Sunday, March 01, 2015 Today's Featured Post

Paying the price of oil troubles

My grandmother, who died in 1965 a week before my eighth birthday, had two financial sayings which gave away her North-east Scottish roots. The first, which I remember her telling [...]
Spik Doric : Lesson 76

Spik Doric : Lesson 76

Bigg. Verb. To build. Pronounced exactly the same as “big”. Not so long ago, a reader got in touch to ask if I knew anything of the origin of the Doric word “bigg”. Was it restricted to a particular part of Scotland or was it more widespread? What could the roots be? Most of you […]

How to get perfect service

How to get perfect service

The older I get, the more irritable I become. Mrs Harper now wonders if I have been studying at the Victor Meldrew School of Diplomacy. There is scarcely a trip out these days that doesn’t shorten my fuse, either because of other people’s driving, sullen service in shops, and my pet hate of the moment: the compulsion of […]

When chats go wrong

When chats go wrong

I strolled down to the village with our two Irish Setters, Riley and Max, at the weekend. It was a fine, sharp February morning and they like the four-mile round trip of sniffing and various other things that dogs see as their duty on a walk. Then came an encounter that still puzzles me. In the […]

Spik Doric : Lesson 75

Spik Doric : Lesson 75

Syne. Then, since, ago. Conjunction, adverb, preposition. Rhymes with “line”, with a sibilant S, definitely not a Z. This is one of those Scots words which is known worldwide but which few people can define. The international fame comes courtesy of Auld Lang Syne, a poem written by Robert Burns when he was 29, in […]

Encouraging new talent

Encouraging new talent

Apologies in advance for this joke, but it was inflicted on me a couple of days ago and I don’t see why I should be the only one to suffer. Older readers might remember Hughie Green and his ITV talent show, Opportunity Knocks. Seven variety acts would compete for a place in a grand final […]

Peering back almost a century

Peering back almost a century

Some of you might be familiar with a book called The Nor’ East, by W.S. Bruce. It was a 240-page hardback published first in 1919 by James G. Bisset, booksellers, of Aberdeen (latterly in Upperkirkgate). Mr Bruce was a Church of Scotland minister who decided he had better record some of the wit and wisdom of late-Victorian and […]

Times gone by at New Deer

Times gone by at New Deer

Our first old photo of 2015 comes from New Deer. The notes on the frame of the slide tell me that I took it on October 27, 1979, and a gey caul day it looks. It has been taken looking west at a point where Fordyce Terrace becomes Church Crescent, that little loop that works round […]

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