Blood, sweat & tears

By Craig McIntyre,

Recently, five of the Edinburgh team (David, Kirstie, Marta, Jenny and Chris) plus Ben – a resident of our Leith office – took the plunge into the Tough Mudder 2017. The event is a 12 mile obstacle course that is billed to “drag you out your comfort zone by testing your physical strength, stamina and mental grit.” Even writing that now makes me wonder why we signed up to it in the first place!

We set off early on the road to Dumfries on a glorious, sunny day with everyone in good spirits. Two hours later, we were greeted at the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle with a festival atmosphere of energetic runners, colourful marquees and pumping heavy metal music to get us in the mood from the off! Everyone excited and slightly nervous about what we had let ourselves in for we set off at 11am with a hoard of other ‘Mudders’ after collectively chanting a few spartan style war-cries to psyche us up. AHHOOH!!

Over the course of the 12 miles we tackled 10ft walls, slid through ice baths, battled through mud up to our knees and ran through electric cables … yep, that one’s as horrible as it sounds. Each of the twenty obstacles was a different challenge, but we were all delighted that we got through every one of them. Testament to great teamwork and communication we staggered through the finish line to get our victory pints and have a well deserved lie down in the sunshine, caked in mud but finished!

On to the next challenge!!

A coastal adventure

By Craig McIntyre,

Travelling is the most valuable way of learning about different cultures and an amazing source of inspiration. Every journey brings fresh ideas to the designer’s mind.

Being from abroad, I always seek opportunities to see more, experience more and get to know the United Kingdom better – the beautiful and diverse country I am lucky to live in.

In mid-July I went for a weekend walking trip along the costal part of Scottish Borders: from Cockburnspath to Berwick-upon-Tweed. It was a great adventure, with over 50km of stunning views and wild landscape.

We started our walk in the pouring rain – one of the charms of Scottish weather! – and got completely soaked before we reached the first stop, the mysterious ruins of St Helen’s Church. Continuing south, we couldn’t miss the famous rock formation of Hutton’s Unconformity, such an important place in British heritage and which lead to one of the most important discoveries in the history of geological science. But the best was still ahead of us. In the early afternoon we got to our lunch destination, Fast Castle, where a hidden and challenging path – easy to miss – leads to unforgettable views at the cliff’s edge. It was definitely the most impressive place we have seen so far.

The whole trip was a great adventure, filled with picturesque and wild landscapes and lovely harbour villages with abundant history, like St Abb’s and Eyemouth, where we stayed overnight. On day two – in the sunshine – we were surrounded by every sort of seabird, had the chance to observe seals peacefully resting on the rocks and even managed to spot some colourful fish in the clear water of the North Sea.

It was a challenging trip, one which opened my senses and mind even more to the places I will am still to have the chance to discover. Scotland – I am looking forward to seeing you again!

Gosia