(Dunnottar Castle, in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire)
That's the amazing thing about the photography industry. Most of us work alone in a rather isolated way but because we attend conventions and trade shows we get to know so many great people from all around the world. And this week I got to spend time with 2 who I've known for about 8 or 9 years and a few more who I've not known as long but are quickly becoming long term friends as well.
First, I stayed with Nicola. She not only hosted the workshops but also let me into her home for the 2 days I was there which was so lovely. I'll be looking forward to seeing this lot amongst the Scotish contingency in January.
It was there I got to taste the famous Arbroath smokies which were absolutely amazing. They are like no smoked fish I've ever tried before. I would have loved to take some home with me.
Then I had the pleasure of a highly acclaimed fish supper with my good friend David Clark who then escorted me to my second destination with another good friend Susan Renee up in Aberdeen. It also gave David the chance visit with Susan himself. Along the way he took me to see a wonderful castle too (see above), which incidentally altered Susan's plans for me the following day. Who knew they'd both pick the same landmark to bring me to.
Susan took me to this fantastic pub that served amazing food that was so far removed from pub food it was more like fine dining - I even had haggis,which I'd never had before - with my scallops starter. Being in Scotland I just felt I had to.
And finally I finished my tour of Scotland with a visit with 2 of the most friendly, helpful and knowledgeable people in the industry, Faye and Trevor Yerbury. When they heard I was in Scotland they invited me for lunch in their beautiful home just outside of Edinburgh. I can't think of a better way to end my journey than that. We talked for hours and time just flew by. I finally got to see their lovely home, studio and vast art collection. I have to say though that I was surprised to see that they don't just expect others to pose for them in the nude. They've been more than happy to do it themselves for other artists as well. Perhaps that is why they are so good at what they do. They've taken the time to be on both sides and know just how it feels.
(Kendal in the Lake District - quick snap on the way through)
(Clare House Hotel in Grange Over Sands)
This week was so wonderful I hope to get back there again next year with my aim of seeing even more friends along the way. So thank you to all my Scottish friends I managed to see and I look forward to seeing more of you next time (and January at the Convention in the meantime).