A view from the Bridge

SINCE the weekend, I’ve found myself with mixed opinions on whether or not I was right to shun the Olympic opening ceremony.

Over the past few weeks - where we’ve had nothing but the Olympics in the media - it’s been rather built up as some sort of collective national tradition, engagement with which is borderline compulsory. A lack of any desire to follow the games hasn’t been explicitly rendered socially unacceptable yet, but even normally level-headed, cynical types I am friends with have been caught up in Olympomania (to coin a portmanteau almost as bad as ‘Scolympians’).

It was the same at the Jubilee: everyone wanted to have tea parties, deck their houses in union jacks and celebrate all things monarchical. As a bit of a neo-Jacobin it didn’t sit well with me for political reasons, but then again, I just generally didn’t get the hype. There’s something about big crowds of people thinking and doing things that makes me want to do the exact opposite. Maybe I’m just inherently contrarian.

I did consider watching the opening ceremony: I toyed with the remote, I tickled my finger over the button - and I ended up playing computer games instead. Having learnt that the ceremony was hours long and included the Queen doing a parachute jump, I’m rather relieved I didn’t engage. And yet I get the sneaking suspicion that I’ve missed out on something vital. Many years hence, my bairns might ask me where I was when Britain hosted the Olympics, and I’ll have to answer: “On my PC, playing Crusader Kings 2.”

IN other news, Lib Dem MP Malcolm Bruce is calling on people to sign his petition calling for Aberdeen’s Labour administration not to cancel the third Don crossing.

Anyone who has ever been stuck at the Haudagain should add their signature: cancelling the bridge is not only counter-intuitive, it sends out an appalling message that the north-east is incapable of infrastructure projects. Partially, that’s the fault of the numpties at RoadSense, But the new city council haven’t helped.

Please sign this petition, and help us get some progress in the north-east.

LAST week, I reported on Cllr Gillian Owen’s investigations regarding the path joining Bredero Drive and Auchmore Road. The path hasn’t been maintained by anybody, and nobody seems to know who it belongs to.

While quite novel, there are other rights of way in the area which appear to be in precisely the same state of flux. A few times now I have ventured down what appear to be public roads - complete with signage - only to be greeted by potholes a child could drown in. Last week, driving between Logie Buchan and Auchmacoy, I discovered an ostensibly public road which appeared to have fallen victim to heavy artillery fire or a meteor bombardment, such was its condition.

Evidently, there are many rights of way in the area which fall into this ‘confused ownership’ category. It might do the local authority well to consider a general review.