Wednesday, 27 February 2013


I know someone - an intelligent, emotionally-stable woman, incidentally - who has applied to be on 'Come Dine With Me.' I said to her: "We need to talk."
Did she realise, for instance, that most of the people on that show are argumentative, opinionated cretins?Was she prepared to admit into her home a bunch of random types who would rubbish her beautifully prepared meal, rummage around in her underwear drawer and possibly lift the family silver?
She said she knew all this, but was going ahead with it anyway in the interests of broadening life experience and extending her skills in the support and management of socially deviant people.
I wondered whether this second objective might be considered just a tiny bit unethical.
"It's T.V. entertainment," she said. "Ethics are out the window." Interesting.
My other concern was that one of the 'guests' might provoke a massive kick-off in her dining room - the place could be trashed. This didn't worry her either. "I'm a black belt in karate," she said. "Believe me, they're all going down."
A little too much enthusiasm in this last statement, I felt.
Can't wait to tune in.

Thursday, 21 February 2013


Think you've had a bad day? Hold on a minute. Imagine you were on the jury that got thrown out by the judge. You turn up at work and your colleague says: "What are you doing here? I thought you were on three weeks' jury service." And you say: "We got dismissed for being thick as planks in a bucket of pigsh*t."
Let's picture the scenario. Twelve strangers sitting round a table. Water is provided, as are pens and notepaper. Pastries, unfortunately, are not. I know this because I was on jury service once somewhere in Cheshire. I so wanted to be holed up for days and have the opportunity to send a message out to the clerk: Send in sandwiches and cakes: we may be some time.
Anyway, back to the cognitively challenged jury. Someone with a smidgen of ingenuity says: Shouldn't we be talking about what just happened in there?  Mr Gormless chimes in: How long is this gig going to take? The brightest spark offers: Let's write a list of inane questions for the judge. That'll show we're totally on the ball.
Is it too much to ask that prospective jurors provide written evidence of measurable neurological functioning?

Friday, 15 February 2013


Enough already with the horse meat. Horse in  your beefburgers; horse in your lasagne; horse in your cornflakes. Get over it. Eat the horse. I'm vegetarian myself. My strategy is to stay away from anything with a face. Unless it's a gingerbread man or a chocolate Santa. No, it's still not O.K.

Years ago, in a pub somewhere, I was having a bizarre conversation with two people.
It went like this:
Me: Would you eat a mouse for a million pounds?
Person A: Definitely.
Person B: I'd do it for ten grand.
Me: I couldn't eat it.
Person A: You could cut it into little pieces.
Me: Gross.
Person B: I'd eat a worm for a million quid.
Me: I couldn't do it.
Person A: I'd do a worm for a fiver.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


What's your take on the Ideal Interview Outfit? (IIO, as I like to call it.) Are you a smart-casual? A beige blender? Perhaps you rock up in Galliano or Chanel. Let's face it, if you're a total airhead, the clothes you wear won't help.
But consider this scenario. A candidate who stands head and shoulders above the rest in presentation, experience and intelligence has dressed as a Klingon Warlord. It's a tough one.
Is s/he eccentric? Probably. Deal breaker? No.
Does s/he realise that a Klingon Warlord outfit could freak out prospective colleagues? Unlikely. Deal breaker? Not necessarily.
Is this just the tip of the iceberg? So easy to visualise this candidate on Day 1 dressed as Captain Kirk. Go, Klingon Warlord. You'll not find the creativity you seek in this stagnant dump.
Let's recall slick-suit-but-dim. He'll buckle under no problem.
Choosing  your IIO, I would suggest, is an onerous task.

Sunday, 10 February 2013


I'm experiencing a troubling loss of clarity. I think it's connected with my spoof writing. Is it normal to write entirely fictitious stories and articles? And to develop initial scenarios episodically? What about interviews with celebrities? Is it normal to invent questions and then answer them as Louis Walsh? I don't know any more.
Wait a minute. This is my blog. No spoofing around here. Notes is about genuine people who are just trying to get on with their lives with as little hassle as possible. I myself have done a load of washing today. I cleaned the kitchen floor. No it's not interesting, is it.
Do you see how I'm answering my own questions here.
Back to my life of spoofery.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


It's slovenly and it's not good enough. There's enough going on in Rural Perthshire (and in my shambolic life) for me to be able to update you on a daily basis, but I haven't, have I. On the other hand, who actually gives a dog's monkey? Today, I've decided to accept the reality of my blog statistics. There have been around 1300 views so far of Notes from Rural Perthshire. This blog has had hits in a shedload of countries including India, Canada, Malaysia, Brazil, Ireland and Croatia. Who knows why. I was so impressed. But I've given myself a good slapping now. The fact is that I am a good few million hits away from international notoriety. Does this make my blog any less valid? Impossible. There is not a shred of validity anywhere this blog so the question is thoroughly absurd.

Friday, 1 February 2013


If  you're thoroughly at home with grammatically correct English, you'll appreciate the necessity of  technically flawless prose even if, as in my blog, its content is utter dross. I can express my vacuous ideas with accurate punctuation and balanced sentence structure. Such a shame, really, that I'm so cognitively challenged.
How does this work. A student is offered a place at Cambridge University. I know. Prestigious academia: impressive. But apparently not necessarily so. Some of these people are required to take remedial English lessons because their literacy skills are so poor. I'm sorry? In what sense are these  aspirants supposed to be the academic elite? If grammar, spelling and sentence structure are beyond the reach of such candidates, how will they manage a critical essay let alone a fracking dissertation?
I'm outraged, frankly.
If you can't use spoken and written English with grammatical competence and a mature individual style, you can't go to university. Get off the bus.