Adventures doon the watter

Today was an adventure involving a bus, 4 trains and 2 ferries. I was out at the bus stop at 7am for the first leg of, what felt like an epic journey to Dunoon. I’ve never been to Dunoon so I was quite excited. When I got to Gourock though the fog was so thick I could barely see my hand in front of my face.

The 'view' from Gourock pier.

The ‘view’ from Gourock pier.

It was so bad Argyll Ferries had cut back the service but luckily the one I wanted was running. I was met at the other side by Chris Carr of Argyll and Bute Council and whisked off to an event with all their service managers, their CMT, Chief Exec and Council Leader. I was there to talk about social media, how it’s changing the world, how it has evolved, how it’s used in emergencies, how and when it can go wrong, how to avoid things going wrong, how to monitor, publish and evaluate and share some of my experiences of my social media journey so far. I stuck to my time, I made them laugh, I made them sit up and take notice and they asked me so many questions we ran over into lunch. I’m told by the Chief Exec that it went well, that she enjoyed what I had to say and that it will certainly help their organisation on their social media journey. Their comms team is a small one but after an initial meeting with me it was them who suggested that I speak to the management group and hopefully I’ll have helped them on their way and they’ll get the support they need.

One of the questions stumped me though and I admitted as much and said it was something I’d have to look into when I got back to base. There were a couple of questions about cyberbullying and child online safety. As most of you know this is another presentation I can pull out of the bag and do regularly so I did all the usual stuff about parents needing to be safe online and being confident enough to pass on the skills needed to their children – we wouldn’t let our children cross the street without the safety drill first. But then one manager revealed that they were putting wifi into their children’s homes (I know that term is out of favour but it’s plain English so I’m sticking with it!) and what did I think they should do about online safety. Basically the advice is the same but these children are even more vulnerable and so probably need even more nurturing. The guidance their key workers give them in real life probably stand in their virtual lives too but I think there needs to be digital literacy taught both at school and at home, no matter where that home happens to be.

Lunch was very tasty, courtesy of the same catering team that provides the school meals in Argyll and Bute’s schools and with a school meal service almost identical to ours I can honestly say that they were given a raw deal last year and without naming names, I think you can all guess what I’m on about.

Although I’m more of a savoury person I have to say dessert was fab. I chose the mini banoffi pies which melted in the mouth and with a slice of fresh banana in each one I’m counting mine as one of my 5-a-day šŸ™‚


By the time I came out the fog had lifted and I finally got to see Dunoon in all its glory. I think I’ll be planning a wee day trip in the summer with HimIndoors and the Minis.


On the last leg of the journey on the train to Hamilton who should get on but Beth who was on the school trip to Auschwitz I blogged about a few weeks back. She’s all grown up and in her final year at university and thinking about a career in the media or social work. We discussed the trip and how it still affects us both, how we remember it in the smallest of detail each day of our lives, how we get irate with people who just don’t get it and persuade people that they really should visit. It was great to bump into her as I’ve often wondered what how she was doing. She’s taken my number and I’ve offered to find out about work experience, either with us in comms or with social work.

Aside from work I’m onto fractals on my complexity course, although I’ve taken a break to bake rhubarb muffins for Leah’s birthday. They’re out the oven but still have to be frosted.

Today I have learned:

  • I love doing presentations (but not death by Powerpoint)
  • I always learn from the groups I’m there to advise
  • decent kids generally grow up into decent adults

Today’s recipe

Mexican Lasagne



1 batch of chilli

1 packet of tortilla wraps

emmental cheese, grated (start with a couple of handfuls but keep it handy)

Method: Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 6. Find a round cake tin to fit your tortilla wraps. Put one on the bottom then add a layer of chilli and a sprinkling of cheese. Repeat until all the chilli is used up and finish with a wrap and a layer of cheese. Put in the over and heat until the cheese is bubbling. Serve in slices with dressed salad.

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