Everyone in the business division in which I work was told to attend a meeting today or, if you couldn’t attend, dial in, for an important ‘restructure’ announcement. You always know what that means. The smell of management consultants hung heavy in the air as terms like ‘world-class’ ‘joined-up’ ‘process efficiencies’ and ‘getting closer to customers’ flew through the ether, both by phone and Powerpoint. The end point, of course, will be a ‘leaner, fitter’ unit (with a few hundred less people). If only they’d find new cliches to tell us this stuff. It seems the Eye of Sauron wasn’t focussed on the little team within which I operate, and its future is more negotiable than some others. But curiously, my work laptop, which I’ve had for all of three weeks, couldn’t live with the shame of the Powerpoint explanation that had been delivered to it, and took its own life during the presentation. A loud beep and the blue screen of death were followed by an announcement that it had no hard disk from which to boot itself. Don’t say it’s an omen.

In the evening, an open mic in Queensferry spectacularly unattended by both performers and audience, until one wag from the bar frogmarched his companions in, forcing us to put on some kind of show. He told us, more than once or twice, that we deserved a bigger audience and that he would guarantee us a full house if we gave him a date. We did and let’s hope he does.

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