My Eurovision Picks

Well I am a big Eurovision fan, and I was sad to be unable to vote for Finland, Greece and Estonia, but alas their entries were not that strong, so from top to bottom here is my order, quite surprising even for me:

The Netherlands
Czech Republic
United Kingdom

My top 2 of Cyprus and Russia got a vote from me!


Walking towards a great gala day for all

A group of councillors joined around 50 Bonnybridge residents on Saturday for a walk to raise funds for the local gala day.

Provost Pat Reid, with councillors Linda Gow, Dennis Goldie and Adrian Mahoney set off from the Kelpies at 9am last Saturday heading to Bonnybridge.

Among those taking part were members of the Monday Youth Club in Bonnybridge Community Centre and youths from Rock The Talk Bonnybridge who completed the walk in their onesies.

The quickest walker managed the route in one hour 45 minutes.

Bryan Deakin, treasurer of Bonnybridge Gala Day, said “We would like to thank everyone who did the walk on Saturday, a big thank you to Cllr Buchanan for organising the walk, to the councillors who walked with us and to everyone that sponsored our walkers. All sponsorship forms should be handed into myself or Bonnybridge Community Centre by May 14.”

Emily Cowan, secretary of the committee, also thanked the many organisations and businesses that had supported the walk.

To find out more email

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68 Päivää

68 Päivää just 68!

68 until I will be in my FAVORITE country ever!  A country where I feel at home, a country I feel safe, a country that many people go WTF too, that is right in 68 days I will be in Finland.  An early flight to Amsterdam then a short flight to Helsinki and a train to Tampere.  After 4 days in Tampere exploring the pubs and clubs, a train ride to Turku, for more of the same, and some visiting of many friends with some reminiscing near where I used to work, now houses or soon to be houses.  Looking forward to seeing my friends again 🙂

Ah well the days will fly by … I hope


Community Group Move Rail Campaign Forward

The 1970’s is when Bonnybridge saw the last train station in the town close. Since then there have been numerous attempts at bringing one back with no success. Parties and politicians over the years have used it as a way to score points in local elections, but there has been little or no movement forward.

In 2002, the Council Administration of the time, put forward plans for a train station; then later in 2013 with a change in direction of the council’s administration a Pre-STAG report was established. This made the case for a train station in Bonnybridge and Grangemouth. This report supported what the residents already knew, that a train station would benefit the community.

However the train station has not materialised, nor has the Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) Report needed to move forward, with many reasons given that are inaccurate. Even when it comes up in Council meetings it has never been supported by the ruling administration of the day.
In late 2015, a discussion was started on The Bonnybridge Banter page, with many people supporting a train station. This led to a community group being formed with the sole goal of encouraging and promoting the need of a STAG report for Bonnybridge. After a meeting in March, it was agreed to have a second public meeting with guest speakers to explain the case as it is now.

A second meeting was held with Railfuture; Newburgh Train Station Group and Alison Lowe, the Managing Director of Alexander Taylor, a local Estate Agent, explaining the benefits to the community and the impact on house prices if a train station was re-established. The meeting was well attended by many residents who left feeling enthused at the prospect of a new train station.

The meeting also saw the establishment of a working group to move forward with the many plans. A Board was nominated under the guidance of RailFuture and the elected positions were as follows:.

Chairs: Bryan Deakin and David Keenan
Secretary: Fiona Collie
Treasurer: James Nash

Bryan Deakin one of the newly elected chairs states, “This is a positive step forward for Bonnybridge. Now we have a community group, we can apply some pressure in finally getting a STAG report done.”

Five members were also elected as ordinary members to help move the group forward. The working group will now meet in a few weeks to plan the next steps. If you would like any more information or to be involved, please email



Listen to your heart,
and tell me the truth,
The storm cloud lingers,
waiting for you.

The piano is broken,
the rose has died,
will there be a phoenix,
or just an untold lie.

The rain pours,
like blanket of tears,
another mistake?
Or finally a truth?

The horse broke free,
the cart rolls downhill,
A coffin can be seen,
With the name I gave my soul.

To quote Queen,
“Is this the real life or is it just a fantasy”
Or is life the Matrix
even The Truman show?

What does the future hold,
will you look into your crystal ball,
Does the piano play again,
or does the Raven call?

Bonnybridge Gala Celebrates First Fundraiser


Bonnybridge Gala Day was a well-attended event that was ran each year up until 2003. When due to

unforeseen circumstances it finished. In the middle of 2015 a conversation started on The

Bonnybridge Banter, a Facebook group that is aimed at residents of Bonnybridge past and present,

with memories of the once loved event.

By the end of the year, the drive for a Gala Day was there, and a committee of individuals were

elected at a public meeting, with the sole aim of bringing a Gala Day back to Bonnybridge in 2017.

With 2016 being a year of fundraising and promoting a Gala Day in Bonnybridge.

Over the next few months an Easter Fair was organised with the help of Gordon Baxter and other

members of the council. This event was held on the 20th of March. With an exceptionally high


Emily Cowan, the Committee Secretary said “It was amazing to see so many local companies come

together and offer their services, and to the local fire service that sent one of their engines for the

local kids and adults to live their dream for a moment.”

The fundraiser managed to make over £2000 for the fund, with fundraising being done before we

even had a bank account, with The Bonnybridge Banter, and Angela Reid spearheading, a calendar

sale that was a huge success.

Treasurer, Bryan Deakin said “Impressive to see how much a community can get behind an idea,

counting the donations we received throughout the day was astonishing, we made more money for

our Gala Day than we had thought. With over £2200 on our first fundraiser, using social media,

word of mouth and more tradition methods of advertising”

Arlene Graham, the chair of Bonnybridge Gala Committee said “We would like to thank all the

residents of Bonnybridge and their friends all over the world for their support and assistance in

holding our first fundraiser. We were lucky that the weather was so nice, as we had residents

waiting over 1hr to get in as the line was so long. We would also like to say a big thank you to Cllr

Linda Gow, who was kind enough to judge our Easter Bonnet competition, and provide a gift for the

runners up. If anyone wants to get in touch or help for future events please do.”

If anyone would like more information or to find out how the can help, please email or visit

( < Falkirk Herald Published Version )


Tervetuloa Suomi


Is it not such an amazing sight, the Aurajoki at dusk, in the background we see Turku Energia, the tower has the Fibonacci Sequence in large red lights, a beacon for a wary traveler looking for his house after a drinking session in the local pubs, or clubs, may been Monk, Dynamo or even Forte, this landmark provided this drunk his way home at night when he lived in this amazing town.  The docked ships, providing a wide range of food and drink, with the Fori going back and forth all day, almost every day.

This is where I shall be in 4 months, in 4 months I will be spending my time in a city that I call Koti, a city that even I feel comfortable living in, many of my friends now live elsewhere in Suomi, or living abroad and one special friend is watching down on us all.  Turku has never been the same, but to me it is where I found myself, where I realized I was made for more than a mediocre life, and where the spark of travelling was ignited! I look forward to walking the streets and along the bank, but I know I will be sad for a long time after I leave!

Residents wanted to fight Grangemouth’s case

A recent Article by James Trimble in the Falkirk Herald that features a large interview with myself!

Volunteers are wanted to stand up for Grangemouth and get a new community council off the ground.

The town has not had a watchdog organisation for almost three years, but that is hopefully about to change with the election process now up and running.

Residents of Grangemouth and Skinflats, aged 18 and over, have until Wednesday, March 2, to step up and come forward as a potential candidate.

Falkirk Council leader Craig Martin said: “We’d like to see every community represented by an active community council. They play a key role in expressing the views of the local community to the local authority and other public bodies.

“There is information available online with everything you need to know about becoming a community councillor which will make the process easier and more accessible for potential candidates.”

There are only 17 out of a possible 23 community councils active in the Falkirk Council area at the moment. The convener from one if those active bodies knows how vital a community council can be.

Bryan Deakin (30) has been a member of Bonnybridge Community Council for four years and has been the convener for six months.

He said: “I would encourage anyone in Grangemouth or Skinflats to come forward for it – especially younger people. If there is a wide age range of people involved in the community council it makes it a more diverse group.

“It’s about helping the community and the local area. I was asked along to a meeting of Bonnybridge Community Council by a friend four years ago. I’ve always been interested in local politics so I went along and after that meeting I was co-opted onto the community council.

“I just wanted to see what it was all about and I ended up becoming part of it. Now I’m the convener.”

Bryan, who is studying for an honours degree in sustainability development at the University of the Highlands and Islands, falls into the “young” age bracket when it comes to community councils, which are still mainly made up of members who are retired or middle aged.

He said: “We’re quite open to the idea of having younger members in Bonnybridge Community. Younger people can have a different outlook on matters compared to older people, so it’s good to have a mix of both old and young.

“We use Facebook to advertise our meetings and any issues that are coming up. We are also trying to become more community orientated and inclusive.”

This new 21st century approach to community councils would benefit an area like Grangemouth, which has plenty of issues that affect it on a daily basis.

At the end of last year Falkirk Community Trust put forward proposals to close public amenities – including Grangemouth Town Hall.

This led to a public meeting in December to gauge interest in reforming the town’s community council.

Former Grangemouth Community Council secretary Malcolm Richards said: “Grangemouth has been without a community council for over two years and now there are a lot of things going on in the town. People of Grangemouth have to have their voices heard.”

The port town’s community council reluctantly resigned en masse back in June 2013, stating government ministers giving the go ahead for Forth Energy’s plans to build a combined heat and power plant at Grangemouth Docks was the “last straw”.

Community council members had spent the previous three years opposing the plans and fought against the application at a two-week public inquiry in 2012. The plan fell through in the end, but the councillors had already resigned by then.

At the time convener Walter Inglis said: “Across a broad range of issues our representations on behalf of the community are dismissed as irrelevant, ignored or not able to be funded.

“We have therefore reluctantly come to the conclusion that as individuals and as a group we can no longer continue in our roles as community councillors.

“We would like to thank those individuals and organisations that have over time supported our efforts and it would be our hope that they will continue to support any subsequent community council formed to represent the views of the Grangemouth and Skinflats community.”

Now funding issues have forced Falkirk Council to talk about potentially making cuts to services throughout the area, the need for a group to stand up for the community would seem to be more important than ever.

Nominations close on Wednesday 2 March 2016 at 4pm.

For more information and applications visit or call (01324) 506116 or 506118.

Read more @

I am at it again ….

­­­­­­­­­­­It’s always a sad state of affairs when members seem to realise more is wrong than the people behind it.  For years now I and many Friends of a known software have stated that there is an issue arising, one that will not go away until it is admitted.  The constant reply from the current team is denial that there is an issue.  However when I was in the top position I was open about the issues and I was praised for being honest, but overnight with no changes all issues were fixed and everything is hunk dory perfect.  All is right in the world, well in the software, and the massively declining stats are expected and nothing to worry about, even though the majority are lower than when the software was first formed in 2003.  I have been vocal about this decline not due to fact that I dislike the software, as that is a lie, the software has always and will always hold special part in my heart, is it as I dislike the team, well no, I have many friends on the team that I trust, but like many friends of the software we have been vocal as we want the software to succeed.  The first step would be for the team to admit there is an issue and work with the friends who are willing to help, using the expertise available instead of thinking they know all and can fix all.

In the open source market the software is a small fish in a big pond, thinking it is larger than it truly is, punching above its own weight, refusal to spend money on advertising or even attending open source events as they cannot see the benefit.  But they are right what benefit is there in sending a team to an event full of open source developers, an event that has funders looking for the next best open source project, an event that is the event of the year for open source products.  But to re-iterate the fact we do not hate the software, we do not hate the team, what we hate is what the software is becoming.  And the first step in any recovery is be honest and accept you have an issue, the team needs to do this and accept this or an endemic failure will occur.  It has started to and its worrying that a minority of people fail to see this, the minority that can change things.

The leadership at all levels needs to look at the product life cycles, looking at how often releases are being made, and accepting that even a project that is made of volunteers needs goals and targets.  Continuing the philosophy that it will be done when it’s done and please remember we are volunteers does not encourage people to get involved, they have no incentive, looking at other open source software who have a more noticeable release schedule, it makes one wonder why more people are using that software, as they can see active development.  The leadership also needs to look at incentives for people to be on the team, something that will motivate them and thank them for doing a good job.  Years ago people would metaphorically die to be a team member, now there is no such thing, no-one is coming forward as the incentive and motivation for the project is no longer viable.

But all is ok in the software and the growing amount of former team members and general users are all worrying for nothing, but it seems more and more that the blinkers are on the team.  Working in an old adage of business and not understanding the concept of progressiveness, as the team are too scared, scared of change, scared of moving out with the status quo and scared that people like myself will be proven correct if they change.  I will not endorse the old management style, but more we see what is happening the more commonalities are arising.  Some former team members who left in the transition if they looked at current system and issues they would be rolling their eyes saying “what have they done? What have they become?”

As the team will say I am attacking the software again, once again I will state that nobody I spoke to nor do I hate the software or team, we have issues with the way it is being moved backwards, and no movement forward, this point will be constant, as any attempt to open the eyes of the team means that we are attacking them, and I for see another topic being opened stating I am attacking the team, as is now the norm when I speak out.  But when a former team member says there is an issue, the automatic response is then “join us again” many friends no longer have the motivation or time to leave, and others would not be accepted as the team are too proud and worried about discontent of someone speaking against the all is ok philosophy.

By the time the team admit there is an issue it will be too late, it’s not too late now, and the friends I spoke to are happy to help, on a basis that fits our schedules, including the contradictory  of actually spending money in advertising!