Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Turning Your Front Room Into Your Office

I had the pleasure of meeting former Hearts star Rudi Skacel in Edinburgh last week. The man who has played in and scored for two Hearts Scottish Cup winning sides was spending a long weekend in Scotland's capital city and he was accompanied by his partner Eva.

Eva is keen to write a book about the great man and, knowing I had written a couple of books (still available in all good bookshops etc) she sought my advice on such matters. Years ago, before the internet, getting such a venture off the ground would have been fraught with problems. However, communication is now better than ever and with things such as Skype and webcams the world has become a much smaller place.

She spoke about self-publishing and there is no doubt this is far easier now than in days of yore. You can even turn your front room into an office and publish your work from there. And if you class it as a business there are no shortage of communication companies lining up to offer you special deals. Companies such as talktalk business broadband offer special rates for businesses  - even for small would be self-publishers such as Eva.

I can imagine a book about Rudi would sell thousands in Edinburgh. He will always be a hero to the thousands of Hearts fans who continue to worship him even though it's been over a year since he left Tynecastle.

I wish Eva and Rudi the best of success with their venture.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Happy Birthday Hannah

'I've had a lovely day today, Marion. My Papa gave me a lovely twenty pence piece for my sixth birthday.

'Did he, Hannah? That's ten pence more than he gave you last year...'

'My Papa asked me to bring all my birthday money with me tonight'

'Did he? Why?'

'Because he is going to use it to pay for this meal in the restaurant'

Okay, okay - it's Hannah's birthday today. I'll pay half the bill....

Happy birthday, darling. The fact she has spent all day with her Papa and is sleeping-over tonight has made it extra special for me.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Special Delivery

I received an item through the post today. Now, I've ranted on these pages before about the sometimes abysmal postal service in Edinburgh (although it's not as bad as when I lived in Dalkeith) However, credit where credit is due. The item was incorrectly addressed and just had my name and street. This proved no obstacle to the intrepid postie who pushed it through my letterbox this morning. So well played that fella! (or lass)

Sadly, though, this has proved to be the exception rather than the rule. At my place of work we tend to rely on couriers when trying to send something urgent by transport to Edinburgh.

Royal Mail usually does the trick - but you can't rely one hundred per cent the item will get there. Sending items by recorded delivery not only costs more but, as happened on numerous occasions when I lived in Dalkeith, some posties don't get a signature on delivery as they're meant to - they simply push it through the letter box.

Small wonder then that the UK government is looking to privatise Royal Mail. In an age when technology means email and social media is an instant way of communicating, it seems to me that Royal Mail have struggled to adapt to change.

I'm grateful for the delivery of my item today. Sadly though, the days of Royal Mail delivering to their customers are  - unlike the item sent to me today - numbered...