An acute source of embarrassment on the buses

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The day I had been dreading finally arrived last week, coming as a shock to the system notwithstanding the fact that I knew it had to happen sooner or later in my old age.

But come on lads, it’s not every day that a lady offers you her seat on a bus. Such was my surprise at the unexpected offer that before I could say “no thank you” the said lady had disappeared to a seat near the back of the bus, leaving me shamefacedly sliding into the vacant seat.

I was mortified as you can imagine, especially as she was in an age group nearer my own than any young thing who I might reasonably have been pleased to have say to “well if you insist.”

Not surprisingly I remonstrated with her on reaching our mutual destination, indicating my unhappiness at being so publicly humiliated.

She was in fact most apologetic, but pointed out that having seen me limping earlier in the day in the street, assumed my need of a seat was greater than hers, I surmised you just can’t win, at least once anno domini has caught up with you.

On a completely different tack, I was amused to see that Aberdeen City, not normally the most progressive of councils, having a spat with my own favourite local authority Aberdeenshire over charges at its new state of the art swimming pool.

Rather than enter into abrasive dialogue about who pays what, I would respectfully suggest that the high heid yins at Woodhill House ask themselves just why they are not embarking on a project to provide its council tax payers with an Olympic swimming pool of its own.

After the old Aberdeenshire of blessed memory was streets ahead of its city counterparts in the provision of leisure facilities, enabling proud officials to boast of its huge commitment to its then population of some 137,000. Factually, Aberdeenshire spent 10% of the Scottish leisure budget.

A staggering statistic, given our national population of around 5 million. I will let you do the maths.

These days will of course never return, not solely because of lack of funds, but dare I say lack of vision among elected members, and it’s equally limited officials.

Sporting facilities are a must in a society that is very keen to brag of its sporting achievements, most of which has come about on the back of public schools who actually have the drive, not to mention the aforesaid vision so lacking in our own public sector.

We are, in my opinion, in danger of going back to the dark ages if we don’t get our heads up and see what our European partners are doing in the world of sport.

The cash may not be available from the public coffers, but surely with a little imagination, our many private companies who are doing so well in 2014 could be persuaded to form meaningful partnerships in the pursuit of sporting excellence? It’s surely worth a try, if we want winners.