Finally, the arts are being thrown a lifeline in the devastating storm of coronavirus.
The Scottish Government led the way – as it has so often during this crushing pandemic – with a relief fund of £10 million for performing art venues announced last week.
Now Westminster has realised it needs to step up, with a £1.57 billion package for theatres, galleries and museums and music venues. Some £97m of that will boost the arts in Scotland.
In Aberdeen, that help will be met with a sigh of relief from His Majesty’s through to Krakatoa and everywhere else.
The details still have to be worked out, of course, but at least there has been an acknowledgement in the corridors of power that arts and culture are as vital to the life of our nation as football and pubs.
Imagine for a second what it would be like to have nowhere you could hear live music.
The Lemon Tree, Tunnels, the aforementioned Krakatoa, all silent.
Think what it would be like if you could never go to see a show in HMT again – no big musicals, no moving dramas, no pantomime.
Imagine life without a gig at the Music Hall, be it one the stars of Strictly Come Dancing or the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
If you think lockdown is boring, think what it would be like without any of the above.
Just what difference this aid will make is still being worked out. When and how we will be able to get back into theatres and gigs is still being decided. But once it is, then the onus is on us to use these places and to support them.
First and foremost, it is because of the sheer pleasure the arts bring us. It’s a broad church, from West End shows to local am-dram productions, global superstars at P&J Live to a covers band in The Globe bar, top-flight comedians in the Music Hall or open mic nights at Breakneck.
And let’s not forget the arts festivals – Nuart, Look Again, Granite Noir, True North, the Aberdeen International Comedy Festival.
These are not only enjoyable, but they were fast becoming one of the powerhouses of the economy in Aberdeen and the north-east.
Art is the new oil, was a slogan a couple of years ago. It needs to be more than words.
Coronavirus has hit arts and culture hard. It put many venues and companies on life support.
The government funding is a shot in the arm to help our artistic community get back on its feet.
Our job is to give it the TLC it needs to bounce back to all its glittering, spectacular glory to bring glamour, joy and magic in our lives.
Show some love to our pubs and hotels
Well, little time was wasted in opening time being called on beer gardens and punters turning up.
There I was on a lunchtime walk in Stoney yesterday and two of the town’s hostelries were going like a fair in their makeshift sit-ooteries.
And why not? It was warm, there was cold beer and it’s been a while. In fact, I was tempted to join them. Not, I hasten to add, that I ever drink while I’m working. Well, not since that time at the Kirk’s General Assembly as a trainee reporter. But that’s another story.
Yesterday it was pubs with outside places that eased out of lockdown. Next week, hostelries proper will join them and that’s where we come in. It’s been a tough trawl for our pubs and hotels.
Right now they need our business and with the emphasis on local.
Get along to your friendly neighbourhood boozer, have lunch or supper there.
The message about shop local is crucial for our homegrown firms. We also need to eat local and drink local. Pubs are at the heart of our communities. Let’s show them some love.
Hand lost plot back to scottish tories
If anyone finds a lost plot, could they please hand it back to the Scottish Tory HQ.
Jackson Carlaw, left, and his merry band have taken being ludicrous to new levels. The attack on the BBC for live coverage of the first minister’s daily coronavirus briefing is staggering. So the Tories would rather we were kept in the dark? They don’t want us to hear sage advice or be calmly reassured by our national leader. Where do they think they are? Westminster?