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December 2011
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February 2012

Johnstone Credit Union and the future




It was a real delight to get to meet the members of the Johnstone Credit Union this week. I went down to attend the AGM and got a warm welcome from everyone. Whilst there, I recorded a couple of podcasts.  This first one was a happy coincidence, because Dave Simmers of Community Food Initiatives North East and Scottish League of Credit Unions delivered the keynote talk to the 70 strong audience. He agreed to a brief interview and I also spoke to a few volunteers. You can listen to the result here. 

Listen to Dave Simmers and the JCU Tellers


More local heroes

Dundee 2012

Only teasing. Lesley and I took a trip out to Dundee and went around the Discovery. Both of us were blown away by the quality of exhibition at Discovery Point. We have stayed across the Tay from this exhibition for a number of years. I guess, like locals, we didn't bother to step across the threshold. But with '100 years of Scott' looming this year, we made the effort. From the explanation of the whole Scott story, the role of Dundee, a real live boat and lots about Antartica; it was interesting and well laid out. Good timing too, because we went off to see our Prosen friends, Jeannie and Hector, who are involved in the Glen's monument for Scott and Wilson. And then, today, we learnt Malmaison have signed up for the Tay Hotel. ( In the meanwhile, 'Table table' at the Discovery Quay is a top noshery. ) The hits keep coming.

If Hospitality and Tourism is to play a big part in Scotland's economic development, then great products like Discovery Point have got to be the norm. I'm off to review it at TripAdvisor.

The loan arranger in Fife

Fife Credit Unions
Anyone who knows me will be familiar with my enthusiasm for people doing 'stuff' at the community level. So, I was delighted to meet Susan Dryburgh, who is Fife Council's Credit Union Development Officer. Standing in the new banking hall at the Kingdom Credit Union in Glenrothes, the place was buzzing. From the cheerful volunteers manning the tills through to the customers opening accounts; it's terrific to see 'a community bank' making its way. I recorded a short interview with Susan and went over some basics about credit unions. Bottom line; if you can seek out and join your local credit union - you'd be doing a good thing. And Susan says it more nicely.


Listen to Susan Dryburgh talk about the Kingdom Credit Union


The IT strategy for schools

There is a simple answer to how you make IT interesting for kids, in my humble opinion. Solve their problems, show them how to do things and engage their imaginations. In getting them to mix ringtones, make fantastic animations and construct unbelievable presentations; they'll go back and figure out the art and science powering the technology. Trust me; I have seen it work so many times. Show someone how to do something and if the kindling of interest catches...then stand back. Just sayin'.

2012 appears

Jamsefield Farm6x4

It feels like a year ago, since I sat down to blog. The reality is more prosaic. Between feeding Twitter and Facebook, blogging for various websites, and keeping in touch with  the communities of interest' I am involved with; life hasn't been quiet at all over "the break". 

The new calendar year promises a lot. New sports projects over at the Glasgow School of Sport, fascinating projects with the NHS 24 team and lots of community based action.

I am trying to keep the big picture in mind as I get ready for another roller coaster ride. It always starts the same way on the 'first day back'; tax return to be completed, people to contact and the next time you look up, it's June! So, as the ride starts up; all the best to everyone for 2012! Let's have some fun and don't be a stranger!