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

London in Spring, Whats Not to Love?

Well I know there is still a lot not to love but I'm choosing to see the great things about London at the moment. I am having a ball this year visiting London as often as I can. Which is unusual for me since I usually prefer the comfort of my own home, in rural old Leicestershire. Staying home and avoiding people has always been the easy option. But this year, possibly due to the wonderful weather we keep having, has me longing for venturing out. Again, just like my last trip, I headed out with my good friend Panikos Hajistilly . Living in North London he finds it easy to meet up for our shoots. This time though I had more of an idea of the sights I wanted to use as the backdrops for my portraits. With it being spring I was in search of colour, preferably flowers. Admittedly. I didn't quite get what I was looking for. The white fronted terraced houses with pink magnolia trees we did not find unfortunately. But I did make it to Peggy Porchen's which was a must see on m

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

My First London Fashion Shoot

Well I finally did it. I bit the bullet and faced my fears and headed to London with a good friend, Mr. Panikos Hajistilly to do my first location shoot. We chose our locations together and Panikos organised a model and brought so much of his gear which he kindly shared with me. And probably most importantly, he showed me how it's done. I was so surprised to see just how much wonderful light was there, just waiting to be used. I am a studio photographer and while I understand the use of studio flash very well, I am very much out of practice and out of my comfort zone with using available light. Its one thing to place lights and backdrops around my subject in the comfort of my studio. Its very different to find the right light and the right backdrop in unfamiliar territory and to place my subject in it. That may sound simple enough but honestly it is not, particularly on a day with no clouds in the sky. One of our planned locations just wasn't possible as a result of the

Family Portraits with Fine Art Flair

I have a love and hate relationship with family portraits. I love the finished piece and creating something that is truly special to the family. I love that in years to come something I made is going to be a cherished and valueable memento for this family. What I struggle with, is getting all members of the group to look their best at exactly the same moment in time. You would be surprised at how difficult this actually is, particularly when it comes to 6 children. But I always get there in the end, whether it is the luck of a moment or with the aid of Photoshop. I ensure that everyone in the portrait is looking their best, even the dog. Seeing as this family is actually made up now of two families we also did portraits in their respective groups which I chose to do in different style to their main group. I love adding a bit of style for the overall main group and what you see above is something that is proving popular with my clients. I love adding props and giving a sort of Vani

Never Work With Children or Animals

Or so the saying goes. But I have to say that working with dogs has been so lovely. They have been almost entirely a dream to work with. I say almost entirely because we have had a few moments where a dog has needed to settle. And one moment where the dog had settled but one of my cats decided to have a look through the glass door which, as you can imagine, rather quickly unsettled the dog. Still, that didn't stop us from creating incredible work. In fact it was during that shoot with the cat instance when I created two of my favourite pieces, shown below. (It was while sitting on the couch here when he noticed the cat peering through the curtain) I don't know if I've just been lucky or all dogs are just easy to work with. I photographed a french bull dog puppy and I thought that would be tough as he hadn't had time to be properly trained yet. But he did everything we wanted in no time at all. And this included the props we used here (below), which to me