Cameraman based in Edinburgh, employed by ITN, working for ITV's Good Morning Britain covering stories all over the UK and the world. War Zones, World Cups, Royal Tours and many other less exciting assignments, like interviewing current and ex Prime Ministers have kept me busy over the years working in Breakfast Television since GMTV came on the scene back in '93 and regional TV before that. In 2009 I began to record what it is like to work, the often strange and long hours needed to bring the hard news, human interest and fluffy fun to the UK's TV screens in the morning, mostly broadcasting live.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Stranded at Cape Wrath. (Thankfully Not Us)

Thursday 25th March

The weather wasn’t great but it wasn’t that bad on my drive to Inverness airport.

Nick Dixon’s flight from Gatwick was on time.

When I saw him coming down the steps of the aircraft I was still reelling from what I had been charged for a bacon roll and coffee.

I did not get a great deal of change from a tenner.

After boosting the highland economy even more by paying Highlands and Islands Airports another wad of dosh for parking the car we continued north to Durness.

The weather was still not the best as we navigated the next three hours, mainly on a single track road with passing places.

In the early afternoon we arrived at a quiet and windy Spar shop, the centre of this little village that is almost as far north as you get on the mainland of Scotland.

John was waiting to take us to his remote and weather battered home.

After a five hour journey broken only by the time it took to down a bank busting bacon roll I was about to cross the Kyle of Durness in a red plastic rowing boat.

The Calm Kyle of Durness.

The ferry only sails from May to September and then only if the weather is good.

The Ferry Timetable. Only just over a month to Wait.

John at the Helm of the Red Rowing Boat.

Then, we spent the next half hour in the cramped cab of a red flatbed van bouncing along a track that had more pot holes than Katie Price has had plastic surgery.

When we landed I spotted a nice four wheel drive pick up on the jetty. Might have known we'd not be in that one.

The Only Way to Travel on The Rough Track.......

....Oh No It's Not! Our Transport.

We were going to his and his wife Kay’s little cafe beside the light house at Cape Wrath because the pair had just accepted a Hollywood deal to film their story.

In the depths of the snowy winter last year Kay had gone off to get the Christmas turkey saying goodbye to John on the 19th of December.

She did not see him agian until nearing the end of January because of the severity of the wind and snow.

John only had his six spanials for company and a couple of hardy walkers who stumbled in for a little while before continuing their mad treck through the whilte wilderness.

Luckily for him a large part of the land around is owned by the MOD and used for fairly major miltary excercises.

There are Hardly any Buildings Around Except Military Ones.

The Signs Don't Pull any Punches.

As a result his place is used to store rations and he lived for a large part of the time on boxes of these rations.

The journey over on the rowing boat was calm but, by the time we got to what felt like the end of the earth where the lighthouse and cafe are the wind was howling making the light rain land like mini stinging water bombs.

The van Outside the Cafe.

The exterior GVs took much longer to do than I wanted becasue I had to spent most of the time wiping the lens.

Oh for one of those spinny Kent screen things that fire the water off.

I think that they developed those for cameras when London’s Burning was in production.

(Mental note to self: see if they are still around.)

The Cape Wrath Lighthouse.

I Didn't Knock the Wall Down to get a Better Shot, Honest. It Must Have Been the Wind.

The Massive Fog Horn. No Longer in Use. (Bet John and Kay are Glad).

Wiping the lens, Again.

What made braving the wind and rain a little more worthwile was the soup and the sandwches that Kay had made for us.

Time, tide, light and weather all meant that we did not have a great deal of time to shoot what I needed to shoot.

So we had to work quickly.

I got shots of John and Kay at work in the deserted cafe, eight customers since August, shots of John with his dogs and a little interview with the lighthouse in the background.

We then clambered back in to the truck for the ride back to the tiny boat.

A Bridge Along the Pot Holed Rough Road.

Nick and I were getting in to my car as a waving John sped back over the Kyle back to Kay and his dogs.

Night was falling as Nick drove the three hours back to Inverness where we checkjed into a hotel that was entertaining the other guests, two coach loads of happy pensioners.

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