Siobhan’s Trust Walk finally happened on 14th of May 2022

3rd time lucky and not only that we were presented with stunningly good weather to conduct the 14 mile walk from Tentsmuir Forest all the back to Siobhan’s residence, Birkhill Castle. There was also the choice to opt for a 4 mile version as well as a meander through Birkhill’s garden.

I had a leisurely start at 10 am and had the company of Lucazs and Fran. We took an extended lunch break with cheese, crackers and port and helped to clean up and take the tent down.

We only returned to Birkhill Castle at around 5pm and were welcomed with BBQ food and more port.

The walk had good attendance and hopefully will have raised plenty of future funds for all the good the Siobhan’s Trust does.

Tentsmuir Forest

Leisurely walking through Tentsmuir Forest
Having a wee moment of rest
Along the river Tay
Beautiful clouds and delightfully warm weather
A mindful moment
The old lighthouse
The more modern version
Beautiful walking along the coastal path
Bluebells in May

Mindful creative retreat, Forres, Moray

Kim Grant from Visualising Scotland, Rebecca Gibson from Rebecca on the Wing and Jen Price from Mindful Routes organised the perfect retreat at Victoria’s The Loft, which was a truly perfect location for our intentions.

Cosy little huts for creative thoughts and peace of mind
Comfortable and very inviting communal rooms to socialise
The kitchen contained everything anyone could wish for and the showers were amazing too
The huts were very cute, spacious, comfortable and very cosy

Kim is mostly involved in creative photography but is an equally talented writer. She lead several amazing walks along the coast line inviting all of us to explore our creativity in taking photos as well as encouraging us to turn our focus to the little things, notice the colours changing, finding an object which would bind our minds and engage in some creative writing. Additionally she is outstanding in providing technical knowledge and inspiring us to explore different technics.

Attempting a blurring technic on seals in the far distance
Sunset mood at Cave Bay
Focus on the detail
Drinking in the blue of the fading light

Kim is also extremely talented in being in the right place at the right time. On our first evening we were privileged to observe some dolphins, which really is a thrilling experience.

Playing dolphins right in front of our eyes
Dolphin with baby

Rebecca is a wildlife author by profession and an nature lover by passion. She possesses inner peace and calmness in conjunction with her exhuberance for anything living. Sharing time with her will sharpen your awareness, enhance your learning and most of all will enable you to notice things you may have overlooked all your life. Did you ever asked yourself how a fulmer flies or how a dipper sounds if he is upset (or in our case needs some food)?

Wee dipper being fed
Oyster Catcher with a mission
Heron
Toad

Jen is a personal development coach, a breathwork teacher and mountainbike coach. All of which she incorporated into our retreat and invited us to “risky play builds resilience” on a mountainbike experience. It was a fun day on the bike and everybody did it.

Risky play builds resistence
Creative writing
Thoughtfulness
Gathering our thoughts
Biking with a view
Jen is flying

Our four day retreat was over way tooquickly, everything flowed, there no pressure to particpate and the various activities complimented each other, not to mention that everyone participating was a true pleasure to be with.

Thank you all!

With some luck there will be another retreat end of Septmeber 2022. I cannot wait

Outdoor yoga in the morning
Retreat!

Gaelic & Wildlife Walk in Cupar

with Alexandra Hoadley, Conservation Project Officer for Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, and Kirsty Strachan, Community Development Worker (Gaelic) at Fife Council

Today I had the opportunity to join the Gaelic and Wildlife Walk in Cupar, This was my second walk and I did enjoy it just as much as the first one. We had warm temperatures and bright sunshine (both thinks we obviously always have in Scotland). Both Alexandra and Kirsty are fabulous story tellers, immensely engaging and super knowledgable.

The name Cupar stems from pre-pititsh times and mean the coming together as Cupar is the place where the two rivers, the Eden and the Landy Burn, come together.

We had the opportunity to learn a bit on meandering rivers since we were walking alongside one, which in places was restricted from meandering.

Alexandra providing insides on many native trees, such as the Scot Pine and you will have to forgive me for not remembering the Latin name. I do, hoever, remember that it can produce 3000 cones a year and is regarded as a blessed tree, used as way marker and that people in fishing villages used its roots as candles.

Somehow the Capercaille came into the conversation and we learned that it means the wee horse of the forest and if you ever heard one of those birds they do make sounds like a wee Shetland pony cantering through the woods.

The Ash tree is regarded as the most blessed tree, the tree of life and can turn its entire crown toward the sun.

The cailleach bheag is the crested tit in English, however cailleach in Gaelic means old woman (or witch) and bheag is small and perhaps the song of the cailleach bheag/crested tit does sound a little like old women chattering?

I massively enjoyed our donder across Cupar Park and will hopefully join the next one too.

Tomorrow at 1.30 pm at Waid Academy in Anstruther there is a talk on place names

The importance of sleep

It is World”s Sleep Day on Friday!

Very few of us sleep enough because most people are leading rather hectic lives. What I certainly did not know is the impact this can have.

Years back I worked nightshifts for my partner’s taxi company and had tentatively started Starfish Travel offering tourists bespoke tours all over Scotland. That resulted in working several nightshifts, going on a day time tour and then returning to nightshifts.

It is common knowledge that nightshifts are not particularily healthy as they interfere with your bio rhythm and how you body reacts to sunlight.

If I was vaguely aware of this I ignored it and carried on switching between day and night shifts. I began to notice that I started to not sleep well during the few hours I did have for sleeping I lay awake worrying about oversleeping, not hearing the alarm clock going off.

This carried on for quite some time and I lost a lot of weight and worse still all interest in anything else in life. I was permanently way too tired to do anything. I also felt physically a lot weaker and it so coincided that my childhood asthma re-appeared as well.

You may think this is easily rectified ; just go and sleep. This is, however, not what happened in my case. I felt worse and even began to loose coginitve abilities. I would forget things and quite often struggled to even make the simpletest calculation. It effected me emotionally I mostly felt nothing. It affected how I interacted with people all the while just feeing too tired for life.

I went on a tour with customers over several days and began to feel quite normal after my first night’s good sleep in months. It happened again when I went for a MBA refresher course. Sadly, it did not seem to click in my head. I was strangely imprisoned in the world of little sleep.

I came across Matthew Walker’s book “Why we sleep” and it absolutely changed my life. While reading it I decided to try to sleep regular hours and preferrably at least seven of those for two weeks. Within days my memory, my mood, my health improved and I have not worked a nightshift since.

Instead I took up yoga to deal with my asthma and lack of general movement. I have meanhile qualified as a yoga teacher. I still ocassionally drive my taxi, but I have learned to look after myself in mind, body and soul and all of thanks to Matthew Wakers amazing reseach. Read his book or look him up on Youtube

The Johnny Walker Experience, Prince’s Street, Edinburgh

The new Johnny Walker Experience in Edinburgh is what you expect: very American, nice and shinny!

I went to explore it with a seasoned whisky lover and friend. We walked in and it did feel like entering “the Staates”, very posh ambiente with a glittery feel to it.

We were greated by a very friendly member of staff, who sadly failed at my first question. I asked if the had the Diageo special releases (which I first encountered at Dalwhinnie Distillery), he replied no and I did find them later in the shop and my friend even got to try them.

Our second question was if there was availability to have lunch in the 1820 Rooftop Bar. A phonecall was made, we were accompanied to the impressive elevators and re-assured that we would be welcomed by another member of staff when reaching the rooftop.

We got there to an empty space and made our own way to the bar where we spent a few minutes feeling out of place. Eventually one member of staff approached us and lead us to a table.

It is a stunning place this Rooftop Bar, very stylish, but that resulted in not the most comfortable seats. We ordered drinks. I had orange juice which was fine and my friend opted for red wine which he found dissapointing. Fresh bread was brought to our table, which was amazing and we did get exited to see what the food would be like.

When it arrived it was a real dissapointment it looked as if it had spent hours under a heatlamp. It really was not appetising at all. The actual tase was not too bad. I pressume the name gives it away it is a bar rather then restaurant.

We skipped desert on the grounds, but the cappuchinos were nice. We took a wee walk around the terrace which offers stunning views over Edinburgh.

On the ground floor my friend was invited to taste some whiskies (I was driving), which was a nice experience and we ended up buying some whiskies as well.

So, overall I would say it is probably what you expect I personally enjoyed roaming around Edinburgh’s many whisky shops more and regarding bringing my guests/customers to Johnny Walker? Not for food and I would rather opt for the two Scottish Malt Whiskies Society (SMWS) Experiences in Edinburgh, the one in Queen Street or the Vaults, in Leith.

In saying all this I still need to experience one of their tours.

John Henry Lorimer Exhibition & Kellie Castle

Reflections – the Light & Life of John Henry Lorimer’, City Art Centre, Edinburgh

I have mentioned Kellie Castle elsewhere on this website more than once. Pre-pandemic I did volunteer at Kellie Castle as a room or tour guide. John Henry Lorimer came to Kellie as a young man and the place captured him and influenced his art.

I could go on what positive influence Kellie Castle, my fellow volnuteers and NTS staff has had on me. Instead I would suggest to you to go to the John Henry Lorimer exhibition at the City Art Centre and experience John Henry’s, or JH as the Lorimer family called him, work in the context of place, identity, femininity, family & home.

If JH captivates your soul as much as he has hold of mine I strongly recommend your next step to be a visit at Kellie Castle. Even though JH’s paintings date back to pre 1936 once you enter Kellie you will see much of what has inspired this amazing artist.

The NTS provided volunteers with the privilege to be guided through the exhibition by Charlotte Lorimer, who co-curated this truly amazing reflection on light & life of JH Lorimer…..

Charlotte is also responsible for Upward and Onward, where you can find out more about the various talents the Lorimers produced

Kellie Castle

Durch das Hochland von Schottland in einem elektrischen Fahrzeug

Mit meiner Firma, “Starfish Travel” biete ich individuell abgestimmte Tagesreisen durch ganz Schottland an und benutze zu diesem Zweck ein lizensierten 8-Sitzer Mercedes Viano Minibus, der jedes Jahr ungefähr 70.000 Meilen zurück legt. Im Frühjahr hatte ich einen Tesla Model S Probe gefahren und war unglaublich begeistert. Das Model X, welches als 7-Sitzer angeboten wird, kostet £90.000 und würde meinen Bedürfnissen gerecht, allerdings würde ich einen Sitz verlieren.

Dieselfahrzeug Mercedes Viano versus Mercedes eVito


Mir war bekannt, dass Mercedes Benz einen “eVito Tourer 100k Wh L3 PRO” anbietet, also rief ich dort an und fragte nach, ob ich einen testen dürfte. Mercedes war grosszügig genug, mir einen eVito Tourer 100k Wh L3 PRO für sechs Tage zur Verfügung zu stellen.

Ich hatte einen dreitägigen Fotografie Kurs in der Nähe von Forres gebucht und beschloss, den eVito Tourer 100k Wh L3 PRO gründlich zu testen. Der Kurs begann an einem Montag und ich holte den eVito an einem Freitag bei Mercedes in Edinburgh ab. Ich erhielt Anweisungen, wie der Wagen aufzuladen sei und zu meiner Überraschung lässt sich der Wagen nicht Zuhause laden (einen Tesla kann man schlichtweg in die Steckdose stecken, wenngleich das sicher nicht die beste, schnellste Methode ist).

Der eVito war voll geladen, was hiess 230 Meilen Reichweite. Die Distanz von Mercedes zu meinem Haus ist laut Google Maps 46 Meilen. Der eVito hatte fast 100 Meilen verloren, als ich vor meinem Haus parkte.

Das bedeutete, dass ich ihn vor meiner Reise nach Forres noch irgendwo aufladen musste. Ich ging Arbeiten und nahm den eVito abends mit nach St. Andrews, um ihn in 45 Minuten aufzuladen. Ich probierte drei verschieden Stationen und konnte den eVito nicht dazu bringen, sich laden zu lassen.


Ich rief die Unterstützung von “ChargePlace” an und mit deren freundlicher Hilfe sah es so aus, als würde der eVito sich aufladen lassen. Ich ging also in die Stadt, ass etwas und kam 11/2 Stunden später zurück, nur um herauszufinden, dass der eVito keine einzelne Meile geladen hatte.
Ich hatte einen frühen Arbeitsbeginn am nächsten Morgen, also fuhr ich den eVito ungetaner Dinge nach Hause.

Ich brauchte bis Sonntag Abend, um Zeit zu finden, den eVito wieder nach St. Andrews zu fahren, um ihn -hoffentlich- ausreichend aufzuladen, so dass er mich nach Forres bringen würde. Als ich in St. Andrews ankam, war ich bereits 48 Meilen gefahren, nur um das Auto laden zu dürfen. An der Ladestation angelangt, weigerte sich der eVito den Schnell-Lader zu akzeptieren. In dem Moment fuhren zwei Leute in einem Tesla vor, schlossen ihr Gefährt an die Ladestation an und kamen zu mir, um mir zu helfen. Wir beschlossen, eine langsamere Ladenstation zu probieren und “Oh Wunder!” es funktionierte.

An der langsameren Station hätte das Laden die ganze Nachte gedauert, also probierte ich mit der Hilfe meiner neugewonnen Tesla-Freunde den Schnell-Lader erneut und, -warum auch immer-, diesmal war der Ladevorgang erfolgreich. Nebenbei sei angemerkt, dass die Gebrauchsanweisung kein Kapitel über das Laden vorweist, wenngleich man es im alphabetischen Anhang finden kann.
Der Tesla war zu dem Zeitpunkt bereits 80% geladen und seine Besitzer fuhren davon. Ich ging mal wieder spazieren und bestellte mir Fish & Chips. Als ich 11/2 Stunden später glücklicherweise mit meinem Freund wieder bei dem eVito anlangte, hatte der ganze 27%/115 Meilen geladen.
Bei dem Zeitpunkt fühlte ich mich an die in den 90ziger Jahren beliebten Cyberpets erinnert, die ebenfalls ständig Aufmerksamkeit brauchten und gefüttert werden mussten.
Ich liess das elektrische Autowunder an der Ladestation und bat meinen Freund, mich mit nach Hause zu nehmen. Dort packte ich meinen Diesel Viano, um mich und mein Gepäck am nächsten Morgen zu dem eVito zu bringen. 48 unnötige Meilen mit dem Elektroauto plus 16 Meilen mit dem altbewahrten Dieselfahrzeug, um 143 Meilen mit dem eVito zurücklegen zu dürfen…
An der Ladestation angelangt, stellte ich überglücklich fest, dass 98% Ladung vollbracht war und die Reichweite 265 Meilen betrug, die sich beim Umdrehen des “Zündschlüssels” auf 238 Meilen reduzierten. Als der eVito bekannt gab, dass er 100 Meilen aufgebraucht hatte, war die reale Distanz 66. Ich begann mir Gedanken zu machen, ob das 143 Meilen entferntes Forres erreichbar war.
Der eVito, wenn man denn endlich mal dazu kommt, fährt sich ähnlich wie ein normaler Vito, lediglich leiser und schneller, wobei der eVito ein seltsames Summen von sich gibt, das einen wage an das Geräusch eines Bohrers beim Zahnarzt erinnert (der Tesla tat das nicht).

Wie schnell Meilen verloren gehen
Selbst ein elektrisches Fahrzeug ist nicht so schnell…

Als ich in Forres ankam, hatte der eVito noch eine Reichweite von 60 Meilen. Ich hatte etwas Zeit und beschloss, den eVito an die nächste Ladestation zu hängen, während ich mein Morgen-Programm absolvierte, so zumindest mein Gedankengang. Die erste Ladestation war besetzt, die zweite funktionierte nicht und die dritte gab es nicht, oder vielleicht konnte ich sie nur nicht finden.

Leicht frustriert fuhr ich den eVito zu unserem Treffpunkt und fragte eine Teilnehmerin in der Mittagspause hinter mir herzufahren, so dass ich das Gefährt in die Ladestation stöpseln könnte. Es war dieselben Station, die morgens besetzt war. Nun war sie frei, allerdings hatte sie kein Kabel. Glücklicherweise hatte der nette Mercedes Mitarbeiter mir eines in den Kofferraum gelegt. Ich fragte mich allerdings, ob es möglich wäre das Kabel während des Ladens zu entfernen. Der eVito lud, ich zog am Kabel und hatte es in der Hand. Die Leute in Forres sind zum Glück redliche Leute und keiner klaute das Kabel.

Als ich 3 Stunden 50 Minuten später zu dem eVito zurück spazierte, hatte dieser enttäuschende 28% geladen. Das reichte, um für meinen Kurs umher zu fahren, aber bei weitem nicht, um zurück nach St Andrews zu gelangen und Edinburgh erwähnen wir besser erst gar nicht.

Ich beschloss am letzten Abend, den eVito an einem meiner Unterkunft nahegelegenen `Teestube zu lassen, die ebenfalls eine Ladestation hatte. Als ich dort ankam, stellte sich heraus, dass diese ausser Betrieb war. Ich fuhr also zurück nach Forres, stöpselte mein Gefährt dort ein und wanderte 2.2. Meilen im Dunkeln entlang der Hauptstrasse zu meiner Unterkunft.

Ladestation an der Teestube war leider defekt

Am darauffolgenden Morgen stand ich entsprechend früher auf, um die 2.2. Meilen -diesmal durch einen Wald- zurück zum eVito zu spazieren, dann zurück zur Unterkunft zu fahren, um mein Gepäck zu laden.

Auf dem Rückweg ins schöne Fife beschloss ich durch die Cairngorms zu fahren, da ich noch Tageslicht hatte und mir relativ sicher war, dass ich nicht irgendwo ohne Strom stehen bleiben würde.

eVito in den Cairngorms

Bei 20% Gefälle fühlte man sehr deutlich, wie schwer der Wagen war. Obwohl er mit sehr guten Bremsen ausgestattet ist, hatte ich doch ein mulmiges Gefühl im Bauch.

Ich erreichte St. Andrews, schloss das Gefährt erneut an die Ladestation, da es die Distanz bis Edinburgh anders nicht bewältigt hätte, lud mein Gepäck in meinen Diesel-Viano, um die 16 Meilen zu meinem Zuhause zurück zu legen, um dann am nächsten Morgen mit dem Viano zum nächsten Bahnhof zu fahren, eine Taxi zum eVito zu nehmen, den eVito nach Edinburgh zu fahren und mit dem Zug zu meinem Viano zu gelangen.

Fazit:
Umständlich, unpraktisch und für mein Geschäft schlichtweg unmöglich ist meine Bewertung für den eVito. Wenn ich mit Kunden unterwegs bin, werden natürlich Pausen eingelegt, um menschliche Bedürfnisse zu erledigen, ein schönes Foto zu machen etc. p.p. und es wäre durchaus möglich 45 Minuten dafür einzuplanen, wenn das Aufladen des Fahrzeugs denn tatsächlich nur 45 Minuten dauern würde. Da der eVito an einem Schnell-Lader aber nach fast vier Stunden nur ungefähr 120 Meilen Reichweite hat, ist eine geschäftlich Nutzung des Fahrzeugs ausgeschlossen. Ich habe in den letzten Monaten die meisten Tage täglich um die 400 Meilen in meinem Viano zurückgelegt. Zum Vergleich: mein Viano hätte die gesamte Tour mit einer Tankfüllung erledigt.

Für die private Nutzung eines eVitos würde ich wohl mein Fahrrad permanent mitnehmen und ein Ladegerät fuer Zuhause installieren. Soweit mir bekannt ist, bietet Mercedes diese derzeit gratis an, wenn man denn einen eVito erwirbt.

Ich habe Freunde, die Anfang des Jahres einen Tesla Model S gekauft hatten und befragte sie, wie sie das Aufladen des Tesla bewerkstelligten. Bei Tesla wird der Ladevorgang beim Routenplanner integriert. Der Wagen schlägt Ladestellen vor, die funktionieren und nicht besetzt sind, 80% Ladung ist empfohlen und findet in maximal 20 Minuten statt. Wird der Tesla nachts zuhause geladen, kostet es 1 Pence per Meile.

Ich gebe ungefähr 25% meines Umsatzes an Diesel aus, Wartung, Reparaturen und Steuern sind erheblich höher bei meinem Dieselfahrzeug und ich würde liebend gerne auf ein elektrisches Fahrzeug wechseln, allerdings wird das dann kein Mercedes, sondern ein Tesla sein,
Der gute, alte Viano muss wohl noch ein paar Jahre treue Dienste leisten, bis ich genug gespart habe, um einen Tesla zu erwerben. YouTube Fahrbericht (auf Englisch).

Zu den Kosten das Ladens des eVitos kann ich leider einen Monat nach dem Ausleihen keine Angaben machen, da das Laden über dei App nur einmal für 11 Minuten glückte. Dafür wurden £1.94 berechnet. Ich gebrauchte lediglich meine Bankkarte für restlichen Ladevorgänge. Seither hatte ich noch keine Abbuchungen von meinem Konto…

Speyside with two whisky enthusiasts

Last weekend I had a whisky tour in Speyside scheduled. If you know the area there are approximately 50 distilleries to choose from including the three biggest ones: Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and MacAllan.

The tour was booked with relative short notice and things are not quite back to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The gentleman who booked the tour had a few preferences on his list of distilleries but not all were open to visitors. As a matter of fact when I picked up the phone it evolved that distilleries were either not open yet (Aberlour) or fully booked (MacAllan).

I ended up changing the tour about four times in 24 hours but in the end we were able to visit four distilleries and the Speyside Whisky Shop.

Click here for the detailed itinerary.

We visited the MacAllan bar which overlooks the distills and my customers sampled MacAllan 12 single, double and trible cask maturation. On the way there we had short stop to let them try a wee dram.

Next was GlenAllachie, where Karen provided a very personal tour in a small but certainly special distillery. Four whiskies could be tried and one of my whisky enthusiast bought a bottle of one of the samples.

Karen at GlenAllachie
Starting the tasting

I had packed a small lunch which served well to be ready for distillery number three of the day: Glenfarclas. This tour took close to two hours, was very detailed and ended in the famous tasting room of Glenfarclas, where another three whiskies were tried.

In the heart of Glenfarclas
Glenfarclas’ famous tasting room
Some treasures to be found here

Last whisky producer of the day was Glen Grant, which did not provide tours as such but the beautiful Victorian garden was open and once visited two whiskies could be tried.

There are always more whiskies to be tried and we stopped at Hopeman for a tasting of smooth whiskies and added a peaty whisky tasting at Burghead. You can see that sunset tastings are fun:

Whisky with a view at Burghead
Enjoying a beautiful spot
A wee selection of mainly Speyside whiskies at Hopeman beach
Taking some exercise between tastings

Creative, mindful & photographic retreat with Kim Grant from Visualising Scotland

A week ago today I was on my last day of a wonderful retreat near and around Forres.

It was a fantastic experienced and coincided with a number of sensible life changes for myself. Since then I have not “taken a breath” (which is only partially true, I still practiced yoga and a little mindfulness every day). Life since has been a consistant rotation of sleeping, getting up, a yoga practice, work, eat, sleep… something we all know is neither healthy, nor practical and even less enjoyable. However, there is an end to that in sight and meanwhile it serves me as a weak excuse for not having reported back on the amazing time I was allowed to share with four other women:

Kim Grant from Visualising Scotland

Rebecca on the wing : Read her impressions of the retreat here: Day1 & Day2

Jen from Mindful Routes

Sam

Day 1

We met a a park in Forres and walked into the woods to a small clearing with some picnic tables. Jen provided us with number of breathing exercises followed by some journalling of thoughts on what every one of us would like to take away from the retreat.

We took a gentle walk through the remainder of the park noticing some beautiful mushrooms.

We continued on to Logie Steadings for some fabulous lunch and ventured off to another walk this time alongside the river Findhorn. Many photos were taken with very helpful hints and tricks from Kim. We also found time for more creative writing and just emerging ourselves with the nature surrounding us. What a wonderful place!

We split up for a wee break which allowed me to settle into my most wonderful accommodation “The Bothy” run by Fiona & Brendan and made even more welcoming by their lovely dog “Bracken”

My home for two nights “The Bothy”
The gorgeous Bracken

We met up at the beach all of us equipped with swim suits – just in case we were brave enough to jump into the sea.

Kim guided us along this most beautiful coastline encouraging us to turn our attention once again to the little things.

I had been walking barefeet and when the sunset had settled (or so we thought), four of us went swimming while remaining Sam used the time to snap some amazing sunset shoots.

Please also Rebecca on the wing’s blog for her take on our first day.

Day 2:

We started again in a park/woodland at Burghead with a walk lead by Rebecca tuning us into the different bird songs and traces of wildlife within the woods. When I was asked by Kim later what my highlight of the day had been I answered without a second thought: “Capturing a grashopper”. It is the little things that matter. I did add at least another three things afterwards including a gorgeous swim with Rebecca at Burghead.

For lunch we aimed to spot some dolphins but failed. But again what a fantastic spot we found ourselves in:

The evening session took us to Hopeman and a walk along yet another stunning coastline. Kim stopped at a puzzling rock formation and invited us to explain it in writing which was anything but easy, very intriguing and satisfying.

We stopped at Cove Bay for sunset and more creative writing as there was so much to discover: caves, holes filled with sea water and many maritime creatures, such a starfish (close to me heart for known reasons)

Day 3

We met at Burgie Aboretum Woodland Garden on a rather dreich last morning, which provided us with an entirely different backdrop to our retreat as we had the most hot and sunny summer weather the two previous days. As often at this time of year in Scotland the sun eventually managed to burn the mist away and we did have another hot day in the end. For the purpose of creativity and photography this changed atmosphere is reflected in the pictures bringing out the colours of flowers more radiently.

We spent the afternoon focussing on macro images and for that purpose moved to another nature reserve where we were joined by Jen who engaged us in more breathing exercises and creative writing to reconnect with the intention we had set for ourselves during this retreat.

We concluded with day with a lovely meal!

Which was so good that I had to take more pictures

I had an absolutely amazing time enhanced by the creative minds I could share this retreat with. I am full of gratitude to all to Kim, Rebecca, Jen and Sam.

There is another retreat planned in May 2022. Watch this space!

Being a tour guide myself it was very enriching to be guided mentally as well as physically (not needing to choose where to go) by experts in their fields. It has truly opened my mind to be much more aware of nature surrounding me, looking differently around me and absorbing more detail than I usually do. An enlightening experience which I hope I could share with you!

Kim Grant from Visualising Scotland
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