Sunday 12 August 2018


The perils of voice activation software. I was sending a text to my driver to tell him where to pick me up. Instead of it saying Sauchiehall Street, it came out as “Suck your whole.” A good trick if you can do it. I didn’t press send.

This reminded me of another incident. Some years ago I had been at a difficult meeting. Afterwards a colleague asked me how it had gone. Instead of my text saying; “their was allot of long faces.” it came out as; “allot of long faeces.” I did say it had been a difficult meeting.  

Sunday 29 July 2018


I know there is a danger I’m going to sound like a really grumpy old man, but does no one know how to use a telephone these days? I don’t mean how to operate one, I mean how to answer one properly without grunting down”arg” down the receiver. you are forced to ask “who am I talking to?” I end up fealing like I’m interrogating someone just to confirm I’ve got the correct person or department. The thing is, it’s widespread and the BBC is no better. Everyone has a phone, but appear incapable of actually holding a conversation on one. If you intend to work in the Communication industry, try communicating and not grunting down the line. 

Saturday 28 July 2018

Major one year on

I have real mixed emotions at this time of year. Just over Two years ago Renton my 7 1/2 stone guide dog German Shepherd fell suddenly ill with a very aggressive form of cancer. Sadly he had to be put to sleep. Last June, 1 year on from that sad occasion, major came into my life. 

I can’t believe that was a year ago when I had my first test walk. The thing was, I couldn’t tell anyone. It was all very secretive. The final decision hadn’t been made whether major would be my new Guide dog or not. Something that was made very clear to me when I met the instructor outside Queen Street station in the centre of Glasgow. I was told in advance of our meeting that Major was a cross Shepherd retriever, on paper he looked like a good match. It was all very clandestine, because the Guide Dog Association didn’t wish to over commit themselves encase it didn’t work out. After all, Major was only 17 months old and had just been collected from the dog trainers in Forfar by the instructor, who would finish off his training and do the match up with the blind handler. Hopefully me. At that stage things could still go wrong, so I understood their reluctance to commit.

For the first time in over a year I held on to the handle on the dog harness and off we went whizzing around the merchant city. It felt strange after such a lengthy break. The longest time I had experience since being trained with my first dog over 30 years earlier. When I first got my hands on Major, he didn’t feal anything like a shepherd. No pointy ears. he didn’t feel anything like a retriever either. Major did guide like a shepherd. That’s hard to explain. Shepherds are very definite in their moves. For example They read a situation far further ahead than a Labrador. They are also very driven. When they find a door, by god you know. Straight in with no hesitation. They are also brilliant at finding pelican crossings. Incapable of making a decision, That’s not the Shepherd way.  

After a couple more test walks around my home area the decision was made that my training would go ahead in the August. one year on from that first walk, he’s been a fantastic guide dog so far. I’m not saying we’ve not had our challenges, but that is true of every new guide dog partnership. Months go by and you realise your bad days get further and further appart. To such an extent, I can’t remember our last one. I hope I’m not jinxing myself with that statement.      

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Having fun with iMovie

We have been having some fun with iMovie the film editing app.

if you press the link below you will get to see me sawing wood....I know, but its better than watching paint dry!!

Sunday 22 May 2016

The Dark Way Home Documentary about the innovations that came out of soldiers who were blinded in WW1

I have been working on a documentary about the soldiers who were blinded in the first world war.  The numbers who came home with sight issues were enormous and society back home had to find ways of teaching and inventing new ways of surviving day to day life

Thursday 26th May BBC 2 Scotland 7pm or for those outside Scotland
 BBC Two Scotland can be viewed on Sky 142 (HD) & 970, Freesat 970.

Tuesday 5 April 2016

On the Road Again

A short film of my team preparing to go "On the road again" for the Scottish Elections.