BREMONT WATCHES

Flying & Going back in time

 

I was very excited about collaborating with Bremont, as l have been fond of the watches they create ever since l first discovered them growing up.  I was always particularly interested by the connection they have with the military, especially as when growing up my grandad would talk of his time in the war flying the Supermarine Spitfire. 

Even though Bremont have nothing to do with my grandad, the connection with flying is the thing that they do have in common and they bring back memories of my time with my grandad.  I think so many of us have forgotten the stories our grandparents used to tell us, especially where war stories were involved but I was always fascinated and in awe when my grandfather played his clarinet, and listened to his favourite jazz bands in the background whilst telling me his emotional stories from his time during the war.

It always struck a chord with me and maybe my grandad is the reason l have always dreamt of learning to fly, or at least have my own shot at flying a plane.  

 

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On this adventure l had this special opportunity to learn the basics of flying and doing it across my beautiful homeland Scotland, and in particular the Scottish Highlands.  l got the opportunity to take the PA 38-112 Tomahawk up into the sky, not exactly a spitfire but a close enough opportunity to get the feel for what it is like to fly, and what a cool aircraft. The mechanics of a plane are just as fascinating as the mechanics of a watch in some ways. All the parts that make it work and do it’s magical thing. 

Bremont sent me the beautiful ALT1-C/WH-BK (https://www.bremont.com/watch/alt1-c/27320) a watch that is inspired by the British Royal Air Force, in order to mark the 100th year of British Aviation.  I love the simplicity of this watch along with the colour, weight and the feel which is something l find really befitting for me and still truly a treasure of a beautiful timepiece, even when lm adventuring in the Highlands reminding myself l am wearing a watch, and this is one watch that wouldn’t feel out of place no matter what I am doing be it adventuring, or going to an event as it such a classic.

One major change for Bremont will be that the Arabic numerals are gone giving it a much more modern and yet a non-fussy, simplistic traditional feel which is another reason l love this watch, minimalism/simplicity is the way many people are going currently making it more attractive in my opinion. The back of the watch is gorgeous, the skeletonized rotor is visible showing off its beauty, a modified Valjoux 7750 with a 42 hour power reserve with a Calibre 13 1/4” BE-50AE automatic movement, the main reason for the seductive weight this watch holds.

 

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My time spent up in the sky flying was amazing and quite fascinating, as l found it very euphoric and similar to the times I’ve spent climbing high altitude mountains throughout the world.  It reminded me of this moment in particular when l was in the Alps and l had just summited Mont Blanc, l had made it to the peak just before sunrise, l was above the clouds, the sky was clear and if it had been my last day on this planet, a scene like this is exactly where l would want to be. Everything was still, no movement except the sound and feeling of fresh crisp cold cutting air, l was in a place of zen.

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I can definitely say that flying a plane with a beautiful timepiece fits hand in hand, including again going back to the amazing mechanics involved in the creation of both. This is a must for anyone, especially supporting a brand who specializes in cultivating and continuing a relationship with the British Royal Air Force who test these watches in many extreme environments pushing the boundaries giving Bremont the edge over other watchmakers.  

The second part of my adventure took me to the Isle of Orkney, l love visiting Orkney, the feel of being on the islands, the support within the local community, and also the history there of our Scottish heritage. l thought that visiting Orkney in particular would fit in well with Bremont because it played a vital role during both World Wars. 

Scapa Flow an area around Orkney had been used many times during British exercises years before the war, it was officially in use during the beginning of WWI when tens of thousands of sailors and dozens of warships relocated to Orkney from the south coast of England giving Britain a quicker respond time to the German fleet based in the Baltic sea.  At 120 miles Scapa Flow is one of the worlds largest natural harbours, and during WWII Scapa Flow played a unique role due to its great distance from the German Airfields.  There are still remains of sunken warships around the islands of Orkney if you ever get to adventure there you should check that out,  especially if you are fond of diving, as lots to explore. 

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Unfortunately l didn’t get the time to dive in Orkney with Bremont, but as ever l took the chance to revisit some of our special historical sites that date back older than both wars. The Ring of Brodgar a massive stone circle estimated to of been built around 5000 years ago, and the Broch of Gurness, a layout of a village dating back to life in the middle ages, both amazing sites and really gets you thinking about times past and where we are at now. Not to mention thinking about how older civilisations had their own way of telling the time and monitoring changes in the sky, including with some amazing stone structures. 

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I really enjoyed my time flying and stepping back in time with Bremont watches. And I hope that you all enjoyed this read just as much, giving you a little insight about one of Bremont’s beautiful watches, and I hope you will be inspired to check them out for yourself, and maybe even go out and give flying a try.

Good Vibes, 

Tristan

Dunkeld Highland Offroad Experience.

Have you ever been quad biking before and have you ever done it in the Scottish Highlands?  No? Well, there are two activities that are equally awesome and compliment one another perfectly, and you won’t regret a day out giving it a try.  

The last time l went quad biking was when l was around twelve years old, my friend invited me over to his house on his dads farm and let me have a shot driving his quad bike and from what l can remember it was one of the coolest things l got to experience.  Might have even helped me get in some practice for learning to drive later on.

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Many years later and 30 years old l had this urge to have another go driving a quad bike especially in Scotland, the landscape throughout Scotland is perfect for this.  Now that lm older l can get to go on a super fast quad bike, so I was definitely a little excited when I had the opportunity of getting to enjoy some quad biking at Dunkeld Highland Offroad with some close friends of mine which ended up being a really fun day out for all of us.

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If you dont know much about Dunkeld its one of the main gateways into the Scottish Highlands, and whats perfect about Dunkeld Highland Offroad is that when adventuring with them you quickly realise that they have access to over 280 acres of wild highland estate giving you a real insight into the vastness of some of the real beauty which makes Scotland so magical. 

 

If you are familiar with Shakespeare’s Macbeth, you will be interested to discover the Birnam Oak hidden in plain sight, which is believed to be part of the wood from when Malcolm’s soldiers cut branches to disguise their attack on Macbeth at Dunsinane Hill.

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The surroundings were great and the quad biking was awesome, but what really made me feel at ease even though lm a bit of a rebel when it comes to anything outdoors, is how safe l felt when out on the quad trek.  It was a good and safe experience for everyone, be it a group of adults or families having a fun day out. Perfect for parents wanting to find something different to keep the kids occupied too. 

 

Tommy our instructor gave us a well informed brief on safety before we got on the quads, then a small practice course between cones practicing our stops and starts, changing gears etc… And for our youngest member of the group James he was on a quad bike suitable for children, rather than on the big adult quad. I’m not gonna lie the kids quad bikes definitely looked cooler than our quads, and way more sportier.

 

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James was a little nervous as he had never been on a quad before, and some extra help was at hand as one of the other instructors came over and helped him one to one which really did make me happy to see that he was getting that attention and was able to feel safe and get to enjoy the experience.  He couldn't stop smiling, always great to see the kids joining in and families laughing together doing things outdoors,  it’s good to be able to experience these moments.

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We began to feel like we were professionals after our guided practice course before we made our way onto the proper trek.  The assault course was a blast tackling camel back humps, steep hill sides and cobbles then making our way into the forest feeling extra confident on wide open tracks and narrow woodland paths. That was where it got even better! 

 

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Our day quad biking flew by super fast, before we knew it our time was up.  I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience, the weather was semi dry which made it extra fun on the trek and challenging in areas that it was damp as you really had to make sure you were moving your body with the quad.  

 

But what really got me thinking was l definitely have to come back here when its snowing as it would be even more fun and beautiful surrounding wise too.  I love how Highland Offroad are open 7 days a week all year round and open to any weather conditions (unless its deemed dangerous of course), they dont normally close even when the snow is super deep, instead it makes for an extra dimension to the adventure.

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These quads adventures are great whether it’s a group of adults or a mixture of children. Definitely great bonding experience for families and friends. There was a mixture of us, and James and his dad had a great time, as did the rest of us. We all got lost in the moment laughing and it was like being kids again, good fun! 

 

l must make you aware though, be prepared to get muddy, although that in itself makes it even more fun and if you bring children make sure that they are over 12 years old. Also try to book in advance as it can get booked up quickly, what a great day out!

If you want to book, check out Highland Offroad website below!

 

Runach Arainn Luxury Yurts.

What another exciting adventure, I was about to embark on visiting the Isle of Arran staying in a Yurt on the south part of the Island in a town called Kilmory for a few days.  

This is my first time staying in a yurt and something i have wanted to do for a very long time, plus I have always wanted to visit the Isle of Arran again, and get exploring some more of it.  Being from Scotland i find myself drawn back to some of the same parts of Scotland because there is a special tranquility there and always something new to be discovered.  

We often visit the same places over and over again in our lifetime wherever this may be because we like the weather, food, people, living conditions etc… or maybe there is a part of us that has changed giving us a different appreciation or perspective of the area. Something keeps calling us back there.

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Just incase you don’t know what a yurt is, a yurt just like a ger is traditionally one of the oldest portable forms of housing. A sturdy round tent with a crown, and separate sections called khanas made of wood and held together with ropes, then covered with skins or other materials. It is traditionally white with red detailing or some other coloured details, and is used as a dwelling, more commonly by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia.

Those used in Mongolia are called ger and there is only a slight construction difference. There are two types of yurt based on the shape of their roof and they would measure a yurt’s size based on wings of the lattice. You could have a six winged yurt or a thirty winged yurt. 

A yurt/ger is also an inheritable home, and even though magically simple, it is sturdy for even the terrain and weather of Central Asia and is decorated with heart and soul. They were perfect for herding communities and the designs on them are a mixture of personal taste, and important symbolism in honour of ancestors and also to protect the home, it’s inhabitants and their animals or any other livelihood. Many of the original inhabitants worked heavily with nature, so the designs were almost like written prayers to the elements in nature offering respect and asking for their protection and for them to treat them well. Some symbols were used for strength, some for health, others for good luck (often in agriculture). 

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You could see lucky colours painted across the doorways, creation stories painted on them and beautiful geometric patterns, strong animal symbols like the lion, tiger, dragon, reindeer, and even Garuda (who resembles a grand eagle) who is the vahana (vehicle) of the Hindu god Vishnu that Buddha was meant to be one of his incarnations.  As well as earthly elements such as fire, water, earth, metal and wood painted throughout. The yurt/ger would traditionally have a fire in the center, and an altar facing north. And one half was deemed the male part of the yurt where the man did his work, the other part the female as that was where the woman did most of her work. Ying and yang, balance in a beautiful home.

The yurt I’m staying in is a perfectly sized yurt, and don’t worry it can also withstand the Scottish weather. The symbol such as the Eagle really stands out within the structural design of the Yurt i stayed in, it was as if the wings of an eagle had wrapped itself around the inside of the yurt. 

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One part of the symbology that i find particularly interesting is the geometric patterns that are common in a traditional yurt, especially the Alkhan Khee symbol which has a huge similarity to some of the Celtic symbology. There is no surprise there given the strong connection between Celtic art Central Asian art. Infact the preserved mummies believed to be Celts were even found in Central Asia, and their burial spots were marked with standing stone structures and Celtic figures.  

It definitely got me thinking more about the connections us Scottish folk had, considering we are taught that Yurts are traditionally from a complete different part of the world yet a connection between cultures is seen through similar art design etc. Even though in parts of Scotland there are sites which were once homes to the Neolithic era that are thousands of years old made of stone in a similar shape, I do wonder did they also have some sort of yurt they would use when travelling the lands of Scotland? Scholars really don’t know much about the Celts as the culture was predominantly oral not down to lack of intelligence but out of protection, and what texts are out there is mostly known through the words of Romans. 

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I love the layout of the yurt inside, on the ceiling there is a beautiful yurt wheel, the crown which looks out onto the stars on a clear night, perfect, a comfortable double bed to enjoy those great views out the ceiling which added that extra dimension of sleeping under the stars and not having to worry about any sudden Scottish rainy weather you may get while camping, spacious interior that's very comfortable and easy to move with the options of changing the interior of the yurt to sleep six which is great for a family or a group of friends, a dining area which I found very cute as it was the perfect little dining area for a couple or a family having a meal and actually interacting whilst doing it.

My favourite though was the traditional log burning stove right bang in the centre, the heart of the yurt. The Log burner stove really does add that extra special feeling, it’s useful having the option of boiling water, cooking food only using the stove. It is something that l feel really does get you away from the modern life when we want to stay in someplace as cool as this. I mean nothing beats how delicious slow cooked food in a Log burner stove is along with the smell of burning wood and easy access from your front door directly out into nature, it’s bliss. Runach Arainn Yurts really do have the perfect setting here, inside and outside these yurts.

My favourite though was the traditional log burning stove right bang in the centre, the heart of the yurt. The Log burner stove really does add that extra special feeling, it’s useful having the option of boiling water, cooking food only using the stove. It is something that l feel really does get you away from the modern life when we want to stay in someplace as cool as this. I mean nothing beats how delicious slow cooked food in a Log burner stove is along with the smell of burning wood and easy access from your front door directly out into nature, it’s bliss. Runach Arainn Yurts really do have the perfect setting here, inside and outside these yurts.

 

The outside of the yurt is definitely not to be ignored, there is campfire cooking outside all of the yurts with plenty of seating, a bathroom block assigned to each yurt so that you have privacy, and shared utility, which is fantastic options to have, especially if you’re not ready to go full off grid living. You have the beauty of living outside, with all the comforts. 

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What I love most about this land that the yurts are on, is that Pippa and Andrew who own Runach Arainn Yurts work hard keeping everything as natural as possible and have chickens, ducks, geese and bees they take care of, they help the land and environment thrive, which in return there is usually a fresh supply of eggs and honey if you are lucky at right time of the year. It is a permaculture site which I am absolutely 100% behind, anything that encourages the development of agricultural ecosystems is a big thumbs up for me. And lets be honest people who have bees on their property obviously understand the dynamics of how important they are for the greater good of humanity another huge thumbs up.  I think everyone should come and experience staying in an environment like this, not just because it’s fun and it’s relaxing, but you can also see how useful and important nature is and how much better we can make the planet we are on when we work with it, and when we get away from some of the trappings of modern life. 

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All within a close distance you have views of Kilmory woods, buzzards, swallows, bats and if willing to adventure outside of the area you will see Red Deer, Eurasian Otters, Red Squirrels, Bottlenose Dolphins, Seals, Golden Eagles, Hen Harrier and Peregrines. It is a haven for nature, and it doesn’t matter if you know a lot about these creatures or not, you’ll be in awe and find it all very relaxing. There’s something about being out within nature that our ancestors knew the importance of, it should be on prescription when stressed out. Infact this place would be one of the first places I’d suggest to visit. 

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There is so much to see regarding nature but there are also some really cool archaeological sites such as Machrie Moor Standing stones which will take you about 30 minutes from Runach Arainn Yurts. There are some beautiful waterfalls and also the infamous cave... yeah you know the one I mean, Kings Cave where Robert the Bruce took refuge and realised if at first you don’t succeed, try again, thanks to watching a little spider weave a web there. There is so much Scottish history and culture surrounding the area. 

Everything is super accessible when staying at these yurts, i find it very cool that these yurts are also open yearly as normally most are only seasonal. For anyone who wants to escape and stay in these beautiful yurts but needs the internet then that is also not a problem, free WiFi is part of whats included and is super handy if required, as much as I think the surroundings are so relaxing and there’s so much around to explore that you won’t have much need for the WiFi. 

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All in all my experience staying in the yurt here was remarkable. A very zen, great space for relaxing and allowing the creative mind to expand, very easy space to get into a yoga session (and spacious enough to do that) or meditate, and it feels a very safe and comfortable space.  Having the privilege to lie on the bed in a yurt, look up at the stars, fire on, candles lit is pretty much as chill as it gets in my books, it doesn’t matter if you’re solo, going as a couple, or with some friends or family, it’s quite unique and special staying in a yurt.  

There is no doubt I will be back visiting Andrew and Pippa at Runach Arainn soon. 

Click on Runach Arainn website if you want more details or fancy treating yourself to a few days away :) 

https://www.runacharainn.com/

Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa - Soak Your Senses.

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Being on the go all the time can become very demanding both physically and mentally, in the long run this can lead to problems such as frustration, anxiety, stress, poor concentration, poor sleeping patterns, and can affect our physical health just as much as our mood and mental health. Pretty much all the things we don’t want to happen can often happen when pushing ourselves in whatever scenario we are in, if we don’t take time to rebalance. If we go through life constantly juggling, at some point we will drop a ball. 

Pushing ourselves is great on so many levels, but ultimately we need a balance, and to have time to ourselves to recharge. Trying to ensure I regain some balance and keep a peace of mind plays a huge part in my life on a daily basis.  When I’m in my space of relaxation its that place that i find my personal growth and my creativity really thrives, things flow easier and I am much more at ease with everything. I surprisingly feel much more in tune with the self development of where i see my future going too, as weird as that sounds, but I think taking time out for yourself to relax helps you filter out all the noise, demands and expectations of modern life and everything you’re juggling. It’s like hitting a pause button to just be, and you can see where you’re going better, clearer vision, and then you can hit play again and get back to doing what you do feeling more confident and content in what you’re doing next.

Coming from a professional sports background i am aware of how important taking care of and relaxing the body is and how you also have to take care of your mental health and well-being. Being a keen photographer and mountaineer i get to travel alot for work and I may undertake many adventures, but at the same time being a mountaineer which I love, I tend to put my body and mind into intense situations which are extremely demanding on the body/mind as much as you have to be comfortable and trust yourself in those moments. Every day you are learning also, so you need to be able to keep that balance and find things that help you unwind in other ways too.

I was approached by Edinburgh Grand Hotel & Spa for the launch of the Soak Your Senses in room bath experience. I didn’t quite know what to think of this at first and let’s be honest there are plenty people who are not so keen when they hear spa day or spa experience as they visualise the stereotypical spa experience that is great for some but just not right for others, then it clicked, this isn’t just like visiting the spa after a busy day trying to fit it in during certain hours etc, instead i could enjoy the comfort of a spa like experience in my room and this could be pretty cool to check out to see what it is like.  This could be the kind of thing myself and plenty of others would be into and it can fit into our busy schedules.

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The Soak Your Senses bath experience is a package that consists of specially chosen ESPA bath oils, freshly brewed tea and an exfoliating wash glove, with the addition of some mood lighting which is an option in the hotel bathrooms. For those unsure about the mood lighting benefits, there are various studies on the effects of colours and coloured lights, sensory lighting is also therapeutic for many. It is optional, but worth considering and experimenting with the different colours to see what you think. The mood light comes alongside paired music for the specific ESPA bath oil package that you have chosen, and is played through the built-in bathroom speakers that is recommended by the Spa. It is an all round sensory experience!

I was pretty zonked after my day in Edinburgh, I had a few meetings in the morning then had a full day to myself. The sun was shining so I walked about 20 miles around the city, visiting Edinburgh Castle, Scotts Monument, Calton Hill, Arthurs Seat, National Museum and trying to discover as many new hidden alleyways in the city as I could.  If you haven’t been to Edinburgh before and when you do, you will understand what i mean by trying to discover new hidden alleyways, the cobbled streets of Edinburgh are the thing that makes it very fun to explore.  

I made it back to the Sheraton for around 7pm, it started with a delicious dinner at One Square, then it was straight to my room. I chilled out for an hour, read a book, letting the food settle then i called Guest Services to order my Soak Your Senses package.  I went for the Calm & Centred package, as for me remaining calm and centered in every situation is very important,  and i believe and feel that nothing can thrive if it doesn’t have a solid foundation at the core of everything.

I had a few choices to choose from though and it’s dependent on what you yourself feel you require or what you’re curious to try. The options were Relaxed, Energised, Focused, Inspired or Revived. Each package comes with paired teas, which i think adds a cool vibe to the whole experience and of course the mood lighting.

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About 20 minutes later guest services arrived at my room with the complete package that Soak Your Senses offers.  I also had the option of adding a glass of champagne or any other add-ons from the in-room service menu, if that’s your kind of thing they’re more than happy to add that, but I felt the original package was perfect for me at that time. 

The experience definitely didn’t disappoint, unlike being in a spa you have full control over everything, music, lighting, when to get out the bath, complete privacy and its available 24/7. 

So if you’re someone who is put off by the traditional spa experience and visions the mind concocts of a typical spa, then this is a great alternative for you. I really enjoyed this, it was all in my control and it did help ease into the mindset to relax and just take time out for a while and effortlessly. i thought it would be hard to get in the mindframe of relaxing, it’s funny how we think about how to relax rather than just doing it right? but I didn’t have to think about it, I just found myself relaxing and found all the elements really nice added touches, especially enjoying Simply Sencha which was the tea paired with Calm & Centered.

It made my stay in the Sheraton that much more enjoyable, a stay with a cherry on top! I woke up feeling great, refreshed and tackle the day ahead. It doesn’t matter if you just want time out to go away for a relaxing weekend city break, or if you are like me running around all the time and needing some chill time after that or a busy meeting, I’d highly recommend it as you’ll find it worth it. Maybe next time I’ll try a different package. 

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Thank you Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, l look forward to staying with you again. 

http://www.sheratonedinburgh.co.uk/bath-menu