Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Iright our indefatigable surfing reporter discovers ‘Lost in Translation’

And here it is ‘Lost in Translation’

'What happens when an English phrase is translated (by computer) back and forth between 5 different languages?' Iright has been experimenting, here are his conclusions:
Maybe we could suggest interactive signs in Nairn powered by babelfish - could prove interesting
Welcome to Nairn in the Highlands of Scotland
Welcomely with the mountain of Nairn
Hello, my name is Sandy Park, I am the Provest of Nairn. Have you tried one of my pies becomes:
Today because my indicated park of the sand is, it is the Nairn Provest. All my cake controlled the station of the work

Wad ye believe't. Anither girn fae iright his turnt up.

Iright has been browsing the Scots pages at the Parly
Weel fit's aa the claik. Our reporter goes on to say: Should we have more things written in Scots?
'We've already seen a bit of a stoochie with regard to Gallic being put on road signs in the Highlands, but should they encompass Scots as well, or for that matter could the Nairn tongue be preserved for a bit longer if we had signs pointing visitors to the likes of the bankie or the peerie?'
Wad ye beleive't Anither girn fae iright his turnt up. We're needn tae hear a boot your girns, Iright tellin's aboot his. Gie's yir crack.
This gives Nairn a chance to steal a march on the tourist industry with trilingual signage. Nairn has just as much claim already to Gàidhlig signs: according to the census there are 200 people in the town able to speak/understand the language. In 1881 out of a total po0pulation of 9,481, a grand total of 1,280 were speakers of Gàidhlig. Further back in the century before the figure was nearer 60% according to a prominent local historian.
So with the Nairn Scots/english dialect on signs as well we could really knock them over.
Which brings me to something I recently saw on Yahoo: Iomairtean Gàidhlig
'25 an Cèitean 2005
A charaid chòir,
I would like to congratulate you on the two recent decisions by the HighlandCouncil (Meeting of the Sutherland County Committee, Brora 7 February 2005and The Highland Council City of Inverness and Area Committee, Inverness, 28February 2005) not to adopt meaningful bilingual signage on the grounds of“road safety”. Common sense at long last.May I suggest to you that you also contact the following governments toadvise them of the dangers of bilingual (or trilingual) signage: Japan,China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Greece, Armenia, Georgia, Mongolia, India,Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuweit, Syria, Lebanon, Israel,Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Algeria,Morocco, Oman, Yemen, Qatar, Myanmar, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Canada andKorea, Wales, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France ... mostof them actually.I am sure your newfound “insights” will be highly appreciated and help bringScotland to the forefront of international road safety issues.I leave you with a few snapshots your councillors would be acquainted withhad they bothered to investigate rather than make hasty decisions based ontheir own “knowledge” of such issues.I’d really like to hear your views on this issue and especially how theyrelate to you Gaelic policies.
is mise le meas
Michael Bauer'
Ye dinna tell me! Aye Michael loon, ye'll nae get cuttins fae Highland Cooncil. We kin fit their aboot, we're nae saw green as we're cubbage-looking.

Monday, May 30, 2005

New kids on the block, a special for our Seattle readers

They appeared with mum and dad in the harbour basin yesterday and are settling down to getting to know the locasl

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Charity bash

Iright reports:
Our man with the Big Issue was knocked off his usual perch this morning outside Somerfield supermarket. Seems another charity collector had arrived on the scene first and had the store manager's permission to take the pitch (I gather Somerfields only allow one charity collection at any one time). But rather than offer his goods elsewhere (say on the High Street) Mr Issue complained to Somerfield's manager. I am sure that the good folks of Nairn dig deep to give to numerous charities, but I think Mr Issue should take his turn gracefully.

Who will eat all the pies?

Iright delves deeper into the Nairn Pie world:
In case folk are no aware… 5 a day is the minimum recommended dose of fruit and veg we are supposed to eat. Good news (based on a strong rumour) that what was once ‘Pampered Pets’ shop is to offer Nairnites the chance to eat more fruit and veg, the only drawback is that ingredients will be wrapped in pastry and called pies. I wish this new venture well. Wonder if they will offer potatoes (fried) as well? Just what us healthy folk need!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Councillors’ Expenses.

Conveniently the higher up the alphabet they are the costlier they become. Vote for someone with a surname beginning with ‘A’ next time round will be the Gurn’s policy in the local elections.

Highland Council, Members’ Allowances and Expenses 04/05

Fraser L £10,848.61
MacDonald Liz £17,905.42
Matheson J £20,917.12
Park AS £25,475.14

If Laurie represents you and he manages to hit the spot, then wow what value he is compared to the rest (who, of course, must have additional responsibilities, mustn’t they?).
If we cloned Laurie so there would be four of him we could get everything done for almost half the price. Proponents of the Provost however might suggest that we get him cloned and get 4times the quality on stream plus 4 times the amount of excellent pies: (rush down to his shop on the High Street now and buy one citizens!)
Any other suggestions? Entries on the back of a Town Centre Redevelopment plan please.

Central beach water quality failure

The ‘Central’ beach (to use a Highland Council newspeak word) doesn’t make it into the Marine Conservation Society’s ‘Good Beach Guide’ this year because of deteriorations in the water quality. The unfashionable East Beach does however. Might as well let the dogs back on hey? The odd puddle of canine piss drying rapidly in the sun might not make all that much difference at all, its what’s in the water that counts and once again the filth comes home to roost.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Part of his maiden speech...

Danny Alexander that is...

constituency. I pay tribute to David Stewart, who was the member of Parliament for that constituency from 1997 and the Labour party candidate at the election.
Mr. Stewart conducted his campaign in the way he conducted himself in this House: he was understated, industrious and gentlemanly. He was a renowned campaigner on many worthy causes, and I would particularly like to highlight his work to tackle global poverty through the Jubilee 2000 movement. I wish him well for the future. Of course, the highlands of Scotland have a long and radical tradition. Hence it has been for many years a stronghold of Liberalism and now Liberal Democracy. Prior to 1997, much of my
constituency was represented by that great... '

Lifted straight from: theyworkforyou.com If you are really interested you can get an e-mail alert everytime he speaks just go here.
He said lots of nice things about the constituency but I think many thousands of his constituents might think the praise for David Stewart was a wee bitty OTT.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Can’t see the dead wood for the trees?

It seems a shame to apply a blogosphere term to our local rag but these habits grow on you. Anyway waves of indignation breaking these week over the pages of the Nairnshire Telegraph on the subject of councillors holding meetings discussing official business ‘in Camera’ (in secret in other words). Most of the concerns seem to come from Auldearn and be linked to planning matters but a prominent ‘River Community Councillor’ has joined in the criticism and criticised further ‘in camera’ meetings on the subject of the town centre and the Sandown Lands.
Well the rules are there to protect commercial confidentiality, and if you’ve just found out about them then you might be alarmed but they exist and even if it is your opinion that they put the public at a disadvantage, c’est la vie: they exist. If protesters have genuine concerns about developments they might want to consider other avenues of protest, such as the successful ‘Save Viewfield’ campaign.
Having said that the waves of indignation seem to be increasing and coming further ashore. Will it spread beyond the ‘usual suspects’ into a more general storm that might do lasting harm to our elected representatives?

But to be fair:
On the town centre development, are any meetings being held, ‘in camera’ or otherwise and does the whole thing still hinge on what multi-national buys the supermarket next and what they think about the plans? If anyone has any information, a press release to keep the citizens informed might work wonders.

And a more general gurn flowing from the subject in hand.
On the Auldearn front are we now seeing ‘nimbyism’ from a few folk who want to shut the drawbridge after finding a nice spot for themselves? If houses are to be built in Auldearn where will the inhabitants work however? Will they just join the throng clogging the A96 every morning? How about some improved public transport? Double the railway line to Inverness and open up a few more halts, like a park and ride up at the Nairn Industrial Estate and run trains/trams every 20 minutes. Reopen the line to Ardersier while you are at it with a new stop at the Golden mile complete with bridge over the A96? Or just wait 30 years plus for a dual-carriageway all the way that will clog up as soon as it is opened.
Are they ignoring what I’m thinking?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Harbour heliport

Much speculation but little agreement so far has been brought about by Highland Council laying an octagonal area of bricks just outside the Harbour Master’s premises at Nairn Harbour. Rumour gathered so far by iRight for the new installation has been: heliport, gazebo, telescope, drying green, swimming pool, standing stone, etc Watch this space

Sweet Charity

The past weekend saw shoppers at Nairn’ Somerfield store being offered a choice of charities to empty their pockets for. Our sometime Big Issue sales rep was there, alongside the Nairn Academy Salsa band. Have to say the band won the day in terms of the attention of the crowds flocking to the store, I hope their collecting bucket was filled. Whilst in-store your faithful reporter iRight lost his car keys. ‘Oh dearie me’ he exclaimed once outside the supermarket beside his vehicle. Much searching, retracing steps, asking store staff revealed nothing, and was advised to register the loss at the Police Station. Once home he was looking at public transport timetables (spare keys in Inverness) when our friendly cops rang to say keys matching his had been handed in. Indeed on returning to the Police Station iRight found the keys were indeed the ones he had lost – sweet charity in Nairn, and a big thank you to the honest citizen/s

Noticed any 'astro-turfing'?

Does anybody remember reading letters in our local and regional Dead Tree media supporting the Labour Party. One wonders how many of these actually came from genuine citizens wishing to express their political opinions.
According to this news report on Guardian Unlimited it seems a lot of hoodwinking was going on.
'How Labour used its election troops to fake popular support Documentary shows activists writing letters to newspapers and posing as 'local people' to greet Blair on campaign trail In America, they call it 'astroturfing': the faking of grassroots support for a politician or a product whose popularity is on the slide. '
Thanks to Stuart at Independence for bringing this to our attention. I don't suppose the Labour Party are the only ones to do this by any means, just further evidence of how vile things have become I suppose.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Exclusive: rumours of new Pet Shop possibly wrong?

Confusion in Nairn tonight as signage on the former Longhouse restaurant seemed to contradict the impression that a Pet Shop would soon be opening.

Green party let's be charitable...

The last sign left from the election in the High Street. The Green Party are always saying they are different and yes here's the proof. Shall we be charitable and just call them ignorant? This blogger has said it before and will say it again: if you want that second vote for the Scottish Parliament next time round then get your finger out and prove that you are interested in Nairn, interested enough to take that sign down and stop looking like numpties would be a start!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A96 – a town in gridlock

Iright sits it out on the A96:
Nairn is blighted by yet another attempt to improve the road surface of the A96 (Our main road through the town linking Nairn with Aberdeen and Inverness). A few months ago a similar operation was carried out to the road at the Eastern end of town. The boys with the blackstuff are back but this time they don’t seem to be so organised. This morning in the interests of the Gurn I sat in the traffic chaos. Signage seems very light. No indication to the passing motorist of what hours, nor how many days this work will take. No speed limit signs, no warning of what to me was a ramp. No sign of any work people, and although they can be clever with the traffic light system to funnel two lanes through one, it seemed to me that the lights were left for an evening bias when there is more traffic coming from Inverness. Lack of information leads to driver frustration, thus side roads in Nairn such as those at Sandside and the West end of town have become rat runs with drivers trying to beat the jams, How long will it last – no-idea, who is the contactor – no –idea (no signs). The work of the famous Bear Scotland – maybe. If you want to voice your concern contact radio Scotland travel, let them know of the Nairn traffic bedlam so that motorists may avoid the area

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Wallace Grandstand

Iright spots something else while out on patrol:
Days after the famous Nairn icon the Wallace Bandstand lost part of its roof in a winter gale, the council acted swiftly and surrounded the building with railings to keep us out an the remaining roof was made secure. Months later the bandstand is now encased in scaffolding, ladders, and green mesh. I think most Nairnites had visions of a man going along with a ladder and some lead to do the repairs, but obviously our council has greater plans. My guess at the moment is that the Bandstand is being much expanded to provide a top notch grandstand for Nairn games. This to be followed by a World Cup or Olympic bid next year when the Links tea room will become an International sports centre, oh and the cricket pitch will be upgraded to rival Lords – pretty exciting eh!

Wheelie mad

Iright contributes:
Most folk (other than scaffies) probably lament the passing of the good old dustbin, beside which you could pile all sorts of rubbish for uplift. Numerous wild beasties including those heading home from local hostelories would investigate your swollen bin bags and spread your rubbish down the street. Bin lids blew away on the slightest breath of air, lids were mixed up. But, in general, the old bins could be moved and hidden away a lot more easily than the wheelie bin. Had plastic moulding of wheelie bins been a little more adventurous then we might have seen a more interesting landscape. Sculptures such as Henry Moore could have been commissioned to design a wonderful sculptural garden of shapes and themes. Local artists could have developed the cairn wheelie bin, green folk could have ones with wheels attached to use as cars. But no, we have green wheelie bins and that is that. Large, ugly, and no one likes them. If you want to be an individual though you could try this company:
Sadly our now numerous bins have been identified as a real fire hazard. Witness this dreadful story. How many of us lock our bins, and even if we did how would they be emptied?
Wheelies are world wide: http://www.wwwb.co.uk/
I have heard folk in Nairn complain that they have had to pay for lost or new wheelie bins – move to Manchester where they are http://www.greencleen.com/
Of course there is security and the threat of stolen identity. You have ‘shredded’ all the paperwork you put out for recycling haven’t you? http://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/showthread/t-36684.html
Finally a fan site of the wheelie bin (there’s always one!)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Help keep someone in a job leave a comment at the beeb?

Our correspondent iright comments: 'Anything to say? As icy blasts threaten to put an end to spring and herald a global warmed summer will the Gurn last it through. We need a new red sofa in town! '
Iright has spotted the latest ploy at the beeb, now setting themselves up in judgement of the blogosphere at Weblog Watch and the beeb says:
'Many critics claim that blogs have nothing to say and are pure self-indulgence. This new column, Weblog Watch, will be keeping an eye on the blogs and seeing if the criticism is justified. '
You can help keep someone in a job in the beeb my leaving a request to have your blog reviewed. Could be fun or heart-breaking to have a professional opinion? Let's see if they bother with us:-)

What a tip

An iright report:

Good to hear that Nairn’s new £350,000 pound recycling at Park Quarry will be opening soon. (I had wondered recently what the mysterious mounds of earth were at the quarry). Maybe we will be able to exchange our unwanted waste for rock dust – who knows? I was also wondering if Sandy Park would be cutting through a recycled black bag to open the facility. I was mortified on opening my paper and tin recycling bin last week to find two pieces of paper returned in the bin. I assume our diligent waste disposal collectors have calibrated callipers with which to measure the thickness of material and anything over say 120 gms is returned for the householder to dispose of elsewhere, being deemed as nasty cardboard! It got me thinking though as to what a wonderful facility this could be and was considering tipping my clean washing in the bin this week to see if it would come back all folded and ironed – I think not but would be worth a try My collection of bins could be seen as quite impressive especially if I can get a set of those nice plastic printed covers to make them look like a hedge, or a rose bush. Near election time I could cut a slot in the top of my paper and tin bin and invite politicians to drop their material directly into my new postal voting facility. I could then vote for the person who’s brochure was on top of the pile :-) oh what fun recycling is going to bring – worth every penny if you ask me

Thursday, May 12, 2005

At last: a Green campaign with its act together

After making little headway after a lacklustre effort in Inverness, Nairn and … and…and (you know the one that that David whatsisname, who voted for war, bloke got the boot from), it looks like the Greens are going for one to win and are using all the subliminal tricks in the book in the green pastures of Aberdeen Uni. Well he has his place in Scottish political history does Robin Harper but I mean he's not the ecological equal of Tommy Sheridan is he?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Political litter not only on the lamposts

An Iright report:

Whilst the Gurn faithfully reports and debates the political litter still adorning our lampposts, shame that web sites seem to be over looked. Nothing like using the web to promote the latest news is there? http://www.davidstewart.labour.co.uk/ViewPage.cfm?Page=1739 Maybe Davie can't afford the services of a web master anymore, or does he just want to be our MP forever more in the realms of cyberspace?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Restlessness in Auldearn

Villagers just along the A96 are up in arms about a planning meeting concerning the village that was held ‘in camera’. There seems to be a lot of unease and possibly a whiff of rebellion in the air? May has always been a good month for revolutions hasn’t it? To get the full story rush out and buy the Nairnshire Telegraph: as usual the newshounds are on the trial of controversial planning decisions in Nairnshire. Go on, fork out 35 pence for all the riveting details: a must this week and every week!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Local Green Party failing in its principles?

I can understand the main parties in their arrogance leaving their signs up until the council gives them a nudge or somebody writes a letter of complaint but that is the weekend after the election past and the party that wants to clean up the planet can't even be bothered to come into town and recycle its own posters. Dare to be different Donnie? I doubt if Nairn will hear much from the Green Party until the next elections! This blogger used to support them very much indeed but I'm beginning to think that all they want to do is get to Edinburgh and drive around in unleaded limos. If 'second vote Green' is to be the Holyrood slogan next time then get off your organic arses and do a bit more campaigning in the community and stop riding on the backs of the like of the general anti-GM activists and the wider environmental movement.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Who won in England?

Picked up a great link at Independence to The road to Euro serfdom and it seems that England now faces the same problem that Scotland had for so long: being ruled by a Party that didn't win in your country. Sorry to bore everyone with even more politics but this is quite interesting. Will the tories become the English National Party or Plaid En-ger-land?
Full article on the Euro Serfdom site
'8,014,418 Conservative
7,978,582 Labour
5,140,532 Liberal
285 Labour 193 Conservatives 47 Liberal Democrats 2 Other'

Oh the power of the press barons! Even ex Mp's have to gurn sometimes

An iright report:

I know the Blog is trying hard to move on from the election but a quick analysis of the votes shows that Don Cancer (Publican Party) managed to get more votes than the Scottish Socialist party which I find sad. But full marks to the SSP as in Nairn this evening despite defeat they were the first to be seen taking down their lamppost signs. I wonder which party will be last to do so? Davie Stewart (one time MP, once useless) has made a personal official complaint (guess he has no staff now) after an Inverness tabloid rag published his name wrongly last week and called him David Thompson (Just happens to be the name of the SNP candidate). No public comment has been forthcoming from the man himself but no-doubt the spin will be that due to this at least 4000 readers voted for the wrong candidate! Oh the power of the press barons

Friday, May 06, 2005

New job for David Stewart former MP?

In the polling station (Millbank School) yesterday there was a poster for a competition to find a new mascot for Caley FC. Now Davie is Caley to the core and once the competition has been won and a new mascot decided what better way to keep our ex hard-working member off the dole by allowing him to don the new costume and warm up the crowd with a pre-match appearance!
Go for it Davie or could there be something akin to a Quangodom in the near future?

Swimming pool still closed - major problems?

As this blogger understands it the swimming pool was meant to reopen after a refit on April the sixth and was looking forward to getting back into the gym and the swim. Alas the pool is still closed and rumours are circulating that big problems have been found. There certainly seems to have been a lengthy delay already. Has anyone seen anything in the dead wood media yet?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Breaking news: Carrot cake scandal knocks election off front page.

Nairnites were left reeling today at the news that carrot cakes were now 90p each in Ashers the bakers. Has Mr Asher decided to slip this one in under cover of the general election or is he genuinely trying to help carrot-cake addicts kick the habit? Or have the pricing team been infiltrated by Weight Watchers?
There is no doubt that whoever our new MP is tomorrow morning he will have to comment on this devastating news for the sweet-toothed.
Do you know anywhere you can get a cheaper decent carrot-cake?
At least the polling clerks will have some dosh and be able to afford the new price for a day or two. According to the BBC they earn:

'The clerks are paid £190 a day in inner London, £145 a day in outer London and £105 elsewhere. Presiding officers receive £275 a day in inner London, £205 in outer London and £175 elsewhere. Where there are local elections happening as well, poll clerks receive an extra £25 and presiding officers another £40. '
I've often wondered why they always are so cheerful in the Nairn polling stations!

Beach ban comments over at Bill's plus a plug for the SNP candidate

Good comments over on Bill's site today about the beach ban on dogs during the holiday season and how it came about and the injustices etc.
If you are near the polling station today please think about putting a cross by the name of Dave Thompson (SNP) he is this blogger's preferred candidate and is a decent guy. Hopefully he will not be ruined by the Palace of Filth and Misinformation in London if he gets there but good luck Davie all the same.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Something better change, I said, something better change

Wow this election seems to be fizzling out on this final day of campaigning. One of the pundits said on telly that people are even afraid to admit that they will be voting: that is how un-cool and useless the whole present system has become. Roll on the next elections for the Scottish Parliament at least your vote is of more use and ends up reflected in what people really want. What a load of crap we've had to endure. This morning the icing on the cake when the BBC reported that Howard had said that Mr Blair wasn't responsible for the latest military death in Iraq. The whole show stinks. Many of the real issues haven't been debated: the continuing slow death of Planet Earth, new nukes for military and civilian use, membership of the Euro-superstate. This blogger is too pissed off with it to make any further comment.
Taigh na Galla orra!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Let's talk about the weather

Let's change the subject. It was a real spring Nairn weekend: Saturday so hot and sunny and glorious for all outdoor activities and then it ****ed it down most of today. Friday had been sunny too but very windy and doing its best to tear the wonderful blossom off the Japanese cherry trees that are dotted around Nairn and generally remain anonymous until this time of year. Runner beans are planted but courgettes will stay under cover at the moment there have been one or two mornings when there has been a sharp frost and the danger is by no means past. It is a race at the mometn to eat all the spring borcolli before it flowers.

Wow what a relief, let's get back to talking about the weather and silly things and leave the politics to the politicians - we know the result anyway! But all the same good luck to Dave Thomson - the ideal man to get rid of Dave Stewart.