I have to say that my new job as a tour guide is a bit of a blast. I am not entirely sure though that all my clients would quite affirm so positively, but I do seem to be getting on ok on the review front (albeit I am below average on the number of 5 star ratings as a proportion of tours on the Tours By Locals site). Ho hum.
It’s a privilege though to be given the opportunity to spend time with so many very interesting and fun people. And I am getting paid for this. I mean it beats being a trainee chartered accountant auditing title deeds in Mortlake. All day actually.
I must admit that I have no formal qualifications for my new role though. In fact I failed to get onto the illustrious Scottish Tourist Guide Associations blue badge course.
Yes I have rather bad memories of that final weekend interview with some uninspiring tutors, alongside a prevailing sense of being back in a primary 7 classroom.
In fact it drove me to having too many beers with an old pal in Glasgow, missing my last bus in Glenrothes and spending a night in a shrub next to the bus station (somewhere to rest my head but not exactly the Coco Chanel chanel suite in the Paris Ritz)
Albeit I do feel a kind of relief at this as it would have stung me the best part of ten grand and I am not referring to the Coco Chanel suite in the Ritz (that’s 12k I believe) I mean that blue badge course, of course. But I am fond of that parallel. It is a good parallel.
Anyway hang course work. Hang the blue badge.
I had my fill of all that in attempting to get my professional accountancy qualifications and I’ve kind of been through the mill and back.
I am doing my own study of scottish history and the like and that’s better and a whole lot cheaper. Anyhow, tour guiding is largely about entertaining and engaging people and I figure you just can’t teach that.
St Andrews is wonderful at the moment by the way. I have taken to swimming in the sea regularly and am really feeling the benefit. My weight is going down as a result of my new zero alcohol policy and a better diet.
I don’t think a lot of people quite believe me on this one though! The drink I mean. I came clean on social media about it and not one person commented. Shame.
Nevertheless on the drink/golf front I have achieved two monumental things (not that going dry is not monumental may I say).
Thanks to my critical Trip Advisor review, Sheena and Jack finally saw the light and Tennents is back again in The Dunvegan (even though I am manifestly not!) and the wine committee at Mortonhall Golf Club in Edinburgh is now seriously contemplating putting a claret on their list. I have been badgering them for a long time about this.
A club of this standing without a claret! What ho!?
I do hope it’s a good one though.
Fare forward passengers.