How Did I Get Here? Post-School Reunion Reflections


It was the Nairn Academy Class of ’75 Reunion back in August.  Our class don’t seem to hold them as often as some do, and I missed the last one back in 1993.  I haven’t lived in Nairn since I was 17 so this was the first time in 32 years that I’d had a chance to catch up with my cohorts.  It was great that so many turned up, some looked like it should be years til they hit their half century, many “hadn’t changed a bit” and were instantly recognisable, but some I couldn’t place at all!  Sadly some didn’t make it to middle age – Neil Riddell, Alan Craigie, Charlie Bain and Jackie Mathieson you are not forgotten.

After the party I reflected on how life’s twists and turns make for an interesting journey and the question – how did I get from here

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to here?

Risk Management When Recreational Offroading

When I left school I was a hotel receptionist for a couple of years, which I really enjoyed, despite occasionally working in establishments based on the Fawlty Towers business model.

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I moved to Aberdeen where there were well paying jobs, and eventually I landed one a million miles away from hotels and hospitality…. the start of a six year stint in waste management, initially company receptionist then transport supervisor in charge of routing 9 skip trucks.  I loved my time in the transport department – the tasks made the most of my logical mind and certainly when I was younger I thrived on stress!

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It wasn’t just the job that was interesting, that’s where I met Neil and became Mrs Bruce!

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I only left there to have our first son Andrew, born Feb ’88.

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Further stints in transport and waste management followed til we had our second son Cameron, born March ’93.

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And then I started making curtains, which led to the creation of The Right Track, a move to the wonderful NE village of Strichen, and many hours selling, fitting and making curtains all over the North East of Scotland.

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In 2007, Neil started working in the UAE and it was proving difficult for me to run the business and be there for the boys with him abroad. I sold the business and we moved our home to the UAE the day after Cam finished school in 2009.


Since then I’ve done some occasional online consultancy work, learned to drive on the sand and have started my own offroad club.  Recently I’ve started writing for magazines and am currently working on a book.


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I may not have a conventional job but many days are just not long enough for me to get everything I want to do, done!

What would I tell my 17 year old self?

  • Go to University and study either Art or Marketing.  Three or four years seems like a long time when you are a teenager at school but as the years pass it goes past in the blink of an eye.
  • Don’t worry about being fat or ugly.  I know you think you’re both, but you’re not!
  • Everyone is different: you’re more different than most, celebrate that fact and your zest for life and adventure!
  • Start writing for a living once you are 30 and have enough interesting experiences to share!
  1. Love the reflection Marina. It is good to occasionally stop and look back at one’s life journey. Isn’t it amazing that life so often takes as places we never could have dreamt of when 17. Enjoy every moment of life’s adventures that still awaits you.

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