An Unusual First Day

Posted by on Oct 12, 2021 in We Are GLM

An Unusual First Day

First days in new jobs are often full of surprises – perhaps not quite what you expected, a different culture and a different team. When Finn Caldwell joined the team a couple of months ago his first days were certainly something to write about. In his first GLM blog, Finn shares his first days with team – not where you would expect!

When I was offered a position within GLM I had a sense that my usual working conditions wouldn’t always be in the typical office setting however, nothing prepared me for my first few days of work on an uninhabited island off the coast of Skye.

My first day actually started the day before with us leaving Edinburgh late afternoon to reach our overnight stop in Glen Spean. We stayed with the makers of Glen Spean beer and Daffy’s Gin, two very good contacts to have! After a quick (baltic) dip in the river we headed back for some food and a sit around the fire pit to warm up!

With the essentials loaded we trekked up to Kyle of Lochalsh to stock up on food and then made the short trip round Skye to catch our ride over to the island. We meet Nick, the estate manager, and he took us on the short crossing to the island in a rather military looking landing craft style boat to explore the island. Zero tech in sight apart from a strong 4G signal, we set out on what I would describe as a “walk about” but the architects assured me was a well-tried method of concept design, known as cognitive mapping. We climbed to one of the highest points of the island to understand the wilderness and I was amazed by both the scale of the island and how isolated it was from the mainland from this viewpoint. After a full day digesting the island, we decided to try some alfresco cooking with a BBQ on the shoreline resulting in us being witness to an amazing display of the milky way – something which you definitely struggle to see in Central Edinburgh!

For day 2 we explored some of the lower lying areas of the island, this proved to be a very interesting experience stumbling across historic agricultural machines in various differently constructed buildings which interested me as an architectural technologist. The final part of our exploration of the island was a long blast around the island on the landing craft to see the northern and eastern sides. This turned out to be rather a choppy ride but hugely informative as Nick showed us the remains of a Viking village and a Neolithic cave set into the cliffs.

Overall, my first experience of GLM was a huge step outside of my typical comfort zone however it was great to experience a little slice of the Inner Hebrides that not a lot of people can say they have visited and it has also helped me understand the project better by visualising the island landscape and really experiencing this little haven.

Needless to say, I have since returned to my desk and am already looking forward to the next adventure away!

Finn Caldwell

Architectural Technologist