Annelie Carmicheal is a passionate campaigner for all things green, and a woman who has long since been walking the environmentally aware path - probably with her dog, and probably on a beautiful hillside in Perthshire. She loves to get out and explore a castle or two; enjoys popping up to Dunkeld, Aberfeldy or Pitlochry to shop for books, food or homeware, and amongst all of this, will try to fit in concerts at Horsecross, going out with friends and catching a film, "especially at Perth Film Society".
As a freelance copywriter, a job that fits in perfectly around family life, the day is less of a 9 to 5, and more of a fluid part of her bigger life picture.
"My work day begins right after I’ve walked the dog in one of Perth’s lovely green parks or forests. I often work at home so I start by making a nice strong pot of coffee and get to work, writing blogs, magazine articles, case studies, web copy or whatever I have on the go.
If I’m working on a blog for Little Green Ways, I agree on the topic with my co-author (and the driving force behind the blog), Naomi, then I research it by reading online articles and/or asking people for their opinions and insights.
I work until mid-afternoon and sometimes pick it up again in the evening, which means I can be flexible around family life."
The blog she talks about, Little Green Ways, is gathering solid momentum and we're very pleased to report that Annelie will be contributing to Small City in the coming months, sharing her tips on how we can live a greener life right here in Perthshire.
As a freelance copywriter, a job that fits in perfectly around family life, the day is less of a 9 to 5, and more of a fluid part of her bigger life picture.As you may have gathered, Annelie is one of those people who has found a job doing what she loves. Since returning to Perthshire after some years living away, she has immersed herself in her local surroundings; and in fact, as a woman dedicated to her craft, she insists on throwing herself in 100%...
"Last year I worked on a series of articles to accompany videos for Perth City Centre about Perthshire’s food and drink producers and I had to visit a gin distillery, chocolate maker and fruit farm – that was a tough gig!
I also volunteer as a board member of a fantastic charity, The Inspiration Orchestra, helping out with marketing and whatever else is needed."
When it comes to eating and drinking she is very much a city girl - Vegan 269, Tabla, Graysons Wine Bar, Gringos, Blend - and like us, can't resist a browse around Eva Lucia, Precious Sparkle, Boo Vake, Byers & Co, Fun Junction, Number Five Goldsmiths and Tayberry Gallery whilst she's here.
How does she fit it all in? Read on!
Tell us the weirdest / funniest thing that has ever happened to you at work?
I worked at BBC Scotland for a while and used to see all sorts of “celebs” in the building. Heather Small from M People once asked me to recommend a good vegetarian meal in the canteen! About an hour later I walked past Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) in the corridor when I was going to the Archives department. I loved that we never knew which random famous person we’d spot next.
What signals the start of your days off?
I love hanging out with family and friends on a Friday night. We put some great music on, anything from showtunes to Motown, ABBA, The Beatles or disco, and we get something nice to drink, maybe a chilled white wine or cold beer, while we’re waiting for our dinner to cook. After dinner we all walk the dog together then enjoy some more tunes or a film before bed. If we’re out, then it’s usually for a meal with pals, or a concert.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I was commissioned to write a dictionary of dreams (some people do know that but, judging by the online sales, not many).
I am learning Swedish – for no particular reason other than the challenge.
I trained myself in calligraphy at the age of 16. I sold a few pieces too!
I’ve spoken to Oscar Wilde’s grandson on the phone.
I’m distantly related to Donald Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona, who co-founded the Canadian Pacific Railway. Must be why I love train travel!
What is at the top of your bucket list?
My top bucket list items are: going to Iceland (the country!), getting my own original book published, climbing Ben Nevis, seeing ABBA in concert, owning more golden retrievers, going to the cherry blossom festivals in Japan and – this one depends on my winning the lottery – opening an animal sanctuary.
What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
When I was 15, I worked at the Spar (as it was then) in Bridgend. As I was the “young one”, I had to do all the jobs that no one else wanted to do, such as mopping the floors and running across a busy main road carrying two massive crates of bread rolls to the shop from McIntyre’s Bakery. It was poorly paid and mostly dull, but I loved earning my own money and being independent.
Who or what inspires you?
The people who inspire me most are the ones who stand up for what they believe in, even if it’s difficult to do so. I also admire inventors, free-thinkers and people who work hard and beat the odds. There are too many to name but the top ten includes my great-granny Isabella Buchan, who was a suffragette.
I’m inspired by any great writer, from my favourite authors (including Charles Dickens and Anne Tyler) to anyone who’s written an amazing début novel (often at a young age, annoyingly). I’m in a book group and it’s always a treat to spend time with good friends talking about books, usually with a few glasses of prosecco to “inspire” the creative chat.
Don't try to make it good. Just try to make it. Tomorrow you can rewrite it better. The thing is, you are writing. Anything can leap onto the page before you know it. - Bernard MacLaverty
This quote, by author Bernard MacLaverty, from a recent interview, sits in a frame on my desk and constantly inspires me to keep going, even when I’m tired or I feel short of ideas. It should be every writer’s mantra!
Tell us about the day you’d love to live again?
There would be two – my wedding day, and the day my daughter was born. I think I’d need a third day of rest afterwards, though!
What’s the best part about your job?
It’s so rewarding being able to promote and help businesses and the public sector throughout Perth & Kinross. I also love the fact that my work brings me into contact with some of the most positive people I’ve ever met. Most of my clients have their own businesses, whether new or established, and their enthusiasm and creativity is infectious and inspiring. I also love the flexibility of working for myself, and I enjoy the fact I don’t have to do yearly appraisals!
Complete this sentence; the best things in life are…
Good food, a lovely beach or forest, an unforgettable sunset and friends and family (including pets!) to share it with.
Together with a small group of volunteers, Annelie shares green tips and good green news – hoping that together our little green ways amount to big green changes! Maybe you have some tips to share too – join them on facebook or drop them a line!
The idea was born out of a desire to show-off. Show-off this great wee city that is punching well above its weight.
Helen MacKinnon is a woman of many talents, from classical music composing to programming Perth's annual Arts Festival.
April 28th Sunday 2019