Sunday, 19 August 2012

Celtic Chic: Part III

Do you remember the BBC TV show, Monarch of the Glen? It was about a restauranteur called Archie MacDonald who is called back to his childhood home in the Highlands and told he is now the Laird of Glenbogle. As a teenager it was always my favorite TV show. Mostly due to the men in kilts. And the Highlands, always the Highlands. I loved the idea that I too may be called upon by a Scottish castle and told that I am in fact the long lost Lady and I will now need to devote my life to upgrading the place and trying to fit in with the locals. OK, highly unlikely but a nice dream.

We drove past the very same castle used in Monarch of the Glen during the Fraser Balgowan Experience. It's more beautiful in real life than it is on tv. 

Friday, 17 August 2012

The Deer Hunter: Part II

Fraser Balgowan Experience: Part II

One of the guests on my recent trip to the Highlands for the Fraser Balgowan Experience was Cator Sparks who is Editor in Chief of as well as a writer for publications such as The Huffington Post and New York Times. I interviewed Cator yesterday, the day after he shot a deer on the deerstalking trip. He already loves Scotland, as borne out by the fact that he has a Scottie dog who lives in his Harlem apartment. He needed no convincing to hop along to the Highlands for a spot of deerstalking and fashion. Impressively, Cator turned up for the interview wearing a kilt complete with the most spectacular looking sporran you will ever see in your life.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Highland Hunt: Part I

Fraser Balgowan Experience: PART I

I'm here at The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire Scotland, tapping away on my laptop whilst occasionally looking out at the nighttime sky with the hills still visible in the distance sat in our gorgeous room, wrapped in a tartan blanket. Aaah. My husband and I are here, alongside a small group of others, with our friends Ewan and Fiona Fraser to take part in the Fraser Balgowan Experience. The last time we were in this neck of the woods we enjoyed a day of deer stalking in the Highlands and this time is similar except with a powerful twist. Remember Fiona's gorgeous bags? Well... this experience is all about those bags - in the most bespoke way imaginable. Three days in the heart of Scotland; deerstalking with Ewan shooting wild red deer followed by working alongside Fiona to create a Fraser Balgowan bag with the hide of the same deer.

Monday, 6 August 2012

50 Best Things About Jamaica

Today is the 50th Anniversary of Jamaican Independence and in Jamaica House the celebrations have spilled over from last night where the excitement when Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake took gold and silver in the 100m sprint was unbelievable.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Jamaicanly Victorious

If there were a word to adequately describe a feeling way above excitement - that's the word I would use to portray the mood in Jamaica House tonight. I've checked my thesaurus and there isn't anything in the English language that stretches that far. There's been points during the evening where I thought the whole venue might blast off the ground, ripping through the side of The O2 out into the stars.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Olympic Madness

--> I am still right here tucked away in the heart of Jamaica House at The O2. It’s a day of HUGE excitement. Not only did Team GB win six gold medals but it was also an awesome evening for Jamaica with gold and bronze in the women's 100m sprint! When we watched that race on the big screens it was... Incredible

Friday, 3 August 2012

Jamaica Jammin

So here I am in the heart of Jamaica House at The O2 in London. As the Olympic gymnasts and basketball players compete within the stadium, Jamaica House sits outside rocking the planet Jamaican style! If you were thinking to yourself - where would be the coolest most awe-inspiring place to hang out at the Olympics? Ask no more, just get yourself down to The O2 and listen for the beats of amazing music...

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Meet The Clan

We went to visit a couple of friends at the incredible and I mean - literally amaaazing DunCarron Medieval Fort outside Stirling in Scotland. It was an Open Day where we got to be part of the full size medieval village in action, complete with archery, blacksmiths, stone carving, arts, crafts, authentic clan outfits and some great music from the legendary band Saor Patrol.

redheads rule

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sophia Shines

Sophia Fraser: Photographic Exhibition, Hellers Kitchen, 15 Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, 7th July - 7th September 2012

Last night I was at the official opening of Sophia Fraser's new photographic exhibition at the Edinburgh restaurant Hellers Kitchen. Sophia (pictured below) and I have been friends for a few years now, having collaborated on various imaginative projects together. She is the one person I can creatively conspire alongside without any reservations. Quite a rare thing.

The exhibition is gorgeous and I would highly recommend taking a trip along, especially if you are in Edinburgh for any of the Festivals. Most of the photographs are taken in and around Scotland - from Edinburgh, to the Highlands to the Borders - at all times of year, in all conditions over the last two years.

Until you do get the chance to go along and see the works themselves, here are some pictures from the opening night (courtesy of the one & only Matt Brown) plus a conversation about Sophia's art, life and cameras.

When did you first start taking photographs?
When I was about 8 years old and I had a 35mm film camera. I would spend rolls and rolls of film on photos I had composed with various teddies, cats, plant pots and shoes! My uncle was a keen photographer and got me interested in the camera. My dad used to own a polaroid, which I LOVED too. And then my Grandma was an artist and was teaching me still life drawing, colour and observation from the age of 3 or 4. I never forgot those lessons.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Politeness simply will not do

A couple of weeks ago a Hungarian friend said to me that British people, in general, have a tendency to dress badly, sometimes sporting bizarre combinations of clothing such as smart trousers with neon trainers. At first I responded with disbelief, taking umbrage at the idea. She claimed that in her home country no self respecting person would be seen dead in leggings, a vest & ugg boots - a combo readily worn by many people on the streets of Britain. I racked my brain to see if what she said was true. Do British people dress particularly badly? After a 10 day holiday in Sicilly I can now answer this question. Yes, they definitely do.

Whilst there I saw an endless stream of pretty dresses, tasteful shoes, stylish hair & flattering sunglasses. A sort of unsaid conformity to sleek Italian style. The sight of baggy unkempt clothing really did jar when I got home. It reminded me of the time I came back to Britain after living in Venice for three months and all I could notice was how white, well sort of pinky white, everyone was.

consistently well dressed
However part of me loves the fact that I can walk out my front door and see a gold necklace over the top of a tracksuit. One never really knows what is next with British clothing and I like that. We clearly don't take our fashion too seriously and who's to say that's not a wonderful thing?

got to admire their self-confidence