The Opposite Of Red-Eye?


Sunday evening and I’m on the .. What’s the opposite of red-eye? .. Flight from Glasgow to London.
Work schmurk!!

I’ve had a lovely weekend, the right balance of family and friends, a curry and a few beers with friends on Friday, a day with family yesterday. my kids for dinner this afternoon. 

Who needs to be heading south at this time on a Sunday to start work at 9am on Monday?

I resent that flying down to London for work on a Sunday evening significantly eats into my personal time. 

It’s one thing working for a living but I think that work should be kept in perspective and ones real life is always much more important. 

The flight is full, no seats left and unusually for Easyjet, I’ve been allocated a seat number .. Or has that been happening for a while and I didn’t notice

Having a look around the passengers, most are travelling for business, commuting on the Sunday evening to avoid the Monday morning madness of the red-eye flight and then rushing across the city trying to get into the office at a reasonable time. 

Nah .. Fuck that!!

It’s just not worth the hassle. 

But sitting here onboard a flight at 7pm on a Sunday evening, away from family and the thought of living out of a suitcase for the week, it dawns on me that this isn’t worth it either. 

That’s the problem.

But never leave a situation with a problem, always consider the options and the solution.

Option 1 – Maintain the status quo, carry on regardless. 

Option 2 – Go back to working in Edinburgh and travelling 3 to 4 hours per day.

Option 3 – Take a job in Glasgow even if it’s not ideal, but be thankful with a commute of only an hour per day. 

There’s only one winner!

Real life is always much more important than work. 

The quote above from the Dalia Lama shows he had it sussed!  

The Consultancy Game ..

“That’s the thing about luck,  it always balances out in the end”

A while ago I posted a story on here about my ex boss not liking me,  typical IT geek, a bright guy but as pretentious as they come, loves having his posse of sycophants.

I wasn’t one of them.

In this previous story,  to my surprise my contract with the consultancy firm who had me farmed out to one of the UKs biggest banks was renewed when I fully expected it to elapse after it had ran its course.

Then just to surprise me further .. a month later while I was on holiday it was cancelled and I worked my notice period as contractually obliged.

A bit disappointing but life moves on.

Since then I’ve been working with a different consultancy firm who are currently farming me out to a different bank.

That’s the way the consultancy game often works,  sales guys touting for business are sharks,  often buying the favour of the hiring manager .. it would be naïve to think that it doesn’t happen,  not as overtly as it used to but its still there.

Then technical guys like me come along and do the work,  we earn pretty well, but the consultancy takes its cut for providing .. err .. what?

The difference between direct contractors and the consultancy supplied contractors or staff is significant,  on a contract that I’m working,   that difference can be a bog-standard rate of 750per day for junior staff who would be lucky to find a direct contract at 300 per day.

The consultancy game is about bums-on-seats and making the margin between what you charge the client and how much you pay the ndividual staff or contractor.   Continue reading “The Consultancy Game ..”

Man and Boy?

HappinessYesterday,  I spent the afternoon with my son,  a couple of hours watching football,  chatting about life,  his job, his next job,  his girlfriend that he’s obviously keen on because he actually talks about her.

We hug when we see each other or when we part.  He makes me proud as my girls do,  there’s just something strong between us, a love and a bond that transcends anything else.

Today,  I called my dad,  he’s nearly 81, getting frail and since he had the stroke around 10 years ago he’s semi paralysed on his left side.

But he has a very determined personality,  life’s for living and nothing gets him down,  apart from the odd moments when he misses my mum. I’m sure he has more of these in private than he lets on.   Continue reading “Man and Boy?”

There’s Been A Murder .. The Myth Of The Serial Killer?


Who murdered Miss Scarlet?

If you were a police officer investigating the incident,  your first presumption might be that it was Colonel Green did it with the knife in the drawing room.

Statistically,  that is the most likely outcome according to the recently published statistics for Homicide ( murder or culpable homicide ) in Scotland for 2014/5.

The demographic published above on the Office For National Statistics is very powerful and gets the message across effectively.

Most victims are female,  the vast majority of accused are male,  most men are killed by other male acquaintances,  were most women are killed by their partner.

For male and female most are killed with a sharp instrument in a dwelling with a staggering 93% of the case of women.

Continue reading “There’s Been A Murder .. The Myth Of The Serial Killer?”

Friendship, Circumstances, Expectations


I was in the pub on Friday night with my best pal Stephen,   ostensibly we were watching the Celtic game and it was on the background,  but the real reasons was for a catch up as apart from popping in to his at Christmas with gifts for the kids we hadn’t really been keeping in touch over the past few months.

Any real reason for that?

Not at all,  there were no fallouts,   maybe we have just outgrown each other a little,  different circumstances,  we used to be out every weekend for a few beers until his kids came along a few years ago,  now we hardly get out with his kids being so young and mines all grown up.

Friendship takes effort  or does it? Continue reading “Friendship, Circumstances, Expectations”

Spending The Night With Marlon Brando.



A true story ..

Marlon Brando,  winner of two Academy Awards for On The Waterfront and The Godfather,   the latter of which he refused in protest against the film industry’s treatment of American Indians,    is a movie icon whose most famous screen outings took place largely before my time.

I have vague memories of my dad watching On The Waterfront,  late at night and raving about what a great actor he was.    I can remember dad reading The Godfather and Last Tango In Paris.    These battered paperbacks sitting around the house or poking out from the pocket of the jacket he wore to work.

As a kid I was unaware of the latters notoriety and although I’ve seen the movie now,   its still pretty unfathomable.

The Godfather.  however is undoubtedly on of my favourite films,  not just for his part of the aging Don but the juxtaposition of family values against external ruthlessness.

Which is best .. Godfather 1 or 2?

We would be here all day discussing the relative merits.

I was first aware of Marlon in the late 70s in his roles as Supermans dad Jo-rel and for the mystical Colonel Walter E Kurtz in Apocalypse Now.

I was a teenager then and although happy with his role in Superman,  I  wondered what the fuss was about and how he could command so much money for so little work, $3.7 million for 2 weeks worth and very little on screen time.

Apocalypse Now,  sneaking into the ABC Cinema on  Sauchiehall Street to see the big movie everyone was talking about and again wondering what the fuss was all about.   Apart from the obvious scenes of the helicopter dropping napalm on the Vietnam with the theme of Ride of The Valkyries blaring,  again I wondered what the fuss was.

Would it be different if I watched this now?    Would I recognise it as an anti-war statement?  Or would it still appear as drug-fuelled nonsense to my adult mind?

Brando was known for his tumultuous personal life and his large number of wives and lovers including a long-term affair with Marilyn Munro.

He was the father to sixteen known children, three of whom were adopted. Some sources claim he fathered as many as 17 children or more

Wind the clock back to the early 90s,   when this story really begins… Continue reading “Spending The Night With Marlon Brando.”

Work Stories – Seasonally Affected?

When are they going to make Seasonally Affected Disorder an official disability?

It’s cold dark and horrible out there and I can barely get up never mind pretend that I want to go work.

I’m sure that I’m not alone!

Getting up and ready, figuring out what to wear, ironing a shirt at the last minute,  trudging down to the train station then standing packed in like cattle to the slaughterhouse.

It’s just not right forcing people to get up before its light then home when it’s dark.

Particularly when their bodies are screaming Noooooo!!!

I want some sunshine!!

At least the sun is coming up over Glasgow and I can see it from the window of my padded cell!

Two pics above.. Glasgow and Canada taken this morning.   Glasgow cold but bright,   Canada colder at -10 and snow all around.

Could be worse eh?



When Jerry met Rupert … #Dating

Rupert and Jerry

Rupert and Jerry


“Hey Jerry,  meet Rupert … ”

She looks to her left and is looking over the top of this small bald bespectacled older man.  She smiles politely,  aware that she is gazing down and not up into his eyes.

A small but not insignificant point,   one of the most muted requirements made by females on dating sites is that they are looking for a man taller than they are and particularly if they like wearing heels.

What happened next?

Cordial greetings, introductions, banalities and small-talk?

Of course.

But what about first impressions,  that fraction of a second when you meet someone for the first time and decide if they are attractive or not?

Would you?   ( Yes or No?  )

( or in Glaswegian ..  Wid ye?  )

We all do it,  it’s a built in assessment that we make in our medial pre-frontal cortex, a brain region now discovered to play a major role in romantic decision-making. Continue reading “When Jerry met Rupert … #Dating”

Bowie Perspective.

“Pushing through the market square
So many mothers sighing
News had just came over
We had 5 years left to die in”

5 Years – David Bowie

I’ve always loved that song,  the opening track from Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust album.

The album is best listened to from end to end in entirety from 5 Years to Rock’n’Roll Suicide,  it paints a nightmare vision, the time-limited existence of earth in parallel with the rise and fall of Ziggy culminating in his death.

I love the full album with rare exception, Starman, Suffragette, Moonage Daydream and Ziggy being the highs,  the lows .. because you need lows to make highs .. being It Aint Easy … not that its a bad song .. just doesn’t have the buzz of the rest.

Ziggy,   an ambiguous androgynous ethereal being,   definitely male but with hints of mixed gender particularly on Lady Stardust.

TV and Social Media were full of Bowie tributes and plaudits last night.   Many people posting what Bowie meant to them or extracts from his concerts or acting performances,  I particularly enjoyed the Ricky Gervias extract and all credit to Ricky for allowing himself to be the butt of the joke.

As detailed in yesterdays blog,  I’ve always been a Bowie fan,   always will.

It was strange reading posts from friends and acquaintances professing to be fans,  knowing full well that they have never been to a Bowie gig and if they do have one of his albums then its probably his greatest hits.

Does that matter?   Continue reading “Bowie Perspective.”