ this seriously!  She used a crystal on a bittie string.  And afore you say onythin’ else, I didna’ gie  tuppence for her chances o’ findin’ oot fit wis wrang”

“So you are rather sceptical about alternative medicine?”

“Abso-bloomin-lootly Nigel.  Bit, efter she fun’ the richt spot, she wraxed ma back the ither wey for a whiley, an’ ye ken this, it’s a lot better noo”

“That’s fine Convener, but might it just be psychosomatic?”

“Na, na ….it’s a sair back a’ richt an’ ‘am afa’ grateful tae her ‘cos ‘am a lot better noo.  Mind you, there wisna’ much wrang wi’ ma ain treatment – a warm toddy efter every meal - strictly for medicinal purposes ye ken.”

“And did that prove effective?

“Oh aye – bit it wis a bit o’ a job getting through nine meals a day!!”

“Really Convener that’s no way to deal with minor ailments.  Did you know that alcohol abuse is becoming as prevalent amongst those of….. er….. late middle age..  as it is amongst the younger partygoers who are traditionally thought to be the culprits.”

“Hey, fit’s this late middle age?  I’ll hiv you ken that I’m ane o’ the baby boomers - in the prime o’ my life an’ as fit as a fiddle”

“Yes apart from your cold and chest infection.”

“Oh – aye – but….”

“And your dicky back.”

“Aye but ….”

“And your sciatica and flat feet.”

“Hey min - wait a mintie!  You’re maakin’ me soon’  like a condemned building.  I micht hae ane or twa minor ailments, an’ ‘am maybe nae as good as I aince wis - but I’m as good aince as I eywis wis - so pit that in yer pipe and smoke it!”

“Ah well - that might be difficult because I ‘ve given up smoking - it’s one of my New Year resolutions.”

“Oh weel deen Nigel!  I ken it’s nae easy ‘cos I wis a smoker masel’”. 

“You smoked Convener?

“Oh aye, I stopped the day I wis elected.  Bit ower the years I think  a smoked athin’ there wis - frae Woodbines to Bogie Roll.  Cost ma a fortune and did ma nae good ata’.  So I wish ye every success wi’ yer New Year’s resolution.”

And have you made any resolutions yourself Convener?

“Oh aye -  ‘am gaun tae cut doon on fattenin’ foods.  In particular, marzipan, macaroni and brie”

“But why those in particular?”

“’Cos I canna’ stan’ ‘em!  So, if ‘am goin’ tae hae ony chunce o’ stickin’ tae ma resolution I reckon I should start aff wi’ that lot an’gie masel’ half a chunce”

“Half a chance?  But surely there’s no point if you don’t like these things already.”

“Aye - bit there’s nithin to say that I couldn’a start to like them.  I didna’ start likin’ Tiramisu  ‘till I wis forty year aul’.”

“Convener - Tiramisu wasn’t invented until you were forty years old!”