Saturday, July 04, 2015 Today's Featured Post

All in the delivery

I was chatting with an accomplished reciter of poetry last weekend. Frank is the go-to man if you need a poem delivered by a pro, but we had a minor [...]
Sickened by a festival of cruelty

Sickened by a festival of cruelty

I have tried hard not to be sickened by the stories and pictures coming from the infamous Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China. The Chinese see this as just another part of how their people express themselves and their tastes. I have tried, but it’s not easy when the images involve dogs being skinned alive, or strapped down, muzzled […]

Spik Doric : Lesson 82

Spik Doric : Lesson 82

Fin/Fan? Interrogative adverb / conjunction. When. Pronounced exactly as they look. There is an infallible way to tell quickly how good a Doric writer is: see if he or she knows the difference between fin and fan. Both mean “when” and both sound identical when spoken in broad dialect, but they have two distinct usages. […]

Humour in the courtroom

Humour in the courtroom

Former barrister and politician Sir Malcolm Rifkind has retained his sense of humour. He has been telling a tale of life in Edinburgh legal circles in the 1950s. Apparently a bailie had convicted someone of a petty offence and was peering sternly at the miscreant. “I am going to fine you £50,” he said, “and let […]

Dig beneath a celeb's public image

Dig beneath a celeb’s public image

Fashion model Kate Moss has landed in hot water once again, this time escorted off a plane for drunken and abusive behaviour towards cabin crew. It astonishes me that people in the public eye should make such high-profile backsides of themselves when otherwise they have spent so much time and money creating a polished public […]

Spik Doric: Lesson 81

Spik Doric: Lesson 81

Lowse. Adjective; intransitive and transitive verb. Slack or loose; to release, to end the day’s work. The adjective rhymes with “mouse”. The verb and its forms take a harder S and rhyme with “browse/browsin”. The English translation of the Doric adjective “lowse” is “loose”. So, a North-east harbour hand would “lat lowse” (let loose) a boat by untying it. […]

Union Terrace in 1960

Union Terrace in 1960

This month’s old photograph shows Union Terrace, Aberdeen, in about 1960, I think, judging from the fashions, the signage and, most of all, the cars. You can just about make out at this resolution that the road surface is still cobblestones (cassies or granite setts in Aberdeen parlance). The awning of the Caledonian Hotel hands […]

Why Labour won't win in 2020

Why Labour won’t win in 2020

Nearly five years ago, the day after Ed Miliband was elected leader of the Labour Party, I wrote a newspaper column which went against the tide of the times. I wrote that Ed Miliband would never become Prime Minister. I am going to make another prediction now: whichever of the current candidates the Labour Party […]

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