Community Spirit

When I first moved to Kinross last year, I had the immediate impression that this was a place where I could be a Community Worker, perhaps a place where I could contribute to the local business economy.  Kinross is a thriving town with regeneration of the old town centre currently being carried out.  The old library and council offices are being renovated into luxury retirement flats and perhaps it’s only a matter of time before the old high school building (which is an eye sore) gets converted to serve the  much needed housing crisis demand.

My first thoughts were to create an Animation Workshop, but this will require funding which will require a fair bit of my time which I don’t have just now.  Since graduating from the University of Highlands & Islands this year, I have now started developing my media business.  The new flyers and cards have arrived and I have been delighted to discover that Kinross has a very glossy looking newsletter which is more of a magazine and this is accompanied by a sister website run by the Kinross Business Partnership Association.where local business’s can advertise for free – yes free.  I have yet to come across other towns that offer so much help to local small business’s.

I now have my wee ad online and I hope in the not too distant future I will be working with clients in Kinross as well as my clients in other parts of Fife, Falkirk and the Lothians.  My hope is that I’ll be able to help local business grow through the use of increased Visual Communications platforms that they may not have even considered or been aware of.

The local website is

Back to Skool

After recently graduating from the University of Highlands & Islands I was in a positive mood, feeling a rare confidence I have not felt in such a long time.  I had thought about applying for jobs and did manage to get one interview – however, I decided that after much internal debating for weeks, that the way forward for me was to stick with being self employed.  I wanted to work only 16 hours a week and earn a respectable income.  Easier said than done.

However, I am finding to my delight that I currently do 16 hours a week working for two clients, in the here and now.  I would not be able to cope with taking on any more work.  For hundreds of years, it has been in the collective consciousness that a successful person is the one who works hard and long hours – I disagree completely – to me the successful person works less hours for more money and has more time to spend with friends and family.  I am finding that I really enjoy helping people solve their Communications and Information Technology problems so it’s more of a fun challenge than working.

Perhaps I can only claim this after having just spent almost 3 years in full time education, studying subjects and courses I would not really feel comfortable studying, sometimes feeling a bit out of my comfort zone.  I’ve studied Metallurgy Theory, dark room photography theory and Art & Design Concepts – all subjects I’d rather not delve into too deeply.  However I feel that this time has not been wasted – in fact, these subjects I believe, have activated part of my brain that’s been dormant for decades – that part that allows you to grasp a problem and find a solution almost immediately.

I feel like I am living with an extra new dimension to life that I’ve been searching for.  So, for anyone reading this who may be ‘stuck in a rut’ of some sort – perhaps they could consider going back to school, and learning new subjects – even if the subjects seem irrelevant or unnecessary.  Full time courses and night / day classes should start in your local area round about September, and your local council will most likely put a flyer or news pamphlet through the door with information about courses.  I think for me, I’d like to try an evening class in Gaelic or Italian – but this time only a leisure class – my full-time studies are finally over!

Business Growth

Today I had an enjoyable and very educational video shoot in the Falkirk and Bathgate areas, recording client testimonials for a business coach Ewan Menzies of Castle Strategy, whom I have known for many years in the Edinburgh Networking scene.

Today I have met some new entrepreneurs and business people that I wouldn’t have otherwise been introduced to, and have realised just chatting with Ewan en route to the locations, that I will have to change some fundamental aspects of the business I wasn’t aware of.

Business Coaching is more valuable to your business than you could possibly imagine.  Ewan is very inspiring and I hope one day to use Ewan’s services for my own production company.

Next job – get the footage edited as soon as possible.

Underwater Cameras

Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed my first dive for many months at St Catherines Loch near the west coast of Scotland.  After my diving club buddies and I descended down to 15 meters we could see an abundance of marine wild life including a purple Scorpion Fish, Crabs and even Lobsters.  As a trainee diver, taking underwater photographs is not encouraged, and I should have resisted taking out my Intova compact underwater camera.  The dive leader signalled to me not to take any photos so I tried to put my camera back into my trouser leg pocket, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to fasten the pocket shut, so I put the camera strap around my wrist.

Unfortunately when my auto dump was refusing to release air as we glided into the shallow part of a reef, I started shooting up to the surface.  Unknown to me my camera had unhinged itself from my arm and was lost for good.  In the commotion, my diving buddies had seen my camera shoot up to the surface but it was nowhere to be seen afterwards.

I searched all along the coast line to see if my camera had been washed ashore but it had gone.  So my advice to other trainee divers is – not only should you not take photos on a training dive, but leave your camera at home until you get qualified and more experience.  With more experience comes greater awareness under the water and you are less likely to lose gear which may be expensive to replace.

I have learned my lesson and won’t take another camera into the water unless I’m on a dive specifically for photography – after I’ve finished my training of course.