Musings from the Merse
Sunday, October 25, 2009
THE TARTAN RACISTS is the headline in today's Scotland on Sunday about the influence of the BNP north of the Border which most SNP politicians seem to regard as an 'English' problem-and with only 29,000 people voting for the BNP in the European Elections they might have some justification for this view. Yet, inevitably, Nick Griffin's performance on Question Time, however buffoon like it appeared to the audience and most viewers will have had an unpleasant effect even around here in the peaceful friendly Borders. I have been aware of a feeling especially for those on a low cost subsidised rental housing waiting lists through housing associations that too much priority is given to 'minorities' and not to local families desperate for accommodation-locally. The points system being weighted against them. Not too many asylum seekers in this neck of the Merse-more likely economic migrants from the poorer EU member states but I wonder if most of them have not actually gone home from recession hit UK but the myth lives on. Its just the shortage of low cost rentals which is the real problem. The feeling is more against 'outsiders' rather than racist.Non-white people not being very visible generally.

Having said that I remember four years ago great excitement over a rumour that a group of Polish Dentists were setting up practice in Duns.


Said to be women

And very beautiful!

Never happened

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Saturday, October 24, 2009
Less Trouble at t'Mill ?

Its encouraging to see that absolutely nothing has happened on the planning application for a new house at Hutton Castle Mill? This you can see from here


It is very unusual for even a controversial application to have no further correspondence for a couple of months and has not yet been taken by the Planning Committee. One hopes that pressure is being put on the applicant to withdraw it as he did an almost identical one over a year ago.

There's no perceived need and the arguments put forward (see previous posts) are hardly persuasive-here and scroll down

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Friday, October 23, 2009
An airport too far

The story here about an aircraft unwittingly overflying its destination in the US reminds Huttonian of when he was in Dubai a Chinese airliner landed at Sharjah next door instead of Dubai- a much bigger airport but only 12 miles away. Sharjah in our time was never busy but was more so than Ras al Khaimah, another small UAE Sheikhdom up the coast which had about three flights a week. You could arrive at the airport on a Monday afternoon to find the next flight out was on Thursday.

Mind you it had very relaxed airport authority so if you wanted to hang around there was no problem (and no restaurant)

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Festival of Talents

Report in Full
At last the Berwickshire website has caught up with recent events-so can now go here and save yourself 65p on the paper!
Last para is the interesting bit

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Thursday, October 22, 2009
Press Stopped

The electronic Berwickshire News is a bit behind the game today but the hard copy carries a very good article on The Festival of Talents. I am sure you can't bear to wait for the website to be updated so pop out and get a copy.

Not page 3


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Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Post(al) Strike?

While Huttonian is a bit poorly and not going out that much it is not too easy to find "green fields and postures new" ( as one rural lady of the late afternoon, short of new clients once said)to blog about. One assumes that there little more interesting to say on the B6341 Black spots or indeed on the Fishwick Bypass. Sleepy old Duns-all very quiet and it is not worth making too much of a new fuss about Litter (very little) and Dog Poo (none)The Festival of Talents-including the launch of Spectres on the Landscape was a huge success and in a Silent Auction the Huttonian Cottage in Norn Iron raised £400 for a week's let!

So we must be patient and anticipate tomorrows Berwickshire News-always some copy there.

Fingers Crossed

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Duns Roving

Say what you like about Duns-and many people do, it is certainly one of the friendliest settlements in the Borders/Southwest Scotland. When we first arrived in Hutton we were told that local people were at their friendliest in the East getting less so-from warm to tepid to downright indifferent as you near Stranraer-and further West than that is hard to do with boarding the Stena HSS.

Duns is like Hutton in the friendliness stakes: little acts of kindness-such as yesterday -I arrived at Nairns at 5-15 pm having forgotten to collect the Grudian at my usual early hour. I timidly tapped on a locked door, was immediately allowed in by one of the owners who then painstakingly unwrapped a large bundle of papers and extracted my Guardian en route to the Knackers Yard.

'What paper usually gets returned the most?' I asked. 'English Daily Mail' he said

'So how many do you order?'

'Used to be lots. But I am now thinking of reducing it to

So what do the English expats read here I wonder.

Research required.

Me, I am banking on the Sun. English edition. Although I suspect Page 3 is the same

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Monday, October 19, 2009
Tour de Farce?

Rhoda Hogg has been on patrol and reports as follows :

that there are outbreaks of cyclists of the even-sillier-than-the-lycra-and-a-tin-hat-that-looks-like-half-a-hard-boiled-egg variety along the B6461. They are hard to see in mist and failing light, being given to wearing a camouflage of dun colours, do not wear protective helmets and appear to be unaware of the concept of single file. You have been warned.

It is Dun not DUNS btw

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Sunday, October 18, 2009
Mc Mansions Revisited, Again

My post of 12 October (scroll down) has unusually (for this part of the blogosphere) elicited a lot of comment including, I suspect, highly irritated farmer/developers

The fact is however desirable it might be for such people to make money if they can't with farming, to , at least, do the decent thing, and not inflict such monstrosities on the Berwickshire landscape. The planning regulations call for new buildings to meet the criterion of 'a sense of place'

What place? The Borders?

Disney Land?

You be the judge

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Friday, October 16, 2009
Duns Got Talent

Sorry I should have blogged this before. Too late for Gardeners' Question Time but....

Diverse range of talent on show at Christ Church in Duns
Joseph and His Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat is highlight

THERE'S a chance to see the diverse range of talent Duns has to offer at an event later this month.
Christ Church, Duns will be the venue for a five day 'Festival of Talent' from Friday, October 16, to Wednesday, October 21, in aid of the Scottish Society for Autism and Christ Church Fabric Fund. Things get going on the Friday at 6pm with an Open Viewing of exhibitions, including paintings, woodturning and jewellery, accompanied by drinks and nibbles.

A ticketed 'Gardener's Question Time' follows at 7pm with a panel of local experts comprising of Jim Jermyn, show manager of Gardening Scotland and proprietor of the world famous Edrom Nurseries for over 20 years; Alec West, who built his own house in the walled garden at Antons Hill; Patsy Blacklock, whose gardens at Maxton are open under Scotlands Garden Scheme and Andrew Simmons, Head Gardener at Floors Castle. Sitting in the chair for the session will be Patrick Scott, Director of Scotland's Garden Schemes.

Youngsters will get to display their artistic talents with some Children's Activities from 2-4pm on Saturday before the day's highlight, a production of 'Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat'.

The cast will take to the stage in the church on Saturday at 7.30pm to belt out the likes of 'Any Dream Will Do', 'Jacob and Sons' and 'Close Every Door' amongst others.

The show is a ticketed event preceded at 6.30pm by drinks and nibbles. The Duns Inter Church Praise Group (and others) have been rehearsing hard for weeks and this performance is not to be missed!

Moving onto Sunday and The Right Reverend Brian Smith, Bishop of Edinburgh will be joining a special Praise Service at 10am to which all are invited and on Sunday afternoon at if you don't get to see it on Saturday, there will be a matinee performance of 'Joseph' at 3pm.

Brass band enthusiasts and poetry lovers will be entertained on Sunday evening with 'The Brass on Tweed Ensemble' and readings of some of the poems which have been submitted by local writers ( both children and adults) to form 'Spectres on the Landscape', a Berwickshire Poetry Anthology.

The book will be launched at this event at a special introductory price for that evening only. Tickets for the concert, which starts at 7pm, are available from Huttonian

At the end of the concert, drinks and nibbles will be available and winning bidders of a Silent Auction will be announced.

Lots up for grabs include holidays in Ireland; Perthshire and Berwickshire; three nights in London; a fishing trip and dinner at a local restaurant. You can even win the chance to have your house cleaned or your garden tidied up!

To find out more about the lots and how to make a bid, contact Marlene Young, Manderston Stables, Marlene is also the contact for tickets for 'Gardener's Question Time' and the 'Joseph' productions. Tickets for these events, which are sure to go fast, are also on sale at Nairn's Newsagents, Duns.

The church will be open from 10am daily and on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as well as the exhibition, there will be music and live organ recitals.

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Litter Letter

The self appointed anti litter Czar from down town Duns has now replied to the letters defending the lunch time munching students from the High School as published last week-see previous posts

SIR, - I write further to your correspondence in the Letters to the Editor page of the Berwickshire News. I have replied jointly as I wish to make sure that you all get the same answers from me.
Firstly, I wish to thank you for taking the trouble to respond to my letter in such a clear and detailed manner. It would seem that I have been adjudged unfair where I seemingly accused all students. That was never my intention; your disappointment may have arisen from my loose drafting or your finding something that was not in my mind when I wrote my letter.
I think that if my interpretation is accepted, there is little need to go very much further into the points you all make. Living so close to the Square, I see many BHS students in uniform as well as others in out of school dress.
My impression is that there is not an abundance of things to do for the young people of Duns but the young people I see are well behaved and courteous.
I would be proud to have a child of mine attend the school.
I was on the point of getting back to the editor of The Berwickshire News when today's (October 8) paper arrived. Since I wrote there has been a very noticeable improvement in the matter of lunchtime litter and it was pleasing to see that my remarks had been recognised and corrective action taken. Thank you for this.
Mr Christie kindly invited me to visit. I am in the first day of flu which keeps me quarantined for a week or so. I would repeat that I have no doubts as to how the majority of students behave and the improvement by the minority convinces me that corrective action has been taken.
In these circumstances, I will decline his offer and let you all get on with the business of teaching and learning without some old fogey taking up valuable time.
Best regards to you all

He seems to feel that his original letter has made some difference.

He may well be right

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Berwickshire Poets Rise to the Challenge

is a headline on page 4 of the hard copy Berwickshire News-not yet on line-about the Berwickshire Poetry Anthology due to be launched this coming Sunday as previously posted. The article says it all really

The title poem illustrates the image above

Copies are going quite fast

So hurry

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Under the Blether

Huttonian is very much under the weather at the moment. To put it mildly, So blogging may be a bit spasmodic.

So as the topless dancer said to her colleague;

Bare with me for the moment


Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Thin Band Anyone?

A bloggee writes:
So much for the 21st century. Yet another ISP has told me the local exchange is too slow to offer broadband, so that only leaves……BT, unless my neighbour-in-the-know tells me otherwise when he rings back.. They appear to be coining it throughout rural Britain. Grrrrrr. A friend who lives a couple of miles from the exchange went onto BT broadband and they stopped charging her for it because it was so slow. However, SBC planners are having more and more tacky little hoosies built round here without the telephone infrastructure to support it. We HAVE tried to tell them but…… What can one do without losing the plot altogether and contacting the ISP?

This is all in the context about encouraging everyone to get onto broadband which is apparently "99% available" But I wonder how many of the Borderers really want to use the Internet-Broadband or no-and we get 6mobs in Duns. Hutton enjoys about 1MB which is workable for most practical purposes except you might have trouble in downloading say, 'Priscilla, Queen of the Raving, Trans Gender Fairies*'- in your life time anyhow.

Some electrician working on a problem in the Small House in Duns remarked 'Wow-Good to see someone of your age going on line' I nearly changed the wretched fuse myself, after that crack (actually intended as a genuine compliment)-but the fact is that Silver Surfers are not a common breed in these 'ere parts except perhaps amongst the Gerdian Readers.

And they are not a common breed either

And it has to be said-re the bloggee's comments that most exchanges have been upgraded in recent years. When we first moved to Hutton the Chirnside Exchange was so primitive it did not allow you to use 1471 to check on the last caller. One Pensioner was however unfazed by this -'If I missed a call and it is important for the caller to talk to me-he will ring again' The same down to earth attitude as the lady from Ayton who was asked to identify her self in the Bank of Scotland Branch;
She pulled out her pocket her handbag mirror; looked into it and said:

'That's me alright'

(* Unlikely to be available in a cimema near you)

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Monday, October 12, 2009
McMansions are back

So much for the recession which I had hoped would protect the Merse from further assaults on public taste.

Alas. Look at this

And there are to be two of them!

Come back "Ozymandias"

'Sense of place' is an important planning criterion.

In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows:
"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
"The wonders of my hand." The City's gone,
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.
We wonder, and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in Chase,
He meets some fragments huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

Fast forward a few centuries.

To a post global warming world

Fishwick-an archaeologist's treasure chest

for 'gigantic leg'


'inappropriate pillar'

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Litterbug? Moi?
Accusations of students from Berwickshire High School in Duns littering Market Square with their lunch time foraging expeditions to the fast food fleshpots-a letter in last week's Bewickshire (as duly blogged below) has elicited two pained responses in this week's letter column-see here-one from some of the students and the other from the Depute (ugh) Rector

Huttonian has no strong views on this-Duns seems remarkably free of this scourge but I did happen to be behind a group of 15 year old or so girls last week who were loudly expressing their irritation at the original letter.The most vocal of all complaining bitterly about crumblies who had nothing better to so than slag off well behaved youngsters illustrated her point to perfection by a flicking an empty crisp packet in the general direction of a bin-some body's let out for collection-missing it by about 6 feet and cackling 'Let the old nuisance come and tidy that up then'

So much for the Social Education programme?

But then we are talking about a tiny minority.
As we always do.

No such problem when we had the school in Hutton.

Down town foraging at lunch time completely unknown.

No Forage

(In all of Flickr there is no image of the BerwickshireHigh School-so here is the Pipe Band)

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Friday, October 09, 2009

On the Wagon

As you might imagine the top story in this week's Berwickshire News which you can read here is about the Great Pipe Burst and the 5000 households without water for, in some cases, up to 10 hours. Does not quite rank with recent natural disasters in the Far East and other foreign parts or an average afternoon in Bangladesh but quite a little stirrer by local standards

Perhaps I am a bit unreasonable in finding this section from the article from our MSP, John Soundbite Photo Opportunity Lamont a trifle irritating:

The MSP for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, John Lamont, whose family were affected by the burst, is calling for those who were affected to be duly compensated.

Speaking to The Berwickshire News on Tuesday, he said: "This fault has been a major inconvenience to thousands of Berwickshire residents and I am pleased that the water supply has now been restored.

"I know the affected area well as it is next to my parents' farm and I have been contacted by a number of local residents who were concerned about the situation."

John added: "Scottish Water have a responsibility to maintain their system and I think they should consider whether compensation would be appropriate for people who have either sustained damage to their property or have been inconvenienced by this problem."

Am I alone in this? Is his pleasure to note that the water supply has been restored the faintest of hints that he might have been somehow responsible for this happy outcome? Or am I being a bit paranoiac? But I do find his call for compensation a bit crass-he is never far behind a potentially popular band wagon and likely to climb on a few more as the election approaches. I would doff my cap to him if he had the grace to congratulate Scottish Water on handling a major event with speed and efficiency. Burst at 7am-back on (for most people) at 4pm is a pretty impressive piece of work.

Off the band wagon and on to the water truck. Come on John, you can do it.

Scottish Water employees are voters as well

And if there is to be compensation for inconvenience, how much for a futile visit to the Coop in search of bottled water and not being able to turn our washing machine on for half a day? That's Third World for you

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Thursday, October 08, 2009
Extracting your Digital

A bloggee writes:

BBorderers across the region were bombarded with instructions to retune their digital tellies on Sep 30th. A whole host of strange new channels have appeared including a couple of the starting at 2 a.m. variety (unwholesome, one suspects). However, one wee gem now keeps me rivet ted from 6p.m. onwards. Along with certain luxury hotels in Serbia , Bosnia and the Czech Republic ,we lucky Borderers can now receive Russia Today. There are fascinating news reports which can take our minds off Gordon Brown and dodgy water supplies. So far tonight we have had a report from Riga which is predicting that the economic downturn is set to continue. The price index which they have found to be the most accurate predictor of economic swings is reflected in sex workers’ charges. Brings a whole new emphasis to it’s tough out there on the streets, eh? Budget airlines might be advertising flights to Riga with: a spanking good time - and now even cheaper……..

There are a lot of good feature programmes about social issues and cultural minorities so I’m just back to watch the box and I’ll be spared Masterchef with the vampire man and the bald bondage freak.

On the dodgy water supplies the same writer is not too impressed with the advice issued by Scottish Water

The water is now a very pale straw sort of colour. Nobody from the water lot contacted us, not even when we reported the sewer appearance stage. However, many Facebook contacts have been circulated with last night’s ridiculous instructions. They also recommended that only the kitchen cold tap be run so that the yucky stuff didn’t spread across the house. I said I was buggered if I was going to run buckets of water to flush the loo. I think Civil Defence was rather better prepared against nuclear war with its whitewash and brown paper remedies. Curiously, the first person I rung said the fractured pipe diameter was 8” but other sources have it as 18” – obviously resolutely unprepared for decimalisation, then.

I think Duns has escaped the worst. And none of that advice reached us. The effable Mr Lamont has now climbed onto the water wagon. Of which more anon

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Take me to the Kittens


Is the heading of this letter to the Berwick Advertiser

SIR,-I wrote to your paper last November after enjoying a short holiday in Berwick. I have maintained an interest in all things Berwick via your excellent website.
After my visit, my letter lamented the proliferation of dog excrement in the town.
It was, frankly, in abundance to the extent that I wondered whether the local council wasn't intentionally trying to deter visitors!
Not the first time a council would have ‘messed’ things up for the local community it is meant to be serving!
However, I am not writing today about canine poo and, believe it or not, I am a dog lover!
Instead, I was upset to read about the attack on the kitten in Oliver Road, Wooler, by some massive Great Dane.
I was, frankly, appalled by the reaction of some mindless locals and the abuse the poor dog’s owners have had to put up with.
I would urge all Berwickers to remember that dogs will be dogs, and that cats (particularly small ones) are the natural enemies - and foodstuffs - of dogs.
Also, one must not forget that cats can be incredibly provocative - was this particular animal perhaps 'spoiling' for a fight?
We will never know, but there should be a period of calm and reflection now.
The owners should not be blamed, and nor should the dog. And our hearts should go out to the owners of the now dead cat.

A Kitten Spoiling for a fight?

So it should be blamed?

We don't have many provocative kittens in Berwickshire as far as I know. Me, I would prefer any that are around to incontinent dogs-Great Danes can be particularily prolific when they go

All this reminds me of an over zealous copper nicking a pedestrian for
'Breathing through his nose in a provocative manner'

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Spectres on the Landscape
Bloggees are asking where they can get a copy of this new poetry anthology without having to wait for the launch on Sunday week in Duns

A limited supply is available in Nairns-but they are going.

So hurry.

A guy in Nairns picked up a copy as I was getting my Gerdian.

'Berwickshire Poetry'!
How very oxymoronic! He smirked

I hesitate to label him an Oxy Moron-last two syllables could apply here

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009
No he don't live here any more

Despite having signed up to the Telephone Preference Service we still get the odd cold call at the Small House in Duns. Not so much the eager double glazing establishment, random calling, who just happens to be having a special promotion in TD11 this week but the guy who knows who he wants to talk to, by name. In this case Mr Robinson the previous owner

Ring Ring. Long hollow silence "Hullo Am I speaking to Mr Robinson" "No. He left nearly two years ago" " Are you the new owner?"Note no attempt to find out where he is now-such fickle friends the Robinsons must have had. "No. We have had this house two years" "Ah.(sub text you'll do nicely)and into the pitch. Phone down at this point is the obvious end game but an irritation none the same.

I once tried to put Menace of Mumbai off his stride 'Hullo. I would like to speak to Mr Robinson'
"He's dead"

"Well I'll have a word with his good lady"

(Over my dead body)

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Our motoring correspondent Rhoda Hogg writes:

The stretch of the B6437 S. of the junction with the B6461. During the road works there was a portaloo at each end of this section of road. However, the one at the southern end seemed to disappear at night – where to we know not. The road was closed for “resurfacing”. It now no longer has a white line down the middle but a white line near each edge of the road, thus seeming to narrow it and also to terrify anyone with a small car when there is an agrivehicle coming the other way. The ruts at the crumbling edges have been filled in with what looks like earth. Any agricultural driver trying not to leave wheel marks on the roof of a Ka or similar small car is requested not to churn up these edges with his nasty, heavy vehicle. The odd mark down the former middle of the road is still there. Nobody seems to know why all that loose grit was spread along the road the last time it was closed a few weeks ago, but there ain’t any more. Residents of nearby cottages have been inconvenienced greatly by their overflow car park having been squatted in for some time (and without warning) by large SBC road works vehicles. Has the area been turned into an SBC plant park? While the monsters are there they are not out busily mending our crumbling roads. SBC and communication, eh?

Across the water there are further hazards awaiting the unwary visitor to Norham. Northumbrian Water have some sort of strange road digging operation going on which requires a traffic light system. During the day this is complicated further by large vehicles not looking where they are going. The red light sign at the bridge end of the works is too flimsy to stand up for long and the bizarre position of the red light to which it pertains has caused many an eek moment. Every night village the temporary barriers collapse into the trench they are allegedly guarding but nobody has worked out who or what is doing this. And we thought SBC were dire…….

And if road problems re not enough how about this ?:

For Immediate Release

Engineers Battle to Reconnect Duns

Scottish Water engineers are currently assessing the damage following a burst to the 18 inch outlet main from the Dunslaw Service Reservoir.

In order to investigate the damaged main and begin repair work it has been necessary to shut off the water supply to a number of local communities. In order to reduce morning disruption this shut down was left to as late as was possible.

Customers in Duns have been first to be affected, however customers in or near the surrounding areas of Greenlaw, Swinton, Hutton, Paxton, Whitsome, Chirnside and Foulden could also be affected during the course of the day.

Craig Lawson, Scottish Water’s Regional Manager for the Borders said:

“Our engineers are doing everything possible to complete this repair as quickly as they can. The burst 18 inch iron main is affecting more than 4,900 properties and it’s important that we reduce disruption as much as possible. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience this may be causing.”

We will continue to keep the local community informed as we assess the damage to the main and begin repairs.

Scottish Water would ask customers able to preserve drinking water supplies to do so at this time.

You can follow the drip by drip crisis here

In the meanwhile the Coop in Duns has run out of bottled water!

Which gives the lie to the old Two Ronnies news item:

News of Panic Buying in Scotland THERE ISN'T ANY

PS Go here to see Scotland's most popular blog

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

New Balls Please

Well done Greenlaw Tennis players to get the old court up and running after years of neglect-as you can read here This is great progress since Huttonian reported in November last year;

Bomb stopped tennis. You CAN'T BE SERIOUS

The heart stopping news in the Berwickshire-see here is about the discovery of an unexploded Second World War German shell/bomb on the old tennis court at Greenlaw which is being restored to Fred Perry standards (and may not have been played on since his time). Greenlaw apparently saw enemy action in the war where allied Poles may have been the intended targets; rather unsporting to bomb them during tennis match, one would have thought. Alternatively the bombers may have been after Voytek the iconic Polish dancing, fighting, drinking Bear which single handed saw off six Panzer divisions in the Italian campaign. It is not previously recorded that this multi tasking animal ever played tennis but I suppose it may have carrying the drinks around when the Germans pounced.

I have tracked down the original story in the Berwickshire here

We hope that is the end of enemy action against our peaceful county and we also hope in this context that the local fuzz have learned from their foolishness of a few years back when a speed cop, aimed his 'hairdryer' speed camera at a low flying RAF jet. The fighter's missiles apparently immediately locked on to 'hostile radar'-a technique used in Iraq but realising he was over North Berwick and not Basra
no air to ground rocket was fired-good news for East Lothian's finest.The Police had the nerve to complain to the RAF authorities and were rewarded with this :

"Sir, Thank you for your message, which allows us to complete the file on this
You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Tornado had
automatically locked on to your ‘hostile radar equipment’ and sent a jamming signal
back to it.
Furthermore, the Sidewinder Air-to-Ground missiles aboard the fully-armed aircraft
had also locked on to the target. Fortunately the Dutch pilot flying the Tornado
responded to the missile status alert intelligently and was able to override the
automatic protection system before the missiles were launched".


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Saturday, October 03, 2009
Granny, Going. Going, Gone

The Huttonian extended family has been amused by this item here coinciding as it does with the senior granddaughter- another Zoe-6th Birthday.

I am sure she would never wish to sell her granny on E-bay or anywhere else-finds her much too useful as a personal couturier but the thought may have crossed her mind during a melt down or two when her granny has not altogether shared her point of view. She would me much more likely to put up her younger sister whom I am sure she could also describe as "annoying" but "cuddly"

I did not see the entry in question. Cost of carriage would have been a hefty addition. And how to you describe condition:

'Second Hand' is somewhat off putting?



(What on earth is this to do with the Merse? Blog Ed)

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Friday, October 02, 2009
Wrong Sort of Litter

To the usual issues beloved of the letter writers to the Berwickshire News add that of Litter
SIR, - I live just off the town square in Duns.
Every week day lunchtime, students from the High School gather there to eat carry out meals.
They throw the packaging and then the food trays onto the pavements and return to school.
A Scottish Borders Council workman is then employed to go round and gather up all the rubbish the children have deposited.
This work is undertaken from the Square out to the school.
Apart from littering being an offence, the situation shows a sad lack of community spirit from tomorrow’s citizens and is something they will doubtless carry on into adulthood.
It should be possible to replace the council worker who cleans up after the young with a police officer and a book of penalty tickets.
Also, does the school include social responsibility in its teaching?
If not, they should consider it. If it is a subject, it needs revisiting.

He should know I suppose-its not something that's impinged on my consciousness especially after visits to N13 and most other big towns.

Improving school meals might be one answer?

Not,I think issuing offenders with tickets.

What might they do with them?

Yes, that's right

(There are 170,000 images for Litter on Flickr. Enjoy)

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Thursday, October 01, 2009
The Force be with you

Berwickshire is one of the safest places to live according to the local fuzz. (Hard copy Berwickshire News page 4-not yet on line)Only 71 reported crimes in the last month and 80% solved Acting Sergeant Dishington told the Berwickshire Area Committee. Crime, such as it is, (and you can get a summary here is mostly of the yobbish variety. One police 'initiative' has to do with the dreaded boy racers with 90 young drivers given a course on road safety-in Duns, naturally, and remarkably enough only one ASBO has been issued-it may have been of course that some of the offending drivers were just too fast for the local police drivers. Judging over by the still appalling standard of driving by youngsters in souped up and noisy cars the message has yet to get home.

One solution by the Hutton Think Tank (Outside the box section) is to have role model drivers for these young tearaways. Hence the proposal for a new Duns Festival-Dreivers Week instead of Reivers Week. A Dreiver, A Dreiver's Lass, A Left Hand dreive Man, Right Hand Dreive etc. Young upstanding people with clean licences and in respectable eco friendly electric cars would drive around carefully performing their public functions and give their horses a week off

Supporters of this idea are asked to double park out the Jim Clarke Rooms in Newtown Street and honk your horns for upward of five minutes.

If the Police ask you to move on.

Do so, but carefully

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