Trip Six (of Twelve) Galashiels and Hawick

Trip Number Six of Twelve - Galashiels and HawickTrip Six (of Twelve) Galashiels and Hawick

As it’s the summer, I felt that it’s time to stay a bit closer to home. I just want to avoid the heat, the copious amounts of families and higher prices of travel. So trip six in my year of travel.

I was able to mix business with pleasure this trip. I headed down to Hawick on Sunday morning. My first stop was in Galashiels. I have no idea how I’ve never been there before. I took some time to wander around the town, to take it in and to take some pictures. It’s a quaint wee place. Wound up spending a bit of money in a charity shop buying some new shirts and a lovely sweater (all for under thirteen pounds!)

Hawick New Clothes

I do love a good charity shop haul. Anyone else out there like them too?

Onwards to Hawick

Like Galashiels I’d never been to Hawick so it was quite the adventure. I took the route through Jedburgh to Hawick and it was a stunning day for a drive. I arrived to my B&B, checked in, set my stuff down and headed out for a late lunch in the heart of Hawick. I got a lovely sandwich at the Black Horse and ate al fresco. I particularly liked the sound of the town’s clock, opposite it, with its horses racing in circle.

After lunch was a wander around the town and along the river. Then returned to North Bridge B&B for a rest before dinner.

After a rest, I met up with my friend and fellow trainer Lesley. We had a fantastic Italian meal and lots of laughs ahead of our full day of training

Canva Training in Hawick, Business Gateway

Blogging and Canva Training in Hawick

The next morning it was down to breakfast and out the door to the Heart of Hawick where Business Gateway is based. Lesley kindly allowed me to deliver a bit of blogging training and a mini Canva workshop too. It was a long and wonderful day. We had a blast. Once done Lesley and I took a long trip home.

I decided to go south west out of Hawick to get to the main motorway that is the artery between England and Scotland. It was a stunning drive back through the country to the M73.  At times it was fog so thick we had to slow down to about 30 just to make it through.

So down to Galashiels and Hawick – makes it my “trip 6” for the year – out of twelve.

Really it’s more than that, but we’re calling it number six.  Next up it’s Rhu, Edinburgh and a long day trip to Glencoe with my old school friend Kim. Can’t wait for this.

More soon. Thanks for reading if you read this far.


Here are a few more pictures from Galashiels and Hawick over on my personal Instagram (#caligaluk) if you’re interested…You can read the full text there too.


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Also you may be interested in checking out my Scottish Travel Journals on Amazon UK (they’re available on most Amazons) – I’m adding more on a regular basis…Watch this space.

Linkedin Perceptions Across Scotland

Linkedin Love

If you have ever met me, or read anything I’ve ever written here or on Social Media, you’ll know that I love Linkedin. (Well most of the time. Except when people are posting lame stuff that at best belongs on Facebook, but that’s a topic for another day.)

“Linkedin is the de facto place for business people globally to connect with one another, to find jobs, to look for employees, and increasingly to consume content” – said by “David”, on a video on AOL SEE: LinkedIn just moved into a new skyscraper in San Francisco and the offices are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before

New Linkedin rooftop SF
Pic: Tony Chung, Linkedin, Click to view this and many more on AOL

It’s been a busy month or two training in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Edinburgh. Aberdeen, Campbeltown and before that Uist. Most recently was some “Digital Boost” training in Kirkwall, the Orkney Islands. Each audience is a little different. There are some things however that are universal. This post will talk about the similarities and the differences I’ve been encountering as I’ve been traveling the length and breadth of Scotland delivering some “Digital Boost” courses.

Social Media Training - Benbecula Uist

Regional Variations of LIKEDIN IN SCOTLAND

What is most interesting to me about doing all of these courses are the regional variations. What do I mean by that? Well, on Uist, a few weeks ago, the group of delegates on my “Advanced Social Media” course (pictured above) were very interested in learning more about Linkedin, and how they could utilise it to grow their network and promote their businesses.

Earlier this week, however, on Orkney it was a case of Linkedin was perceived to be a place for “boring suits”. I am not sure how Linkedin will go about changing that perception or if it will even try. Last month, as I previously blogged about, I trained students across Scotland in it. So students are now starting to see its merits. They’ve lowered the age to join Linkedin to 14!

Another person on one of my Glasgow, Business Gateway  training courses also had the perception of Linkedin not being relevant for her business. The girl was a dog walker. Really? Not relevant? “Who runs businesses?” I asked? People. People run businesses. People have dogs. People who work and run businesses would need her services!

So yeah, it’s time that Scotland woke up and changed some of its perceptions. Linkedin is useful and not really just “a bunch of boring suits”.

Frankly, I am neither boring or a suit, and I am active on Linkedin daily.

What I Do on Linkedin, Daily? I:

  • post pictures – some I’ve taken, some I find, and some I actually create in picmonkey or canva
  • ask for advice, feedback or recommendations from my network
  • add new connections to my network
  • share helpful, interesting, relevant content I source or share other people’s content or posts
  • message, congratulate or like my connections activities on Linkedin
  • offer tips on how to use it
  • write/publish updates and long form blog posts
  • respond to people’s postings, questions,  comments – basically have conversations

How much time does all that take?

Another question I get is how much time does all of this take. The main complaint that all business I train seem to have is the time factor. There are not enough hours in the day to run our businesses, keep our books, market our business, etc. I know. I get that. The amount of time I can spend on Linkedin might be a few minutes or it could be hours.

The fact is today, pretty much EVERY BUSINESS has to be somewhere online. You don’t have to be on every channel but you need to be somewhere.

Pick one and “own it”. By that I mean do it well. Make sure it’s where your customers actually are. If you’re target demographic is tweens – then you will want to be on SnapChat or Instagram – probably not Linkedin. So before embarking on setting up any Social Media channels – make sure you know who you’re marketing to and where they are online.

Use Tools

I often advise people use a tool like HootSuite to schedule posts across the week, but I haven’t always done that myself, for Linkedin anyway.  I have for Twitter for years…

Use tools like HootSuite to schedule Linkedin posts

Only recently did I think it would be good to start to schedule my posts on Linkedin, in addition to some of my “of the moment posts”. Using tools will allow you to schedule posts across the week consistently – should you choose.

Tap Into Your Network

Picture of Calmac Ferry - Thea Newcomb 2004How do I use my network? Well, this morning I was booked to deliver some more training in Bute. I’ve never been to Bute, so one of the first places I went was to Linkedin to ask my network for advice on how to get there (specifically should I take my car on the ferry) and where to stay once I get to Rothesay.

Sure I could “Google it” – but I like to hear from my own network, whom I trust to share their feedback. When it comes to online success, it’s “trust” that is the name of the game. People do business with people they “know, like and trust” – so you need to use your Social Media activities to build it. Linkedin, in my opinion, is a great place to do just that.

If you need some help with Linkedin, then feel free to get in touch. Connect with me there or tweet me!

Another area that most regions seem to be interested in is blogging. After Linkedin, that’s arguably my next favourite training to deliver…Perhaps blog about blogging next time! Until then….

Web & Social Media Training, Uist, Outer Hebrides

This has been quite a month of training for Business Gateway, Highlands and Islands Enterprises (HIE) the CMI (Chartered Management Institute) and some one-to-one training too.

More often than not, the audience is comprised of small business owners or employees in SMEs, but for a change a large portion of this past month’s audience was comprised of students. University undergrads and post graduate students who are looking to utilise Linkedin to get either jobs, internships or simply to start building their network. The student work for CMI is now complete and my time has been spent on other things – like traveling across Scotland to deliver some Digital Boost courses on behalf of NSDesign and HIE. First stop for those…Uist.


Had the pleasure of spending time in Uist earlier this month. It was another wee flight up to return to Benbecula to deliver some Advanced Social Media training there. Social Media Training - Benbecula Uist

 As ever, they were a good group of people with very mixed businesses. It was a pleasure to get to know them and hear more about their local businesses.


I rented a car from Laings. They’re pretty “old school” with their booking system but that’s just sort of the island way. It can take a bit of getting used to.

Leaving Eriskay, South Uist headed back north once more

After my full day of training was over, it was great to have the hire car to get in to and be able to head south in the blistering sunshine! Headed all the way down to the bottom of the island to Eriskay – where you can get the ferry across to Barra. One of my delegates, a photographer there, did just that.


Of course there are lots of places to stay when visiting Uist but when traveling to Benbecula, I stay at a B&B called 5 Nunton. It’s not far from Benbecula airport – just a 10 minute drive max.
Run by lovely Linda, it’s quaint, so lovely and silent. You can only hear cows mooing in the fields and the waves in the distance. Perfect for someone like me who needs to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city of Glasgow now and again. Thankfully in my line of work, I can.

Rainbow View at Breakfast 5 Nunton B&B, Nunton UistHere is my view one morning at breakfast…complete with a rainbow in the distance.

Since the trip to Uist, during the first week of April, I also traveled to Campbeltown for a few days of training there. I’ll save that blog until next time.

My next trip will be to Orkney which I am very much looking forward to!