What with Gail going out to work again and all that, I think it's time that I made some contribution to household expenses, so this week I have decided to apply for a job.....
Dear High Heid Yin of Scottish Tourism,
I would like to apply for the (as yet unadvertised) position of Special Canine Ambassador for the Scottish Tourist Industry. I feel fully confident that I have the skills necessary to promote our magnificent country to potential visitors from overseas, for the following reasons:
- Over the past year, my blog about life in Scotland (www.hamishthewestie.blogspot.com) has attracted an international following on the 'dogs with blogs' network, and many readers have commented on the beauty of our landscape, which, as you can see from the photo montages below, is much enhanced if a good-looking dog (i.e. me) is prepared to pose in the foreground.
- As a relatively elderly citizen, I have much wisdom to impart, but I can also honestly claim that my enthusiasm for exploring new places is undiminished, my appetite for investigating and writing about our mountains, lochs, forests, beaches, parks, castles, historic cities, knows no bounds (so long as the ground surface is gentle on the paws of course...)
- I consider myself a dog of high integrity, but I am also aware that the role of ambassador does require a degree of tact, so please rest assured that in the course of my duties, I would be willing to, how shall we put it, draw a veil over some of the less attractive aspects of life in this part of the world. It really is not necessary to draw attention to our unique insect population is it? And the undeniable dampness of our climate can be presented in a positive light as beneficial to the skin tones of folk of a certain age. We need not let on that deep fried pizza is a more popular dish than our finest wild salmon...
- I can expound at great length on the exceptionally dog-friendly nature of our country, which will surely appeal to many potential visitors. How many people know that on Scotrail trains, the staff often carry around special supplies of shortbread to feed travelling pooches? Have you heard about the delicatessen in Auchterarder that offered me a little ice-cream cone, FREE, to go with the big one sold to my human? I could go on.
- I recognise that some visitors will have a certain (misguided, in my view) expectations about tartan wearing, bagpipe playing and that sort of thing, and I shall be prepared, as I hope is clear from the photo at the head of this letter, to pander to these notions of Scottishness, but only provided that a clearly defined nutritional incentive programme is in place....
Should you require further confirmation of my qualifications for the ambassador position, I shall be pleased to supply references from my many friends in the USA and beyond, who will I am sure attest to my capacity to present our country as a delightful place to visit.
I look forward to your prompt response,
Do you think I'm in with a chance?