I spent a restful week in Scotland with my brother, sister and her family. Long walks along sandy beaches, thick pine forests and of course some sketching.

We stayed in a small cottage in Angus, Aberdeenshire for a few days. On the first morning, I decided to do some exploring to find a view to sketch – Big skies and rolling hills with farmland was interspersed with occasional wind turbines. Giles, the farmer whose land I was sketching from, was intrigued and came to check out what I was up to. We got chatting about renewable energy – Scotland seems very progressive on that front. Giles told me about his bank of solar panels he uses to generate electricity and connect back the national grid. ┬áHis speciality is to grow plants and seeds native to the local area and distribute to anyone who wants to create meadows. Extensive farming can reduce biodiversity, and farmers like Giles help maintain this by propagating native flora and fauna. He sounded very passionate about his work, and giving back to the land that provides his daily bread.

Scotland is home to some beautiful sandy beaches. Thanks to its volcanic past, Scottish beaches are full of pebbles with the most spectacular colour and texture. Between me, my sister and my two nieces, we managed to collect a few kilos of these fine specimens; only limited by how many we could carry back to the car!

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