Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Blood Donor (II)

“Good evening Convener – you’re working late tonight - I was just about to lock up.”
“Oh hello Nigel!  I’m just getting ready for my Civic Duties down at the Town Hall”

“Civic Duties Convener?”

“Yes, I’m off to the Blood Donors Award Ceremony, so I’m just giving my chain a bit of a polish before I go”

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

“Yes ndeed!.  There are 34 people getting awards for giving almost 2,000 pints of blood!  So I was hoping I would pick up a few tips”.

“Tips about giving blood?”

“No, no, Nigel.  It’s tips about the budget that I’m needing.  I’m totally fed up trying to get enough money out of the Government to pay all of our bills – and any chance of putting up the Council Tax has flown straight out of the window because we’re simply not allowed to do that without severe penalties.  So – I thought I’d turn to 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.”

“Well, I thought that they’d be just the chaps to tell me how to get blood out of a stone!  And whilst they’re about it they could, perhaps, come down to the Council Chambers on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s about 11 o’clock.  I somehow think that there are quite a few Councillors who would be prepared to volunteer to give blood about that time.”

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

“Well, it’s all these cuts you see.  The other week we put a moratorium on tea and biscuits for Councillors - so at 11 o’clock, when we used to have a cuppa, the best we can manage now is a glass o’ water.  So there’s a fair chance that, if the blood transfusion van came down, the Councillors would volunteer just to 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…. well, there’s the rub.  There’s a little bit of a problem there.  You see – for a long time I was prevented from giving blood on account of a medical condition.”
“And what condition was that?
“I was scared!  I just couldn’t look at a needle without feeling faint. Even my granny darning socks set me off.  I think it was all Tony Hancock’s fault.  He was always going on about a pint of blood being a whole armful – and I didn’t realise that he was only joking!  But don’t you go telling everyone – because it’s one of my darker secrets and I’m probably too old now to 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 what?”
“A hypocrite – someone who says one thing but does another.”
“Don’t you dare mention Politicians!”
“I wouldn’t dream of it Convener and your secret’s safe with me….provided…..”
“Provided what?”
“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”
“How big a leak?”
“Oh – about a pint I imagine”
“Oh touché Nigel – I’ll do it – I’ll do 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:-

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Only Constant Is Change

“Morning Nigel – what’s doing today?”

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

“What about my 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!”

“Yes, well fair dues… but I have been trying – honestly.  It’s just that every time I get something down on paper everything changes before I can get it onto my blog.”

“What do you mean – everything changes?”

“Well, just the other week I was saying how unseasonable it had been and, as soon as I had said that, we were up to our armpits in snow.  I had to take that bit out or else they’d all be blaming me for bringing 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 well, that’s as maybe - but try telling that to Michael Fish.  Anyway, it’s much better now so we’ll just have to glory on.  Then there was my letter tae the Pope.”

“The Pope, Convener?”

“Oh yes – I was going to tell everyone about my letter to the Pope…but as soon as I had written it – 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?”

“Well, I just wanted to congratulate the Pope on catching up with me and getting himself onto the social media scene.  He’s started twittering you know.”

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

“Well, you know what they say - imitation is the sincerest form o’ flattery- and the Pope’s tweeting in Doric as well.”

“The Pope’s tweeting in Doric?”

“Yes….. well maybe not in my Doric.  He’s tweeting in his own Doric – Latin.”

“Latin is the Pope’s Doric?”

“Yes, of course it is.  It’s the old language of the Romans - just like Doric is the old language of the people from Moray.  So, I’m thinking that the Pope has cottoned on to my idea and is using Latin for his twits.”

Tweets, Convener.”

“Yes, yes… it’s all the same thing.  So I thought that I would just send him a billet-doux to congratulate him on his novel, well nearly novel, approach.”

“And have you written your….er….. billet-doux.. in Doric?

“Well, no - but I have to accept that, while Doric’s one of the world’s most romantic languages – just like Italian -  it’s maybe not all that well understood these days – especially down the Vatican way -  so I’ve had to do my 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 not at all!.  Doric’s as romantic as any other language… It’s maybe just a bit more straight-to-the-point.  You know how the Italian’s might say “Ciao Amore! – a’ wanna cradle a’ you inna ma arms ana shower you witha ma hot keesses”?  In Doric you’d say “How are you bonny girl?  What about a cuddle?”  So there you are, exactly the same - but in half the time!”

“Convener, 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?”

“Yes… but only from Findus … there’s no horsemeat sold in our butchers!.  No Shergarburgers or Triggermince in Moray!  But you’re right… that story’s been round the houses more than the joke about the White Horse that went into a bar.  The barman looked at it and said – “here – we’ve got a whisky named after you.”  The horse looked at him an’ said….”What? 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.”

“I’ve got it!  I’ll put it out next week.”

“Won’t it change by then?”

“No, no – this one goes on forever!”

“What on earth is it then?”

“Budget cuts!!!!”