Summit meeting

View from Edinburgh castle

View from Edinburgh castle

It has been a case of ‘hold the front page’ this week.  My original plan was to do the entire blog about a visit we made to Edinburgh on Wednesday.  Then yesterday I got a very interesting email from a gentleman called Richard Baker…. and I decided that my plans for the blog would have to change a little.

But a bit about Edinburgh first as this really was an important occasion.  As you know, back in 2010 I was invited to act as patron to ‘the gallery on the corner’ in Edinburgh.  This wonderful gallery, run by Autism Initiative Scotland, not only supports and exhibits work by people affected by autism and other health issues, but it also trains young people affected by autism, in both the creative and retail sides of the business.  On Wednesday afternoon I was invited to attend the gallery to help celebrate the successful completion of their training by the galleries most recent five trainees.  It was good to meet them all and to be there as they were presented with their certificates by gallery manager Susie Anderson.  This is now the third group of young people to have completed training at the gallery and a new group of trainees has just started …..so the gallery staff and trainees are doing a great job and achieving a great deal.

As I’ve said in the past, if you are in Edinburgh at any point, do make it along to ‘the gallery on the corner’.  You’ll find a great selection of works, some by established artists and some created by the trainees in the studios below the gallery.  It’s well worth a visit and of course your support will help more young people get real practical training both creatively and in business and retail skills.  ‘the gallery on the corner’ really is a win win situation …do please support it if you can.

And now, as they say, for something completely different.  You’ll perhaps remember that back in August I think it was, we did a magnificent walk up the Corbett, Mam na Gualainn.  We’d been threatening to take our friend Guy there for a good number of years and so the three of us finally made it to the top on what was a particularly fine day.  It wasn’t clear blue skies, but rather a constantly changing scene as banks of low cloud drifted in from the west and broke around the mountains of Glencoe, the Mamores and….Mam na Gualainn.

Panorama Loch Leven by Richard Baker

Panorama Loch Leven by Richard Baker

A large group of walkers set off up hill a short while before we started but with my slow pace they soon disappeared and we saw no one all the way to the summit.  We’d sat for a while just below the summit eating our lunch and watching the clouds come and go and the views change every minute.  Our plan was to continue east along the grassy ridge for some way before retracing our steps.  As we got up to leave, a gentleman arrived at the summit and we stood and chatted for five minutes or so.  At the time it was just one of those meetings you occasionally have on Scottish hills …..you’ve perhaps been walking for three or four hours and haven’t seen anyone and then suddenly someone appears.  It’s nice to stop and have a chat before both going on your respective ways again.

Anyway, that would have been that, but a couple of days ago a got this email from Richard explaining that he had been the chap we’d spoken to near the summit of Mam na Gualainn back in August.  He said that he’d thought he’d recognised me as we spoke (he had apparently found my website while looking for paintings of Scotland a few months before) but it was only as we headed off that he realised where he’d seen my face before.  Richard was in the middle of a lengthy walk and was heading back towards Corrour.  Anyway, he sent me this magnificent photograph which he took, looking back towards Loch Leven, with Mam na Gualainn on the right and the Pap of Glencoe in the centre.  What a fantastic panorama … I’m going to have to do a walk in that direction myself sometime.

Anyway, thanks Richard, for getting in touch.  You say that you are away walking again this coming week …..hope you have a great time and hope to see you at the studio sometime …..or perhaps again by chance at the top of a hill somewhere.

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