When shall we three meet again?

After nearly a year of a half of creating, editing and producing Makarelle, myself and the other two editors have finally met in real life. Not down a computer screen or a phone line, but actually in the flesh. (To read about how Makarelle came about - go here).

I flew from Birmingham to Glasgow. To say I was a tad giddy is an understatement. Even the ridiculously long queues couldn't dampen my mood. Ruth, who was travelling from Stansted, chit chatted with me, via WhatsApp, as we made our way to our flights.

Dini, invited us to Scotland to stay with her. This is her view - how she gets any work done is a mystery, I would be gazing at it constantly, as it changes from bright sun to stormy to sunny again in moments. It's breathtaking.

Dini is a brilliant host. She had our brief two night stay all planned out, a little bit of walking, a bit of culture. Plus cocktails... This was not a time for work, but instead to get to know each other, although what we came to realise quickly, it was just like meeting up with old friends. 

On one of our walks we went into the forest near Dini's house, there had been storms in the previous week so tree's had fallen and the layout changed. It turns out,when three middle aged women get lost in a forest, it leads to giggling and falling over (the falling over was me - I was born clumsy).

Over or under - turns out, under is tricky with a rucksack on!

We travelled through the beautiful highlands by train to Lochawe to visit St.Conan's Kirk, a church built by Walter Douglas-Campbell. It is unique having been built using almost every style of architecture. Highlights include the Norman doorway, the Gothic flying buttresses, a Celtic cross, the Arts and Crafts carvings, the Saxon tower and even a Stone circle. I particularly liked the Viking chair and beautiful stained glass.

Our next outing was to Helensburgh, to visit the publisher Walter Blackie's, Hill House, which was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret MacDonald. It is currently surrounded by a mesh to protect it from the elements as it was suffering severely from mould. The inside is stunning and a beautiful example of Mackintosh's and MacDonald's work. We also got to walk outside the house on walkways looking down, which was a tad terrifying for someone with vertigo...but what doesn't kill you...

Macdonald's The Sleeping Princess blew me away. 

And finally - This is a Japanese Martini, made of Roku Gin, Chambord and Matcha tea. It is quite the glorious thing, especially when Dini knows someone, so you get it for free and get to drink it sitting in a comfy seat with two lovely friends, watching the sunset over a Scottish loch. Wonderful. 

Now, we are trying to decide who to visit next, I am not sure either Ruth or I could match the location, but I am sure we could surprise with a few cultural treats in our local area's.

All of this does make you realise that some good things came out of the pandemic. Makarelle, would probably never have existed in normal times as we would have seen the distance between us as too much. And above and beyond the magazine, I have made two friends that I hope I will have for life. 


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