What a Year

It’s safe to say it’s been one a hell of a year.

After a busy Christmas up in Orkney and a great New Year back here on Raasay, the year has begun in earnest. The distillery has today fired back up its mash tun and 2020 machine begins to slowly crank and churn as we all set back into our routine. This year is going to be a big one as well, with plenty of exciting events and plans afoot but most importantly our first Raasay Single Malt will arrive in October, marking forevermore the date in which legal single malt whisky came to our little island.

But looking over the entire of 2019 (now last year), I got up to so much that it was only after I started browsing back through posts on this blog that I was reminded of most of it. things like the whisky pre-orders, festivals, all my work on the Jimny and even the workshop. I think if I had to summarise them though, the biggest events in 2019 have been:

The Gin

Yes, the first Isle of Raasay Gin consumed my life in 2019 much like I’m sure Isle of Raasay Whisky will in 2020. It’s been a fantastic experience, both learning the processes of how gin is made and the ‘in and outs’ of the gin industry, but also have to adapt my photography skills to product photography to documenting launch events and bottling runs to producing videos and adverts on a whole range of topics. This year I want to turn more of those skills onto more parts of the distillery, but it’s been a great way to my teeth in preparation for even more stuff in 2020.

‘The Launch’

Definitely one of my favourite videos of the year, just purely for the turnaround time. Filmed in the morning, cut in the afternoon, released the next day. New personal best.

Fiona & Iain

Fiona and Iain got married! Certainly, a big day for them- and year, actually, when you consider they bought a house, acquired two pet rats, got engaged, got married and then announced they were having a baby all within the past 12 months but getting to help film and photograph their big day was a lot of fun (okay, well maybe more hellishly stressful than fun, but still) and gave me some real experience in the area. And better than that, Bamse made if for the big day!

France!

I only bloody went to France! Not only a great chance to travel overseas (soemthing I’ve not had a chance to do for years) but I was lucky enough to be travelling to see Mary perform her amazing ‘Shadowbird‘ with her father in a tiny Caravan in Charleville-Mézières as part of the International Festival of puppetry. She had worked so hard for months with her father, writing, producing, building and performing it all from scratch and achieving such an incredible success in only her first time doing anything like this. Insane to finally see it all come together, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

The Snow Cruiser

Last, but certainly not least, the cruiser. Holy heck. I made my video all about ‘The Antarctic Snow Cruiser’ this year after having sat on the script for years. Making it and putting it online I expected maybe 1000-2000 views over a few months if I was lucky. As it turns out, I was unlucky. for about 6 months it sat with barley 900 views until one day, quite at random, it hit 1000. Then 5000. Then 50,000. Then a 500,000. Then a million. Over the course of a week it had reached 1.5 million views and as we reach 2020 it’s still slowly climbing, day by day, past 2.7 million views. insanity.

I’ve done every single wrong thing when it comes to youtube- inconsistent uploads, wild topics and weird videos that vary in all sorts of subjects. It goes to show however that Youtube and success online can be weird, fleeting and completely random. Hopefully this year I can get a few more videos up, though I doubt any will reach the Success of the Snowcruiser. Then again in 2015 I thought nothing would get more popular than my Fallout 4 video that reached 1.5 million. You just never know.

Leave a Reply