Skip to main content

Lands End to John O'Groats with our Friends, the Hall McNairs ~ Part II


As I said earlier, we were lucky enough to accompany our friends, the Hall-McNairs at two points during their journey. The first was from Tewksbury to nearly Nantwich which I wrote about in an early blog entry. And the second point was from Wick to John O'Groats.




It was never our intention to be there for the finish, although if my husband could have had his way he would have joined them for their entire journey. Luckily for me it wasn't possible due to other commitments (like paying the mortgage). Not that I didn't want to be there with the Hall-McNairs. Its just that the weekend from Tewksbury to Nantwich was enough for me to see just how much work was actually involved. The 18 days from Land's End to John O'Groats was no holiday.



Andy though, was determined to see the finish. We had discussed it on several occasions but it just didn't seem to make sense. There was too much on for us both and the drive to John O'Groats seemed too long, particularly with kids. But as he kept harping on about it in the end I caved and agreed to make the drive through the night in order for us to be there for the morning of their last leg of the journey. This was clearly something important for Andy. Besides, he said he'd owe me big time for this. I just better make sure I cash in on it before he forgets.


Well we made it in time for Andy to accompany the crew for the last leg of the journey and I took the kids to the finish, although we almost missed it as we sat drinking coffee and eating cake. Luckily someone spotted them from across the car park and ran to tell us so we could get into position. We really only had seconds to spare. In hindsight the coffee could have waited but it is hard to gauge how long it will take to run 17 miles. We're just lucky the finish line was right next to the coffee shop.


It was great to be there for the finish. What an accomplishment it must have felt for all those involved from the start. Niki and her parents did a fantastic job taking care of everyone. The boys, Atticus and Reuben did incredibly well to last the journey with minimal complaints. And of course Rob, Sue and Martin did amazingly well to complete it in 18 days without a days break. I was exhausted just from driving it. I couldn't imagine doing even a quarter of what they did. Congratulations to them all.


Well we really lucked out with the weather. It was blue sky and sunshine for the first 2 days of our trip. It could have been a bit warmer so that the kids could really have enjoyed the seaside but with the weather we've been having lately I really can't complain.


We enjoyed a lovely day at the beach at Dunnet's Bay. The kids were in and out of the water all day, while Andy and I sat cosy and warm watching from a far in peace and quiet.


My daughter, Mackenzie, absolutely loves the beach. Its all she has wanted to do all summer. So we finally gave her a day at the beach. She was in heaven. And she didn't care one bit about how cold the water was. Andy and I found it too cold for our feet yet she was lying in it and thinking it was great.

While up north not only did I get a nice break away from home but I also managed to meet up with a fellow photographer, John Baikie, who was kind enough to drive over from Thurso to meet us at the Seaview Hotel in John O'Groats. It was great catching up and hearing what he has been up to and about some of his plans for the future. Its always nice talking to a fellow photographer and being able to talk shop. Working on my own means I don't often get the chance to speak to people about the business of photography so it was great to get that opportunity face to face rather than just on a forum as usual. I really enjoyed it. And while I was meeting John, Andy arranged to meet with one of his ex-colleagues, Kate who also lives in Thurso. It was a little strange being so far from home yet still meeting up with people we know.

Well this concludes the good weather portion of our trip. I think I will post this as it stands and add one final entry for the remainder of our trip as it includes getting a photograph of Prince Charles. Who would have expected that way up there?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Zoe returns, this time with baby!!!

This was a great opportunity for me to experiment in my new studio.  Zoe let me do this with her baby bump a couple of months ago with great success so we took the time again, this time with her new baby.  Some experiments were successful and some where not.  But that comes with the territory.  You can't find new and exciting ways to shoot without finding a few bad ways too.  I'm just greatful that the only mess we needed to clean up in the end was a little wee.  It could have been a whole lot worse.
As usual, Zoe photographs so well and I am again so pleased with the results.  She is going to have some great images to show her daughter when she grows up.  Zoe looks absolutely fantastic, and without any signs of having been pregnant just a few short weeks ago.  Of course, apart from her bump she hardly showed any signs of even being pregnant.  If only all women could be this lucky. 



I had forgotten how easy it is to photograph newborns.  They can't run or crawl away.  Th…

Portraits of a Beautiful Young Woman and Her Guitar

You may remember a while back when I did a casting call looking for teenage boys and girls. Well this is the girl I chose. I had quite a specific look in mind, one which included really long hair. I have always had a thing for long hair. The choice also became quite simple when this young lady put herself forward as she is someone I've been photographing through school for several years and she is a past member of the Hinckley Athletics Club where she has been coached by my husband for nearly as many years. He's always had a soft spot for her, being one of his first members which helped my decision. When I have projects where I want to work with a model rather than a paying client I like to use friends or past clients whenever possible as it enables me to give something to those who have been loyal to me.


Wallis has been a pleasure to work with. She is a stunning, confident young woman. In addition, she could bring props with her that I love. I've been wanting to photogra…

Isabelle's Photography Experience

I'm Isabelle Stratford from Redmoor Academy and I've been doing my work experience here at Christina Lauder Photography with my friend Sophie. I'm very interested in photography and currently taking it at GCSE and working here throughout the week has helped me learn several different things about the profession.
 Sophie and I testing out the set up and lighting for prom
Our first day consisted of mainly watching Christina edit some photos and her explain different elements of what she does which then prepared us for the rest of the week when we began doing our own things. She also showed us many of her favourite final edited images that she keeps as samples and told us where she'd got her inspiration from to shoot in the style that she loves. To help her Sophie and I also completed some small tasks that needed doing like filing and clearing up. On Tuesday a client came in for a trial shoot in preparation for a prom so we helped set up for that but then watched as Chris…

Its a Dog's Life

When life gets tough I always look at dogs or my cats and think how lucky they are. I know not all are treated well but those lucky enough to be in a good home, like the ones who come into my studio, have a really great life. They look so happy and its a wonderful thing to see. 

I honestly love photographing dogs. They are a joy to work with and its almost impossible to produce a bad portrait of a dog which does of course make my life a little easier. I am someone who really needs to love the work I create. I can't help but love the portraits I've created of all the dogs I've photographed over the years. And this shoot was certainly no exception.


I found it a real pleasure using a lighter background this time too. I do often gravitate towards darker looks but seeing as this dog had a light coloured coat I thought I'd produce lighter images. This gave me the chance to use a canvas I painted a couple of years ago but never really used and I absolutely love it now. I don…

4 Merits, 3 Finalists, 2 Awards and a Masters!

This past week at the Societies of Photographers Convention in London was just about perfect in every way. As always I look forward to this event with mixed emotions. As a judge and speaker anxiety levels can be high. And I always know that through both working and socialising it can be an exhausting experience that is often hard to get through. However the high I finish on is simply incredible and worth all the sleepless nights and hard work, in large part due to the incredible people with whom I get to spend this week.

(Photo Credit: Mike McNamee - Sitting on a panel)
(Photo Credit: Mike McNamee - The entire judging team including print handlers)
Being amongst the judging team just gets better and better each year. It is very intimidating sitting on that panel and being resposible for assigning a score and then often providing a critique to substantiate it however the rewarding feeling when doing it well is immense. I know I am still a relatively new judge but hope I can improve each…