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My Trip to Scotland

Its taken me a while to write about my trip but I've finally found the time and made the effort.  Better late than never I suppose. But I must learn to manage my time better.

(Dunnottar Castle, in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire)

Well what a week it was. Let me just start by saying I love the Scottish. They are such a friendly group of people who I feel so lucky to know. The main intention of this trip was to do a couple of workshops up at a studio in Arbroath, Newborns by Nicola. I was invited a few months back and jumped on the chance because  I've been wanting to get up that way for sometime to visit friends. Click here to see my blog about the workshops

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.

(Peterhead)

So instead Susan took me up to Peterhead, her home town, another beautiful Scottish town. Unfortunately the wonderful blue skies I'd experienced all week left us for the pea soup like fog called haar by the locals. But it was still so nice to catch up with such a great friend. I so wish she lived closer. It had been about 3 years since I last saw Susan.

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 then it was time for me to get some training. My last full day  in Aberdeen was spent with a wonderful newborn photographer, Donna Gray of Small Prints Photography. Although I have plenty experience photographing babies I've never watched anyone else do it and I wanted both the assurance that I was doing it right and some tips and tricks for doing it better. It was brilliant. Donna is so patient, professional and relaxed at what she does. It's no wonder she does so well with her babies. Having 6 kids of her own must have made for a great starting point I'm sure.

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)

Then I finished my trip with a nights stay in the Lake District in a lovely little country house in Grange Over Sands. It was gorgeous and well worth the slight detour off the M6. Such personal and friendly service, wonderful location and great food. You know you are staying at a great place when the breakfast menu has starters and mains. I loved the place so much that I booked Andy and I in for our anniversary.
(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).

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