Christmas Panic

If anyone else out there has not given a second thought to Christmas shopping either (oops!) they could do a lot worse than go to Context Interiors. An Edinburgh based home and giftware company, suddenly taking Hong Kong by storm. Doug photographed their beautiful apartment in Greenhill a couple of years ago.

They had a little shop in Morningside then. While we have been contentedly carrying on our lives in Gullane, photographing the odd house and wondering what to do with our garden building, they have set up a second shop in Edinburgh’s Old Town and moved to and set up a third shop in Hong Kong!! Hang on…what about sleeping? Going for walks??

Their range is really beautiful – a little bit of Edinburgh that can be shipped around the world at the click of a mouse. They have collaborated on some products with iconic Edinburgh illustartor Iain McIntosh whose work you will recognise from the novels of Alexander MacCall Smith.

Iain also, very kindly, created the beautiful logo for the Gullane based charity, the Teapot Trust that provides Art Therapy for children in hospital.

Don’t forget that Christmas is not just about presents. Of course we all enjoy buying lovely things for family and friends, but amongst extended family or colleagues, why not think about agreeing to donate to favourite charities instead?

Wendy Inkster

Christmas is NOT coming – it is only November, but of course we are having to start thinking about our plans. I sincerely hope things fall into place for everyone, but there might be someone far away who you are thinking of, very fondly, who you cannot be together with? Do they have any connection to Scotland? They might be homesick? Or it might be somewhere they have always longed to visit.

If so, I think there could be no better present for them than their own Burra Bear

Wendy Inkster set up her company when she recycled an old hand knitted Fair Isle patterned Shetland jumper, into a bear, as a keepsake for her sister. It, understandably, brought such a positive response and demand for more bears, that in time it gave her a full-time job!

Doug has had the very good fortune to be asked to go to Shetland to photograph her home. A beautiful modernist self build right on the edge of the sea. He was anxious about the trip as it is a tricky place to get to, especially if you choose to go by plane and once the tickets are booked you realise that your driving license is out of date…hiring a car then becomes that much more challenging.

Anyway, nothing that could not be sorted out by a wee bit of correspondance and a couple of hours in a telephone call queue!

When he got there, he was stunned by the scenery, the friendliness of the people and the sense of community and wished he had booked a longer trip.

Can you spot two friends?

They have created a lot of space.

A wee home office – useful

Wendy herself welcoming you with her two Borders!

The Granary

The mains of Taymouth Estate has been in the Menzies family for generations and the current owners, Robin and Irena are working really hard to make it work for the Twenty-first century. They have renovated all the old buildings on the estate into beautiful holiday properties…
The properties vary from small cottages and apartments to spacious converted barns, whichever is right for you, you can be assured of a wonderful welcome. Whether you are looking for a retreat at New Year or a great summer holiday you will find it here, there is a restaurant and quality shopping complex, beautifully designed, in a stunning setting on the edge of Loch Tay. It is a totally unique place.

Anyone feeling in the slightest bit ‘humbug’…or ‘fed up of Christmas already’ will be feeling like George Bailey, the James Stewart character at the end of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ after seeing ‘Sparky’, the Menzies family’s miniature pony in these pictures…
Have a lovely Christmas and a great New Year. Will post some piccies of the Gibb family celebrations, if they are presentable enough…..otherwise I will just start back in the New Year with lots of lovely, fresh, new material. xxx

A Castle Cottage Christmas

In Scotland on Sunday today! Stuart and Carla Henderson’s lovely home in North Berwick!

Stuart and Carla own and run Castle Cottage, an Interior Design business that specialises in high quality upholstery

Definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for beautiful Xmas gifts, bang on trend fabrics and wallpapers, Farrow & Ball and superb personal advice about any interiors project that they might be undertaking.

The Hendersons busily preparing for Christmas

The dining room - all set for Christmas lunch

….can we come too?

Cakes by CAKE

My favourite cafe in North Berwick – the lovely Cath supplies all the cakes for our shoots!

The Living room

The rich colours and textures are a wonderful advert for Carla’s work….

Stunning detail on mantelpiece – how gorgeous is that?!

A Christmas cardi….who in their right mind would want a Christmas card, when you could have a Christmas cardi??

Pedlars – The Gladstone Experience

A hell of a lot better than the ‘M&M’s experience’ that my children dragged me off to last time I was in London….if you are after some Christmas shopping ideas you simply cannot do better than click on….or visit one of their gorgeous shops.

Doug had the wonderful experience of actually photographing Charlie and Caroline Gladstone’s home in the Highlands…inherited from a great, in many ways, grandfather….they really do live the Pedlar’s dream…their home is not crammed with stuff from Pedlars however…it is not a showcase…it is a real family home, where their six children muck about with friends, make a mess and generally grow up (much too fast, if they are anything like mine….)

Getting snowy....

Getting snowy…

A bust of great grandad….resplendant in a fire chiefs hat…

A traditional dining room....made fab, fab, fab by the LOVE print on the mantelpiece

I am sure the LOVE print on the mantelpiece is by my lovely old school friend – Rose Bamford (nee Gibbs) joint owner of wonderful T-shirt and poster company – Her Indoors loves Dandy Star….

Lovely black and white family photos line the walls.....hang on - is that another LOVE poster....!!

Cool isn’t it?

Charlie and Caroline also keep a blog….do have a look….I think they are slightly busier than Doug and I, with their hugely successful mail order business, retail outlets opening up all over the country, an organic farm, a Christmas tree business, homes in London, Scotland, France….all over the place…not to mention their six children and a menagerie of animals, dogs, horses…etc…mind you, we do have two chickens as well as our two cats…and I am doing the scenery for the village panto…..