This Postbox is one of the last photographs I took before leaving London to return to Scotland. I did 4 shots of various London icons, Red Bus and grey Big Ben.

Not an original idea – I saw similar shots in a gallery and thought I could do one as well!


It has been an eventful Christmas

I was walking into Perth when a large lorry speeding drove past me.  I was literally blown off the road, fell into a ditch and tore my hands on barbed wire which I could not get free from.  Fortunately, two motorists saw what happened and rescued me.  They offered to take me to hospital.  I told them I’d be fine.  Cleaned the wounds on my hands.


And…my wallet was nicked, I think on the bus, so I now have no wallet, no way of getting money out of the bank until tomorrow when I can call the Bank – no reply today.

Ex-MP, Barrister Jerry Hayes is always worth reading for a laugh and knowledge.

Jerry Hayes is  a good friend of mine – a very amusing man, with a unique writing style and take on political life. His experience as an MP helps on that front.

Here s another post worth reading.  Do bookmark his blog.  You will laugh.


“If Labour wasn’t so hopelessly out of touch this government would be flat lining in the polls. As a Tory who wants May to do well it saddens me that it has all descended into the beginnings of a shambles. Bozo is a national embarrassment spreading mayhem and derision wherever he is sent. At first the FCO rather warmed to him because of his novelty value. But now they despair. I was having a drink with a former Perm Sec of the Foreign Office last week and asked him how the Office regarded him. His eyes rolled heavenwards, ‘all over the shop….the man is clever but not intelligent.’ But he is still seen as a threat by the paranoiac praetorian guard who seem to be starting more fires than putting them out. But Bozo is not much better. He is so thin skinned. Rolling up to Number 10 and moaning about how he has becoming the butt of ministerial humour borders on the laughable. Boris, old son, you are the ministerial joke. That’s why you were appointed.

And then there is Chris Grayling. Just follow the trail of gastropodous slime from the scene of any political disaster and it will lead to this inadequate personification of toss pottery.

Read the rest of the post here… 

The Inksters Christmas Hat Card

Every Christmas Brian Inkster, founder and Principal at Inksters Solicitors – a well known Scots Law firm with offices in many centres – sends out Christmas cards which one can wear as a hat – Inspired!

I have received quite a few now and always enjoy wearing it.

Happy Christmas Brian and all your colleagues at your own firm! –  slàinte. 

Should you use your estate agent’s recommended solicitor / conveyancer?

Should you use your estate agent’s recommended solicitor / conveyancer?
Robert Nichols is Managing Director of London estate agents Portico.

Most estate agents nowadays will recommend a solicitor or a conveyancer. The question is: should you go with their recommendation?

My initial reaction would be to say yes. Agents work with solicitors day in, day out, and they see the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s in their interest to get the sale through, so of course they will recommend someone who they know can do the job well.

Unfortunately, the answer is not quite as definitive, and takes a little more explanation.

Estate agents & solicitors are on the same side

On the surface, a solicitor recommendation from an estate agent should be invaluable. That’s because estate agents and solicitors are on the same side. The estate agent is being paid to sell the house, and the solicitor is being paid to execute the sale. If the solicitor messes up, the agent doesn’t get paid – it’s as simple as that. The agent will therefore only recommend someone they have worked with on numerous occasions, someone they truly trust to get the job done.

Money or merit?

Unfortunately, some agents’ recommendations are grounded on money rather than merit, and it’s these agents that are giving estate agents an untrustworthy reputation. In other words, some agents will recommend the solicitor or conveyancer they get the most commission from, rather than the one that can offer the best service.

Even if this is the case, it’s important to remember that the agent still wants the sale to go through, so you’re still unlikely to receive a bad service – it just may not be the best service available to you. The fee for selling the property will usually far outstrip the referral fee, so it would be very odd for an agent to recommend someone who couldn’t get the job done.

A high referral fee is also an attractive incentive for the agent to ensure the client goes with their preferred solicitor.  Sadly, some agents will pressurise you into using a solicitor of their choosing for this reason, and this isn’t just an issue with estate agents, but also with developers, lenders and even mortgage providers.

It’s important to remember that you have the right to choose your own solicitor or conveyancer, and you are the one who should ultimately make the decision.

From experience…

My advice would be to listen to your agent’s recommendation, and then do your own research. Look at their preferred firm’s website, take some time to find out about the services they provide, read reviews and ask around. There is nothing wrong with an estate agent being paid to promote the benefits of a particular firm, but only if they are promoting a firm that can offer a top rate service to their clients.

It’s also so important to know what makes a good solicitor or conveyancer, and to have that at the front of your mind when researching or asking your agent questions. A good solicitor or conveyancer should make the whole process as stress-free as possible. They should be easily contactable, able to answer questions quickly and always keep you in the loop, plus they should ensure all paperwork is correctly completed. If they’re not diligent in sending off the right things at the right time, they can cause huge delays to the process, and even cause the sale to fall through.

If you have done your research and trust your agent’s judgement, I’d say go with their recommendation. You’re likely to get a good deal on the fee if you go through your agent, and as the agent will have worked with the company before, the process should be smooth, quick and stress-free.

Robert Nichols is Managing Director of London estate agents Portico.

Rive Gauche: Chris Grayling sent cyclist flying….with his car door

Fortunately, the cyclist is apparently OK – but Mr Grayling certainly gets himself into difficulties.  Hapless?

Mr Grayling was spectacularly useless as Justice Secretary.  It appears that he continues to be hapless in his new role as Transport Secretary. One way to clear London streets of cyclists., though.  Nothing like direct action. He could be  Basil Fawlty in a remake of Fawlty Towers. I can’t see any Ambulance Chasing personal injury lawyers in the photograph.  They will, no doubt, be in touch with the cyclist.

There are more important matters than whether the Prime Minister thinks it is a good idea to wear leather trousers

Whether the leather trousers cost £950 or not, Mrs May looks relaxed, she obviously enjoys the look – so what is the issue?   And Ms May does bring a smile to the faces of many with her artistic choice of shoes etc! I’m all for self expression on the hat and clothes side.

I am too much of an old school gentlemen / git (delete as you consider best) to comment on the wisdom of criticising a person for their choice of something as trivial as clothing – but there is a certain irony that Nick Morgan’s leather bag – another fairly inessential piece of kit –  also cost £950.  She could have bought a bag down at Primark in Perth  for £15.  She chose an expensive bag, presumably because it gives her pleasure.

Moving on, please?

(I was rather ill with the unpleasant Norovirus bug – surprisingly ill. Lasted over seven days  Could not walk, could not eat.  I won’t go into other details.  Normal service being resumed and can actually walk a decent distance again.  I have missed my daily 10 mile walks)



Brexit continues….thankfully.

Not that it actually matters whether the legal profession is united or otherwise on Brexit – hardly the most important part of our society, but for what it is worth here is a piece from The Law Society Gazette.

Legal profession ‘united on Brexit’

The Law Society Gazette reports: “The Law Society today welcomed the bar’s ‘Brexit Papers’ publication, which it said echoes positions set out by Chancery Lane in the wake of the referendum vote. Law Society president Robert Bourns said that: ‘Throughout this year the bar and the solicitor profession have been engaging with the government to examine the ramifications of Brexit, and put robust information before ministers, parliamentarians and officials.’

The bar’s Brexit Papers are the work of a group led by Hugh Mercer QC, drawing on expertise across a variety of practice areas. The publication calls on the government to look at the fine detail of a number of areas of law to minimise ‘adverse impacts on UK citizens’.  For example, Mercer said, ‘We need to make sure that police and security services can co-operate so that criminals who go on the run can be stopped, and that parents who divorce in one country have the custody decisions upheld in another.

‘We also need to restructure areas of law such as insolvency, competition and tax law otherwise businesses of all sizes could end up losing out. Our creative industries, for example, bring huge value to the UK economy, but we can only sustain that if our patents and trademarks continue to be recognised by the EU member states post-Brexit.’

The Law Society’s previously published Brexit work includes briefings for parliamentarians, submissions to select committees, a range of information for members and the public, as well as a report developed by Oxford Economics which detailed the likely effects of Brexit on the legal services sector.

Bourns said this work will continue in 2017 with a further report, which will draw together key issues and developments over the second half of 2016.

The report is expected to focus on the need to:

· ensure continued access for UK lawyers to practise law and base themselves in EU member states;

· maintain mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments and respect for choice of jurisdiction clauses across the EU in civil cases;

· continue to collaborate in policing, security and criminal justice;

· promote England and Wales as the jurisdiction of choice;

· ensure that legal certainty is maintained throughout the process of withdrawal.

‘With the legal sector speaking together with one voice, as we are on this issue, we present a powerful united front to government,’ Bourns said. ‘We look forward to continuing to work with the profession, with the bar, and with the government as the Brexit negotiations progress, advocating for the best possible result for the legal sector and its clients,’ Bourns said.

Rive Gauche: Boris in a Burqa…and why not, Indeed?

The whole episode is amusing, but if Theresa May wanted to visit Saudi Arabia – and have some time off to see ‘The Sights’ , she would not be allowed to drive.  Boris would have to do the driving.  We really must stop all this pandering to these regimes because of arms sales. .  I think Boris gets that?

I know Malaysia well – having taught many of their current lawyers and knew one of their Presidents of  The Supreme Court who later became Agong (King) – the great (My emphasis)  Raja Azlan Shah, a very amusing, kind and clever man who read law at The University of Nottingham if I recall correctly. .  I taught his daughter and son. I attended his coronation as Sultan of Perak, one of the states of Malaysia.  It was a pure coincidence that my parents lived in Malaysia when I was a child – mt father working for Dunlop. .  It is a very civilised Muslim  country with respect for all.. irrespective of gender, race or creed.  I have good memories of Malaysia both as a child as an adult.   I’d do another visit…like a shot!

This HAT… a fine Scottish Hat…helps me to walk 20 miles….a day…

£20 from the Tartan Shop in Perth…or as I call it… “The Tamfoolery Shop”.  It is full of ‘McKitch’  Scottish clan fridge magnets, Tartan scarves, Clan plaques, Books on Scotland….

I was served by a lovely young lady from France.  The Auld Alliance LIVES!

The local Panto at Perth Theatre as Christmas is Dick McWhittington…I may have to go!

I suspect that some of my English and Irish friends may be coming to the view that the sooner Scotland goes independent the better for the sanity of the rest of the UK.



Makes me laugh and I get a lot of people asking about and some even asking if they can take my photo….on their phones! Only a hat like this would elicit such a reaction!