Wednesday, 29 August 2007


Had a good weekend and went to a local festival which was ok. It had great weather which drew huge crowds. Went up to Stonehaven and had a nice meal with boss and bosses wife, followed by a few drinks. New girlfriend was with me and we both had a great time.

I had struggled to find a B&B up there, so plumped for a hotel which cost us £80 for a double room with breakfast. Nothing to do with the alcohol, but when we tried to get back in at 1:00am, neither of us could get past the security lock thing which had a numbered key pad. Helpfully, there was no light at all, so we were using the illuminated screen of my mobile to try and see by. Eventually we got in and next morning we were literally two minutes late for breakfast and therefore didnt get one...................The room was a bit shabby too.

No wonder tourists complain....................

Friday, 24 August 2007


Had another hectic week with group meeting on Monday, Civic Licensing on Tuesday, Special Meeting on Wednesday to adopt the local plan and Thursday I was doing Licensing Board Training followed by Neighbourhood Services.

We are desperate for a second supermarket in Arbroath, but are not allowed to change the local plan. It has been in front of three Scottish Exec reporters, but we still aren't allowed to change the local plan.

Whoever would have thought that a local authority would essentially be prohibited from allowing someone to open a shop? Its a total joke.

Meantime New Girlfriend is coming up to Arbroath and we are going to a local festival on Saturday and then up to Stonehaven for dinner with my boss and his wife. Hopefully I'll get some time in Edinburgh next week too.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007


Well the course was really interesting (not rocket science, but really interesting). I was working 9-5 on my day job, then driving to the course which ran from 6pm till midnight. After four days it was a bit tiring. I'm impressed at how comprehensive the course is though, and I really did learn a lot. It included licensing law, health and safety, drug awareness and conflict management among other things.

Its a pity that we hadn't done the conflict management first as when one of the bouncers started to give me a hard time for being a cooncillor, I gave him the finger and told him to f**k off. I'll be a bit more diplomatic in future now though.

I'm going to do a couple of nights on the doors, just for the experience, to see how it works from the sharp end. I'm sure that will be fun (not).

I spent the weekend in Edinburgh and took it easy. I have council meetings every night this week except Friday, when I may go to the pub and be diplomatic..............

Monday, 13 August 2007


I had a great weekend in Edinburgh. The city is buzzing with the festival just now and the place is even more cosmopolitan than usual. Saw some great street theatre on Saturday and one guy who was a magician was superb. His tricks were crap, but his patter was top notch.

Also went to the Book Festival and picked up a good read. New Girlfriend bought me lunch yesterday which was nice and invited me to see the Ladyboys of Bangkok with her parents (who I haven't met yet..................) but I couldn't go.

I'm up in Arbroath all week as I'm doing my 'door supervisor' course which helpfully runs from 6pm till midnight until Thursday night. Apparently, I will be the first Chairman of a Licensing Board in Scotland to do the course and it will be interesting to see what kind of training 'bouncers' have to get these days......................

Friday, 10 August 2007

Ikea etc

Ikea was great to wander round in. I now see that most of the stuff in my rented flat has come from there! I didn't actually intend to buy anything but came away with a really nice duvet set, a lamp, tattie peeler and a piggy bank (?). I spent considerably more than new girlfriend who also gave me sound advice on the choice of new bedding.

I'm in Arbroath for meetings today, but I'm heading back to Edinburgh tonight for the weekend and back here again on Monday.

Three months after getting elected, we finally got our business cards. How come if I walked into a printers and ordered them I could get them in 24 hours, but when a local authority tries it, it takes quarter of a year?

There is still no sign of the IT equipment we were promised either, and although any e-mails that come in for me are now forwarded to another address, I was in the ridiculous situation the other week where someone had tried to phone me at the council. I wasn't there, so a message was taken and e-mailed to my council address, which I have no access to. After that, it was printed off and delivered to my house by hand two days later!

When I got elected I expected local government to be a cross between a small scale Holyrood and a businness. It appears that it is not remotely like either............

Wednesday, 8 August 2007


The past week has once again been phenomenally busy. I'm in Arbroath just now, but heading off to Edinburgh to see new girlfriend. We are going to Ikea tonight, where I will no doubt spend a fortune on stuff that I don't need and am too stupid to build. But there you go.

I have to do a licensing course later on too which I'm looking forward to. It will be good to get a better understanding of licensing laws. Another course I have been invited to do is the new Security Industry Authority (SIA) Door Steward's (bouncer to you and me) course.

The SIA was recently introduced into Scotland and new laws demand that all door supervisors and other people in the security industry are suitably checked, trained and licensed. Its a big step forward as a good steward can keep order in a venue without stopping people enjoying themselves.

When the SIA first came to Scotland, I applied for a post with them and was offered a job but decided to decline as there was too much travelling involved (oh the irony given subsequent events), but I'm glad I did decline it with hindsight.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Dinner II (a)

Well that didn't go quite as I planned, but it wasn't an unmitigated disaster. I settled on Tuscan bean soup and bought everything I needed in one go which saved me the numerous trips of last time. I even remembered to buy a set of kitchen scales which will no doubt be useful.

It okay I guess, but it wasn't anything startling to be honest and I had hoped for soemthing with a bit more taste, but it went down ok with crusty bread and a side portion of olives and feta cheese.

We went to see the new Simpsons Movie, and I thought it was hilarious in places. I needed something fairly light to watch, just because I have been so busy lately and I needed to unwind a bit.

All in all it was a nice evening though, and wasn't too expensive.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Dinner II

Last week new girlfriend pointed out that the Delia cookbook she gave me was not just for decorative purposes. The comment didnt really register until last night when she phoned and said she was coming round for dinner (cue massive clean up operation in the flat).

I have been looking through the book, but everything seems to have so many bloody ingredients that I have never heard of.

I'm still looking through it now. Former Fiance has advised I make a list of everything I need to preclude the shopping frenzy I endured last time I tried to cook, so I'll give that a go.

Heading to Arbroath first thing tomorrow morning to attend various meetings and stuff. I seem to be getting more and more casework from constituents, which is something that I welcome. People often get a hard time or suffer misfortune through no fault of their own and I'm glad to get the opportunity to help if I can.

Just so long as no-one asks me to bloody cook anything.