I feel I could qualify for a job with Visit Scotland by proxy as I never tire of capturing the beauty of the Scottish landscape around me; urban and rural, land and sea. On a trip to Arran last week - commencing on the hottest day of the year - I snap, snap, snapped away with my phone and camera, maximising the photo-gold that I was able to capture. Upon checking my memory card, I discovered I'd taken 437 photographs in 5 days.
My favourite photographs were taken from the ferry between Ardrossan and Arran, outwards in sunshine and homewards in the rain. Then the misty hillside of Holy Isle in all weather fronts, and an abundance of deep pink foxgloves which seemed to be the official floral of the island.
Taking in the lush and scenic views, I reflected again on the loss of Game of Thrones being filmed in Scotland.
It would have been tourism gold; almost completely negating the frequency of year-round rain (I promise I don't actually work for Visit Scotland!), but then the flood of tourists would have spoilt the wild and deserted views that I was so eager to photograph. Maybe.
But just imagine the wildlings lurking round the foothills of Goatfell? I know!
Or a wedding at Westeros, aka the 'secret garden' at Auchrannie Spa resort? I felt calm just glancing at this tranquil pond with its connotations of mystery and overheard secrets (plots, murderous plots...)
We drove half way round Arran through Lamlash and Whiting Bay and Blackwaterfoot and Corrie. Even the names sound relatively exotic.
Brodick Castle and the surrounding gardens were worth the visit, especially the trek to the Bavarian Summerhouse, with its ceiling and walls decorated in pine cones, all collected from the surrounding trees and intact since being built (on the ceiling at least). How amazing is that? An eco-outbuilding ahead of its time.
There was an Ice House too, but all its charm was hidden deep down inside.
I feel lucky to live somewhere so beautiful and so varied in its seasons and landscapes, amidst the mountains and the scenery and the colours and the clouds and the wide open spaces. And so close to the Isle of Arran.
It rained as we left but I wasn't sad. I know I'll go back.
As we pulled back into the harbour at Ardrossan, past the little look-out lighthouse, I revelled in the sensation of rain and wind in my face and the salty air and the mist and haze and atmospheric drama of it all.
And I've got another 422 photographs to remember it all by...