Guest Blog – Chris Walker

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HOTELIER, HEAVY METAL DRUMMER, RADIO PRESENTER AND KAYAKER.

People often say to me “ You sure live life to the full “ and my reply is –“ You’re only here once – so just live life to the full”

I go to bed every night thinking, if I don’t wake up in the morning then so be it – I’ve enjoyed every minute of my life. I am lucky, lucky to have a wife that is so totally understanding of my drive and passions, a wife who has never stifled that passion and who has stood by me through thick and thin – Sue is my driving force and without here and our daughter Lisa – life wouldn’t be worth living.

Of course the mainstay of family life is the Hotel, The Selkirk Arms Hotel in Kirkcudbright, the hotel pays the mortgage and is hopefully the pension pot one day. We’ve lived and worked in Dumfries and Galloway for 24 years now starting life in partnership with my sister and brother in law at Creebridge House Hotel in Newton Stewart, It was here that I had my first foray into the media world of radio and television presenting Border TV’s Spoon with a View and as cookery expert on BBC radio 2’s Debbie Thrower show, 12 years later we head a little east to Gatehouse of Fleet and take over the Masonic Arms in Gatehouse of Fleet. Our head Chef Paul Somerville comes to Gatehouse to join the team and we have 4 very happy years running one of the regions first Gastro Pubs. Selling up and moving on allowed us to head to New Zealand for a few weeks to see what all the fuss is about….. and whilst it is definitely Dumfries and Galloway on steroids it just wasn’t home. Home for the 3 of us is without doubt Dumfries and Galloway and our next business was to buy the Selkirk Arms in Kirkcudbright in partnership with Douglas McDavid who was then manager at the Cally Palace. We are now trading our seventh year and yes things have got tough, we are constatntly trying to improve the business and refurbish along with keeping a team of 26 staff in a job, a difficult juggling act some days but we have a wonderful team and our mission is to simply make sure the customer has a good time and enjoys what we do.

But outside the hotel I play drums and vocals in a heavy metal band Aventus, we’re playing a couple of festivals this summer including Les Fest and The Wickerman plus a tour with two other bands on the cards for the new year. And if that wasn’t enough to keep me out of mischief I present a Heavy Metal show on Dumfies’s alive 107.3FM radio every Friday night 9pm – 11pm.

But when it comes to totally switching off then it has to be the Kayak and the tranquillity of paddling along our wonderful shoreline in Dumfries and Galloway – now that takes a lot of beating. And that’s why I wake up and look out every morning, out onto the beach and sea and thank God that I’m alive and that I’m the luckiest man in the world.

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