I’m just home from two weeks touring my homeland, Scotland, in a camper van. I drove the whole North Coast 500 and took in the Isle of Skye too. I travelled a large part of the trip with two Dutch friends, also in a camper van. It’s lovely to see your country through the eyes of others. And naturally they were blown away by the scenery (and the vicious north-east wind😊), the friendliness of the Scots everywhere we came and the fact that the toilets on all the campsites we stayed at were spotlessly clean and… had toilet paper! No stumbling past all the other campers with your toilet roll tucked under your arm. This they found pure luxury!

It got me thinking about goodwill. Mostly, the costs of creating it hugely outweigh the effects. Take, for example, the baker offering your child a biscuit. That drink on the house at your favourite bar. The free Limoncello after your meal in Italy. Toilet paper in the toilets. As a translator, if a client sends an email with a few words or a couple of sentences that they need translating, I do that ‘on the house’. I often hear colleagues say that they don’t do anything for free but I really believe that goodwill works two ways: both giver and receiver feel good. Do you give your clients the occasional freebie?