I’m sitting writing this on the couch with an intrigued seven-month-old baby beside me, taking great interest in the bright lights of the computer screen.
As I type away, daughter Alice is playing with a plastic cookie jar which makes a jingle every time she puts a cookie back into it and, judging by the way she’s now devouring mashed-up foods, it’ll not be long before she’s eating real cookies. She definitely gets that from her dad’s side of the family.
Morag and I try not to let her look at the telly too much, though she has been somewhat of a lucky charm when it comes to watching sport recently. In her short life to date she has seen the Scotland men’s football team qualify for a major tournament, the rugby team win at Twickenham, and St Johnstone reach the League Cup final – there are 22-year-olds who haven’t even seen all that!
Cup finals don’t come along that often for Saints fans and it’s a shame that no one will be allowed to travel to Hampden to support the boys but I’m sure everyone will be cheering them on in their living rooms come February 28 – including Alice. To be honest, a trip anywhere these days would be welcome.
The highlight of last week was going all the way to Guildtown, a whopping eight miles away, for a load of straw. You’re probably thinking that’s not terribly exciting at all (with all respect to the fine people of Guildtown), but when you haven’t been anywhere in three months you’re glad of any change of scene.
Even our recent Perth Show committee meeting on Zoom was a welcome treat last week, with a chance to catch up with many good friends on the committee, although I had to laugh when a good few of the male members were logged in as their wives or girlfriends.
I’m glad to announce the meeting ran smoothly – unlike the Handforth Parish Council meeting which has become an internet sensation. To liven things up, I was going to write to the now famous Jackie Weaver to invite her to join the Perth Show committee. If you haven’t already watched it on YouTube, take a minute to check it out and while you’re at it type in ‘Texas lawyer appears as a cat’.
Real-life moments have become a huge source of entertainment through social media in recent years but this week saw some scripted comedy of my own appear on the telly for the very first time.
This was in the form of a comedy pilot half-hour episode of The Farm on BBC1 Scotland. It’s basically a fly-on-the-wall mocumentary about a down-on-his-luck tenant farmer called Jim… I don’t know where we got the idea from!
This has been a project for me and fellow comedian and co-writer Chris Forbes for a good number of years. If you think things take a while to grow and develop in farming you should try getting a new show commissioned for TV with us having to do rewrite after rewrite of scripts until producers and commissioners at the BBC were happy with it.
Writing the script was the hard part, but the filming is fun. It was all filmed on our family farm at Stralochy, near Caputh, last October and a cast and crew of around 12 were here for a whole five days just to film one half-hour episode. For that entire week all I had to do was concentrate on learning and delivering my lines, everything else was taken care of.
I got up in the morning, went into make-up and costume then got handed a bacon roll and coffee then away on to set (the farmyard). Thankfully, there was some decent weather and the camera managed to pick up some sweeping views.
I really hope anyone who’s watched it has enjoyed it, and that the authenticity of the show shines through.
Fingers crossed we get the green light for a series… it’ll be worth it for the bacon rolls alone!