Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa’s on LinkedIn

My late grandmother, God rest her soul, was a formidable woman. Strong in nature, she wasn’t afraid to tell you, or anyone else for that matter, exactly how she felt. Nothing was exempt. Not even the good old TV in the corner of the room. In my mind’s eye I can still see her remonstrating with the news or shouting at the bad guy.

Nature or nurture I wondered as I found myself shouting – loudly – at The Apprentice’s Richard ‘Tricky Dicky’ Wood. There he was, on my TV, imploding faster than a dodgy Christmas light.

Hiding behind his clouds and mountains Tricky Dicky – sorry pal but you’re stuck with that moniker now – had attempted to waffle his way to the BBC crown. Lord Sugar’s sharks were having none of it. Even Mr Wood eventually realised the game was up and sticking to plain English might be best after all. Too little, too late.

But just what was Richard really guilty of? There are thousands of Tricky Dickies out there, all products of the LinkedIn generation, spinning elaborate yarns in an effort to sell themselves. Personal statements become so clouded with jargon it is sometimes hard to tell what somebody actually does for a living, who they really are. But what if all of us followed suit? What, for example, would happen to traditional roles if they were to be swamped in clouds of Richard’s gobbledygook? With a ho, ho, ho we signed Santa up to LinkedIn to find out…

Profile: Father Christmas

Location: North Pole

Rotund, time-served purveyor of carefully-wrapped gifts, designed with individuality and selected amid mass-market competition. Boasts excellent navigation and circumnavigation skills; skilled in data interpretation with well-honed communication abilities. Able to think outside the box.


An intrepid traveller, I am dedicated to providing a professional service from an end-user perspective. I deliver win-win situations, taking a helicopter view to ensure success. An experienced manager, I provide visionary solutions to every-day problems enabling teams to leverage their skills and meet strategic objectives. For decades I have delivered mission-critical plans and remain a solid business-focussed individual with unrivalled skills in data management and anomaly detection. Key strengths include risk management and the handling of global illuminance and ingestion issues.


Remote, independent working, travel solutions, aero-dynamic flight, animal management and welfare, care of individuals not yet of adult age. Available for short-term contracts.

Have a happy Christmas, however you say it….




Tales for The Dog

When you first  set up on your own one of the things you discover is that talking to yourself is compulsory. It’s crucial. If I had a job description it would be up there in the list of essentials. Or whatever HR jargon is abounding today.

I talk to other people a lot. But sometimes I talk to myself too. Or The Dog.

Just for clarity’s sake, before we continue, The Dog is his proper title. Oh, he has a name of course. But not in the context of ‘has anyone seen The Dog?’ Then he really is just The Dog.

But I digress.

Along with the talking, there’s been a bit more time for reading. And I’ve read lots over the last few months. I think they call it research. Some things I’ve wanted to read, some I’ve not and there’s others that, frankly, have been a waste of paper. Or screen time.

And then, in the midst of this talking and reading, came thelonelybiro.

A rather fine, if not rather one-sided, conversation about the misuse of the lowly apostrophe and, behold, thelonelybiro was born. Desperately seeking a pen with which to scribble out the offending slice of punctuation (wrong place, wrong time, in a letter which had slid through our front door) and suddenly I had an idea.

All those stray commas, abandoned, or overused, apostrophes, exclamation marks metered out like soldiers on parade (!!!) no longer needed to be the bane of my existence. Superlatives, typos… be gone.

I’m going to talk about them here instead. Those, and all manner of niggles. And delights, too.

And as for that letter? Alas, poor apostrophe. I knew him well.