Many moons ago, I was something called a Fleet Street journalist. I learned my craft there as a reporter and sub-editor, working for — among others — The Guardian, Daily Express, Daily Mail, and the Daily Mirror.
Back then you worked hard, had to meet high standards and rigorous deadlines, and you played hard. And as a woman, you had to rise above the everyday misogyny that came with the job.
I’d like to think I managed all of that, emerging with some solid writing and editing skills, a nose for good story, and a perhaps rather unfashionable reflex to check all the facts. I now draw on those skills with an eclectic mix of clients, key among them digital, PR, and other marketing agencies as well as charities, growing SMEs, and switched-on entrepreneurs.
It was while living in the glorious Peak District and working in Manchester that I first became a runner. That was back in 1982 and I’ve never really stopped, clocking up four marathons and multiple half-marathons, 10ks, 5ks, cross-country and trail races.
My daughter was born in Derbyshire but she grew up in Scotland after we moved to Aberdeenshire in 1994. Ironically, for all the years we lived right on the North Sea, I never really swam in it — although she and her friends certainly did! I don’t spend any time wondering why I chose chlorine instead: just a time and a trigger for everything, and my love affair with open water swimming didn’t start until I did my first sprint triathlon in 2014 after I’d moved back south.
I’m now in a corner of England that’s truly blessed with accessible places to swim outdoors and it’s fair to say my love for running is now pretty much matched by a passion for open water. I’d be hard pushed to choose between them, should push come to shove.
Always up for a challenge, I’ve recently added stand-up paddleboarding to my list of outdoor delights. I also ski, am a yoga newbie, and have completed basic Pranic Healing training.
Unexpected fact: I have a Masters degree in employment law from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.
Slightly less unexpected fact: I am the co-founder of the Cetco Ythan Challenge, Scotland’s first multi-terrain adventure race.
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