To blog or not to blog that is the question….

‘Why have you stopped your weekly blogs?’ asked my best friend Derek when he visited from Peebles last week, the first time since Covid.

‘I don’t have time, why you are asking?’ I replied not catching his eye but feeling the burn of his disapproval.

‘Cos, I knew what you were up to without having to call or text you!’ he laughed.

 ‘I don’t seem to have time; I repeated and added, ‘I’m doing so much reading and writing at the moment.’

‘Of course, you’re back at school?’ said Derek.’

‘Funny isn’t it.  I completed an MBA thirty years ago, never imagined that I would want to study again.  But when Sue completed a Spanish course, and I was bored in the off season, I thought I must do something.  Then I saw an advert for a degree in Creative Writing at the University of Highlands and Islands and applied.  Nerve racking to say the least.’

‘But writing?’

‘It’s what I always wanted to do, and writing the blog was just another outlet to express my love of writing, albeit it’s primarily about promoting Powdermills Bed and Breakfast.’   

‘What have you learned?’ asked Derek.

That I should have done this years ago.’


‘I’ve never read so much and enjoyed it.  Classic novels, short stories, plays and I’ve even written scripts.  And poems – I love writing poetry,’ I replied searching his face for laughter lines.

‘Finished your novel yet?’ chuckled Derek.

‘Well actually,’ I lifted my gaze to see his reaction,’ the first draft of a crime novel based in Oban and Argyll, called It’s only a crime if you get caught.’

‘How many words was that?’

‘About 100,000, it took me a couple of months last summer,’ I said and noticed that his jaw had dropped open.

‘No wonder you haven’t written any blogs.  The only reason I’m asking about this is that I loved your blog on the raised beds,’ said Derek trying to reassure me, as he handed over a box of seeds containing carrots, radish, onions, and potatoes.

‘Oh no, here’s another job I’ve let slip, I never got round to creating the vegetable patch,’ I replied, my face reddening.

The last blog I completed was in July 2021.  The coursework has taken up my time but so has the B&B, and we’ve been busy.  After four years in Furnace, we finally had a full season.  The Europeans and North Americans returned, and we were open from February to October.  It has been exhausting but rewarding.  It has not been the six months on and six months off I envisaged, as Sue is too ready to remind me, but we’ve enjoyed the last three months break, including a wonderful Festive season with our grown-up children.   But we’re open again on the 1st of February.

So, you must be asking yourself, why am I reading this blog?

Isn’t that the way of life as one door closes the same door opens and you’re in same place.  Unbelievably, the second year of the BA Creative Writing degree requires the student to explore social media, self-publishing, and blogs.  Guess what, I have a project to complete on blogs! 

I might have convinced myself that I didn’t have time to complete a blog but now I have no choice.  So, the weekly blog starts again today.  It will still include the day to day of the Bed and Breakfast, our lives, the dogs, our community and what to do in Argyll.  But I plan to broaden the topics covered.  This will include, what Sue and I have been reading, tips on operating a small business and politics, I assure you in a non-confrontational way.  Simply, how public policy affects our small business.  I might include some poetry, or a short story, and feedback will be welcome.  Moreover, I will be happy to post any piece from other writers to our Blog page, Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter.  By the way, please, like or subscribe to our social media, it’s part of my project assessment!

The next blog will focus on books that you might want to read if you’re visiting Scotland; books of non-fiction and fiction that will give you an insight into the Scottish character, landscape, and culture.

Finally, in February, much to the amusement of friends and family, we’re going to start our own podcast, called ‘Sue and Johnny – Everything and Anything’.