Well! I felt it was time for a short personal update, as I realise my blog has been a little quiet over the past couple of months. 2023 has been a busy and wonderful year so far, and I wanted to share a quick run-through of highlights of the last six months.
I am over the moon to say that, on 22 April, my fiancée Bodil and I officially tied the knot on a glorious spring day in Perthshire, Scotland. As anyone who has been married will know, planning a wedding is the kind of thing that can eat away at a lot of your free time.
Any free evening that was available was given over to planning the day or let our brains rest from planning the day. That meant that most of my spare brain power was not directed towards things like rossrunswild.com, but I hope that the habit will continue to settle back in.
I can hardly complain, though. The day was as perfect as you could imagine. What I do enjoy were the compliments people gave saying, ‘You can tell this in your wedding. You have spent time/money/energy on the stuff that really matters.’ That, as someone who does enjoy a project plan, gave me immense satisfaction.
Comrie Croft is a truly beautiful location and, if you are planning a wedding or even looking for somewhere to visit, I really do recommend it. We had the whole place to ourselves all weekend for our friends and family to just hang-out. It was a fairly DIY affair, but the staff were incredible and made the whole thing a lot less stressful.
We also had the most fantastic celebrant – Gillian Robertson. As someone for whom words are somewhat livelihood-cum-hobby, it was so interesting working with someone else to tell your own story. You don’t really notice how your brain is wired until you are encountered with that, and you find yourself tweaking little words and stories to make them reflect your character – your ‘brand’ even!
Gillian was everything I wanted in a celebrant: kind, patient, funny, and well-versed in some Scottish wedding traditions. We had both a hand-fasting and a quaich ceremony, both of which we added some special twists to. For the former, our mothers laid my family’s traditional tartan over our hands and a Delft blue fabric to represent Bo’s Dutch heritage. The whisky in the quaich was poured by my dad, the whisky for which was Glenturret – just a few miles down the road.
Sustainability and localness was really important for us, in as much as we could control and give energy to: we dried foraged petals for over a year in our loft, mostly from our own garden and any other flowers came from the market garden next to the venue; my mum amassed an incredible range of second-hand, upcycled and handmade decorations, and anything else was borrowed from the venue; our photographer was local, our caterer was from St Andrews (who, while being a hog roast, made so much BBQ jackfruit and were also well-priced and easy to work with that we accepted some guilt for the meat-orientation of the dinner); we only asked for very specific gifts and money towards our honeymoon to avoid needless waste (one of our friends even offset 10T of carbon for us, which while not perfect, it is something; Bo’s dress was even made from vintage fabrics!
One can fall down a rabbit hole with these things, and I think we could have done more, but the reality is that weddings are never going to be absolutely net-zero and you can always do more. Plus, when someone is well-priced and easy to work with, you work with them, despite reservations.
Of course, the whole event was topped off with us riding into dinner on a tandem, a Best Man speech by my brother for the ages, and a fine Scottish ceilidh. After a short mini-moon in Argyll afterwards, we have since been back to the grindstone and enjoying our first month of married life together.
Running Adventures Scotland turns one!
To think that, a year ago, I became a published guidebook author is BONKERS. I still look at copies of Running Adventures Scotland on the bookshelves of shops and pinch myself that it is actually my book on the shelf!
What I am most touched by is the people who have got in touch with me after buying the book to share their stories of following the routes therein. I even have people basing entire holidays off it, which is exactly what I wanted to happen.
The genuine appreciation and positivity for this book has been truly wonderful, and I am still incredibly proud of what I achieved with it.
I stated in my blog at the start of this year that I would endeavour to take more photographs. Since then, I have been going to college to attend a night class for several months, as well as even getting my first photographs in print in a local newspaper.
Most of my photography is landscape-based, and occasionally try to bring aspects of street photography into my shots. I have always had a good eye for a photo, and I am now getting around the technicality of a camera quite well, but I am working to get my shots up to that next level.
As part of college, I will now be working on a project, so I am in the midst of trying to think what that might be. At the same time, I am keeping my eye out on other photographers to keep some inspiration coming in, and thinking of specific things to try and capture to challenge me. Being close to/in the Lake District make landscape photography a natural fit, but there are lots of genres out there I am keen to dabble in!
You can see some of my work over on my new photography page, or on my new instagram @sgurrmorphotography.
Next weekend I am heading to the Isle of Jura for the first time to take part in the Jura Fell Race! While slightly daunted at the challenge, I am just looking forward to an incredible adventure and the chance to finally put a new long race under my belt! My palmares is sorely lacking recent examples of long racing!
In July, I am excited to say I will be heading back to the Transcontinental Race as the Race Reporter for the second year. Last year’s race was probably one of the most eye-opening and valuable experiences I have had in my professional life recently; that challenge of writing every day, coming up with fresh ideas, late nights, sunrises, bad coffee and incredible landscapes.
There will be more, I am certain. For now, though, I have to cook dinner (married life, eh!). Until the next one!…