Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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A good day today. Managed to sort out car insurance renewal at a price somewhere near where it should be. I find the industry very fragmented and inefficient. There is cover for tour guides out there but finding it is the tricky bit. Google is useless mainly because the insurers and brokers don’t properly advertise their products on the web.I managed to find an insurer in Edinburgh via a personal contact who was formerly in the industry. I have written to my new insurer suggesting they should be more proactive in this niche as there must be a few thousand tour guides in Britain requiring Hire and Reward insurance.

Have also booked my trip to Perthshire to link up with a ghillie to see the beats and from there hopefully make a start in marketing fishing packages. Looking forward to it.

Had an enjoyable cycle ride today. Weather cold but little wind and very sunny. Very enjoyable for mid winter.

Pleased to see that one of the C.R.Mackintosh sites in Glasgow has reciprocated my web link. I have quite a few o/s links to chase up.

Had a look at Hadrian’s Wall on Google today. I am there but way down the rankings. What to do? I am very passionate about Roman Britain and the Wall in particular.On the plus side I am on page 1 for Roman Britain and the Antonine Wall. Should have some more Hadrian’s Wall content going in shortly.

Reviewed my Yellow Pages advertising. Tidied up the key words and availed of the free text facility. I have neglected this advertising medium and will have to keep a closer eye on it in future.

My cold is going through its motions. Will have an early night and see if that makes a difference.

Tonight there is the TV programme covering the Glencoe Massacre. Will probably tape it and review it later.

That’s about it for now.

Have just finished repairing a couple of bicycle punctures. What a filthy job. At least I am mobile again. One of the bikes requires a full overhaul, including brakes.

Another foster cat was delivered late this evening. Have to admire the dedication of the lady which runs the local cats protection network.

I see from the press that tomorrow evening, Feb 5th there is a programme on BBC2 covering the famous (infamous?) massacre at Glencoe in 1692. May be I should put a summary of this event on my website?

Following a strongly worded note, I have just been taken off a couple of websites which I was unaware were promoting my tours. One of which was a .org and should not have been used for commercial purposes. Hope my site won’t be tainted by this experience. Bit of a jungle out there in Web land with everybody second guessing Google.

Have just sent up to my web manage 3 pages of text covering Hadrian’s Wall. I would love to do some more tours there this year but no enquiries as yet. Maybe I should be more proactive?

Had a shock this evening when I realised that my car insurance renewal quote had jumped 60pct for no apparent reason. I have made no claims over the past 12 months. Will have to call the company tomorrow and seek clarification. In meantime have been ringing around contacts to find insurers. Q Why don’t we independent tour guides link together and try to arrange a special scheme?

This car insurance experience was not entirely negative because one of my insurance contacts gave me some tips regarding our claim for flood damage.

Hope to have a lot more content pumped into the website shortly.

Saw an interesting Time Team programme this evening on an Iron Age settlement on Anglesey. Not quite as interesting as the write had suggested but nevertheless very worthwhile.

That’s it for now . Early start tomorrow to get car insurance before the current policy expires.

FEB 4TH 2007

Comments off

Today linked up with a gillie on a large estate in Perthshire. Going up to meet him in a week or so and learn more about the beats and take some pics. Propose to set up a new page promoting fishing trips.

Lots more work in progress on the website: a new page for Isle of Skye, a dissertation on ancestry tourism, a new on-line shop for selling art work, a new page for Scottish recipes and more! This will keep me busy.

Had an enquiry in today for a Scotland castles tour. Should prove interesting .Will see what happens.

Looking at the news I see that England beat Scotland today at rugby; ah well can’t win ’em all.

Also in the news is a report of a valuable find on the seabed by some fishermen in the Firth of Clyde. the men were looking for sand gapers but discovered a 19th century sculpture by Rinaldo Rinaldi and which may be worth about GBP45,000. Wow. What a lucky dip!

Global warming is very much in the media today. Britain is expected to experience more extreme weather with drier summers but wet winters with flooding. This has already started in Perthshire!

Lawyers acting for the estate of Ernest Hemingway have forced a Glasgow restaurant to change its name from hemingway’s to Cafe Noir. This will cost the owner a huge sum to re-brand. Funny old world.

Tracking back to my ;previous comments on Newquay (Cornwall) I see that a major British property company is proposing to set up a massive indoor leisure park there at a cost of about GBP50M. Mmm sounds a bit risky to me.

Had an interesting exchange with VisitScotland personnel. During the winter they run a series of local tours for participants in the toursim industry. Beimng a tour guide I asked to go on a few so that I could learn and network. However, this was not well receievd beacuse the tours are restricted to particpants in those same geaographic areas, i.e.they learn more and more about less and less. This policy is utterly bizarre-and funded by tax payers’ money!

That’s about it for today. Lots of paperwork as ever.