Royal Miles of Cayman Smiles
It is no secret that in my capacity as a "fishwife" to one of the world's most famous salmon smokers, I have had the joy of having met several of the Royal family.In 2005, our smoked salmon company, was asked to supply wild smoked salmon for a dinner hosted by HM Queen Elizabeth 11 and the Duke of Edinburgh for the G8 summit, which meant feeding in fact, eight world leaders and their respective spouses - CIA and MI5 inspected our fish... believe me!
Following this, "my husband and I" received a privileged invitation, to attend Her Majesty's Palace at Holyrood for afternoon tea. This was a hugely prestigious event, and I was indeed excited that my "Mother of the Bride Hat" could be brought out for an airing once more.
The sun shone, and many of the Royal Family were in attendance.
I am told, as a British subject, you can only be invited once in a lifetime to such an event.
The invitation and photographs are treasured momentos in our household. For a wee lassie from working class Glasgow and a lad from the hills.. it was a proud moment for our Mammies indeed!
I also recall a somewhat more unusual encounter, with Prince Andrew, whereupon at a private walled garden party, I was known to have a "jolly craic" with "some very famous chap I couldn't quite figure who he was - but one of those "I know you... I do, I know you" gentleman. After a good twenty minute chat where we discussed the merits of Russian Vodka, and being on a ship in the Artic - we left each other with a hearty handshake and a wave -
It was only afterwards, when my husband and the executive chef of the venue laughed at me - and said "What's this we've heard you've been chatting up the Duke of York" - Ground - Open - Swallow - please!!!!!
In September of this year, our local distillery - was re-opened by Australian Businessman David Prior.
David has invested a huge sum to rebuild and restore the distillery not only to it's former glory, but to enhance it with a super tourist visitor centre. It was with great pride that we were asked to attend the opening event - where Bladnoch Distillery, would be formally re launched - by Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Rothesay (as is her title when in Scotland).
Indeed - should you wish to purchase a bottle of this wonderful dram, you can do so on their website at
Local schoolchildren were brought to welcome the Royal party, and we as food producers, were hugely excited to chat with Charles & Camilla.
The future King and his Queen Consort to be, were absolutely delightful.
Whilst my husband chatted with Prince Charles about salmon, you can imagine my delight when Camilla and I struck up a conversation about... yes.. you've guessed it - The Cayman Islands.
Still sunkissed and tanned - we talked of all the super events they attended on the islands - and Camilla confessed to me that she and Charles enjoy similar passions, art - and the beach - and she told me of her love for her stay Cayman, which she enthused "Was right on the beach!".
I have been so busy in the studio this year I have had very little time up update my portfolio, so instead I will pop some images from some recent works. Some are sold, and others are for sale via The Ritz-Carlton Art Gallery in Grand Cayman - please, if you are on island - and want an immediate piece - they really are worth a visit.
So much excitement in one year..
OceanMed, my prestigious medical client in Cayman, are soon due to open their doors. They have created an incredible medical facility for women - the whole theme being Ocean. (Think more Spa less Clinic ladies!)
I have been thrilled to work with them over this past year, creating works which, are not yet revealed in full - for I will encourage you, in Cayman, go see them for yourself ;)
During our talks, I discovered they were platinum sponsors for the Cayman Breast Cancer Foundation, and with such, I found myself chatting to Shahla Powery, about the work the foundation does.
I sadly, lost my best and closest friend to breast cancer.
With this in mind, I suggested to Shahla, that I donate a piece for their live auction.
But which piece?
Almost in the same week, I was approached by a global company "BioPak" who create ocean friendly compostable drinks cups and "to go" dishes..
Would I like to submit a design for their art series cups? Would I ever!!
Ocean art + Compostable drinks cups - match made in heaven.
I submitted the design "Blue Waters" as it represents everything that is beautiful in the ocean, not only in Cayman, but all over the world.
As soon as I received word that Blue Waters would one day go on the cups - I decided there and then, this would be the gift I would donate in memory of my friend Roseleen Tierney, and indeed as a thank you to the people of Cayman, for their welcome and support.
OceanMed hosted tables, and extended their hospitality by inviting my daughter and I to join them at this incredible event.
I have been to many an awards and red carpet gala in my time, but this magical Pink affair - blew me away.
The wonderful Janette Fitzgerald, Lydia and team - goodness me - their work is beyond anything you or I can even fathom.
On the morning of the gala, on delivering my art, I had the most wonderful pleasure of being introduced to Sarah, Duchess of York. Not only did she give us a hearty handshake, but her genuine warmth and thanks, made me feel truly special indeed.
The event well - from the MC, to the speakers, the music, great food & wine - what a magical night it was!!
And "Blue Waters" received an incredible winning bid - thank you so so much NH!! <3
And there we have it, a future King and two Duchesses - all in one month ..
I am back now in Scotland, and as it is low season now for our tourist gallery and smokehouse shop, I get to spend hour after hour, day after day, doing what I love most - painting, sculpting and creating.
I leave you with some highlights from the past six months
In the words of Salvador Dali
"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it"
But that won't stop me trying!