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Business is fun

Whose diary is it anyway?

For many of us in business, other people can often take over your life. Whether that's your diary or what you'll do each day by constantly looking for help with their projects. It happens ever so imperceptibly and always in "your" best interests of course. We'll deal with the second one of those another day.

So the diary problem...

So what can you do about it?

I don't believe it!

The avuncular Victor Meldrew almost never believes anything, if his scripts are anything to go by. Of course, it has become one of those well known catchphrases that has passed into the vocabulary with the same ease which Bankers employ when awarding bonuses.

"I don't believe it!". Is it shock or genuine disbelief? Incredulity is often employed as a mark of surprise when emphasising how delighted we are with something. How often do you say, "it was an absolutely incredible night!" Well maybe you don't say THAT all that often but I'm sure you understand my meaning. All day now you'll be hearing yourself say, "that blog was incredible wasn't it?"



According to the weather forecast, there is no real snow forecast before Christmas now. Which is not to say that we will be having pretend snow instead.

Many people would say that we've had enough anyway in the last few days, though I for one would not agree - I love the snow. For one thing, it makes everything brighter and cleaner-looking, so in many ways its a bit like slapping on some make up and, in the process, hiding a multitude of spots and other blemishes.

But it is superficial and as we all know, usually it doesn't last, and before long, lumps and bumps reappear, the potholes in the road seem suddenly bigger and deeper and the once clean covering is dirty, brown-coloured and looks a bit like mashed potatoes and gravy, spread all over the roads.


Its a not uncommon thing now to walk into Starbucks or - if you're wiser, into biblocafe in Glasgow's Woodlands road - to find most of the seats occupied by what I call visonistas.

There they sit focussed, on their own creativity, oblivious to the world as it hovers in their presence looking for a share of a table. Few of us, sitting down in a cafe or public space immediately strike up a conversation with the stranger sitting next to or opposite us, and unless the lift breaks down, will easily pass a minute or so in a perhaps embarrassing silence as the hollow cube rises or falls in the lift shaft till we reach our destination.

We have become islands in our own world. And yet, "No man is an island, entire of itself" (John Donne). We should be - are - social animals but still it is the done-thing (no pun intended) to ignore our neighbours.


Don't just hate success?

If you live in the West of Scotland, the answer is probably a resoundingly loud YES. Though it clearly depends on your perspective. If you are the successful person in business you probably love it whereas everyone you meet will hate you for it. You know the kind of thing: "He doesn't deserve that.." or "He seems to forget he was brought up in Cranhill (a district of Glasgow which has had an ambivalent reputation for many years.)" or " Fur coat and nae k......s".

I'm sure you know even more expressions of sheer jealousy or hatred that the Scottish Parliament hasn't yet got round to - .


Grey is the colour of an accountant or so popular culture tells us. Personally, I prefer red - for warmth, passion, love, adventure and danger. Maybe that says more about my personality than my profession. Many accountants choose the tried and trusted blue, grey, gold and sometimes, purple.

Designers will tell you that all of these colours have psychological overtones and that is why so many accountants' websites are a cold, chilling blue!

So here we have a very defined interpetative boundary between two primary colours.


For my US readers, first of all, don't panic: it's weeks away yet and the really great turkeys won't yet be in Walmart. In the UK and the rest of the world, you probably don't even celebrate thanksgiving.

Yet we all have things to be thankful about - even if we think our lives couldn't get any worse - and some say that if we simply thought about and were thankful about at least one aspect of our life each day, not only would the world be a better place but we would be better people individually and collectively.

I am thankful for my business: my customers and clients; my team and my suppliers all of whom go to make up the recipe that is uniquely NGM Accountants.

The Sound of Music

Why break the habits of a lifetime?

We might say that usually when someone says they will change by stopping doing something they shouldn't. But it's said so tongue in cheek that it is obvious we don't believe they will change. So it's not the most encouraging thing to say to someone who wants to change their habits since it immediately dents any hope they might have of changing.

..and then another drop this month. But, I have a really good feeling about next month. - An Andertoons Cartoon
See more Sales Cartoons

Predictable patterns of behaviour are helpful sometimes in being able to respond or plan for the future. and generally repetitive behaviour, while sometimes annoying, at least gives some certainty about the future.


I occasionally wonder whether email would be as prolific a medium for junk if it had a real economic price. For one thing it would more than likely put an end to spam; generally increase productivity for at least the developed world; and contribute to reducing the national debt of Italy inside 12 months.

Make the ISP's responsible for collection of the debt (as I suspect that only they could actually count the number of emails travelling the globe) and that might make all of us more responsible users too.

It's not as daft as you might think: in the past, government taxed windows in Scotland (which is the reason for so many blocked up window spaces in tenements) and I discovered in Florida this year that back in the 1800/1900s you were taxed on the number of cupboards (closets they call them) you had in your home. This is disputed however!

5th October 1143

A long time ago, you'll agree. On that date, Portugal obtained its independence from the Kingdom of Leon, although it was a different kind of independence from that obtained by other countries in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Whether or not you agree with Scottish Independence is a matter of fact and no doubt in a time to come, we'll find out if we want it or not. It's difficult to separate out partisan fluff from real facts and indeed even if you knew what the facts were, how could you be sure they were true! That would depend a lot on who was doing the telling, I guess.

Truth be told, I don't care who wins. - An Andertoons Cartoon