Double trouble...the lovely Emily and Hannah getting in the "Christmas Spirit" at the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art staff Christmas party, University of the Arts London

Christmas and New Year Season Highlights

Double trouble...the lovely Emily and Hannah getting in the "Christmas Spirit" at the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art staff Christmas party, University of the Arts London

Double trouble…the lovely Emily and Hannah getting in the “Christmas Spirit” at the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art staff Christmas party, University of the Arts London

Emily hopes she hasn't been to naughty for Santa to come this year.... in the "Christmas Spirit" at the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art staff Christmas party, University of the Arts London

Emily hopes she hasn’t been to naughty for Santa to come this year…. in the “Christmas Spirit” at the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art staff Christmas party, University of the Arts London

Is it a bird?, is it a plane?...no, it's a man dressed as in a mince pie Christmas jumper at the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art staff Christmas party, University of the Arts London

Is it a bird?, is it a plane?…no, it’s a man dressed as in a mince pie Christmas jumper at the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art staff Christmas party, University of the Arts London

Cracking Christmas jumper with detachable candy canes at the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art staff Christmas party, University of the Arts London

Cracking Christmas jumper with detachable candy canes at the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art staff Christmas party, University of the Arts London

Stylish Maternity Christmas jumper at the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art staff Christmas party, University of the Arts London

Stylish Maternity Christmas jumper at the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Art staff Christmas party, University of the Arts London

The magical lights of Christmas trees all around...I love spotting them as I travel around.

The magical lights of Christmas trees all around…I love spotting them as I travel around.

Christmas party with my highly cherished friends and family at Duran Duran, London

Christmas party with my highly cherished Duran Duran family/friends, London

Traditional Christmas Dinner....a veritable feast! Enough leftovers to last a large family a week! Duran, Duran, London

Traditional Christmas Dinner….a veritable feast! Enough leftovers to last a large family a week! Duran, Duran, London

Traditional homemade Sherry Trifle by the lovely Mairead, more desert than we knew what to do with! Duran Duran, London

Traditional homemade Sherry Trifle by the lovely Mairead, more desert than we knew what to do with! Duran Duran, London

Showing friends how to get into the "Christmas Spirit" by setting the Christmas pudding on fire with alcohol before eating it with custard, cream and repeated dollops of sinful yet delicious brandy butter,  Duran Duran, London

Showing friends how to get into the “Christmas Spirit” by setting the Christmas pudding on fire with alcohol before eating it with custard, cream and repeated dollops of sinful yet delicious brandy butter, Duran Duran, London

Secret Santa gifts including this fab "Murray Christmas" t-shirt displayed my it's proud new owner, my brother-in-law to be, Paul McCormack, Duran Duran, London

Secret Santa gifts including this fab “Murray Christmas” t-shirt displayed my it’s proud new owner, my brother-in-law to be, Paul McCormack, Duran Duran, London

Meeting Dave, co-founder of Brew By Numbers (BBNo.) in his rather jazzy Christmas cardigan...it must have been mating season for reindeer when this was knitted! Duran Duran, London

Meeting Dave, co-founder of Brew By Numbers (BBNo.) in his rather jazzy Christmas cardigan…it must have been mating season for reindeer when this was knitted! Duran Duran, London

Spanish and Italian influenced food at the alternative Freeborn Christmas party, Brixton, London

Spanish and Italian influenced food at the alternative Freeborn Christmas party, Brixton, London

Margherita Dell Piane, Queen of the Dancefloor, who won a ring in the first Christmas cracker she'd ever pulled, at the alternative Freeborn Christmas party, Brixton, London

Margherita Dell Piane, Queen of the Dancefloor, who could’t believe it when she won a ring in the first Christmas cracker she’d ever pulled, at the alternative Freeborn Christmas party, Brixton, London

Emma Pessato, Queen of the World, at our alternative Freeborn Christmas party, Brixton, London

Emma Pessato, Queen of the World, at our alternative Freeborn Christmas party, Brixton, London

Juan Rendon, King of the World, at our alternative Freeborn Christmas party, Brixton, London

Juan Rendon, King of the World, at our alternative Freeborn Christmas party, Brixton, London

Catching up with my old friend from agriculture college, John Graham, his wife Brid and their lovely new baby Judith, at their wonderful new business venture The Beehive Cafe, Sligo Folk Park, Ireland

Catching up with my old friend from agriculture college, John Graham, his wife Brid and their lovely new baby Judith, at their wonderful new business venture The Beehive Cafe, Sligo Folk Park, Ireland

Meeting Father Christmas in person and making his portrait...at Santatown, Sligo Folk Park, Ireland

Meeting Father Christmas in person and making his portrait…at Santatown, Sligo Folk Park, Ireland

Visiting the wonderful Goulden family and our grand aunt Ivy, who's still as bright as a spark at 90 years of age, Co. Sligo, Ireland

Visiting the wonderful Goulden family and our grandaunt Ivy, who’s still as bright as a spark at 90 years of age, Co. Sligo, Ireland

Christmas Lunch, Sunday 21st of December at The wonderful Sandhouse Hotel, Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal, Ireland...where we had a view of Donegal Bay and the Atlantic Ocean whilst enjoying top notch great value food.

Christmas Lunch, Sunday 21st of December at The wonderful Sandhouse Hotel, Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal, Ireland…where we had a view of Donegal Bay and the Atlantic Ocean whilst enjoying top notch great value food.

Post lunch Impromptu family portrait at The Sandhouse Hotel, Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Post lunch Impromptu family portrait at The Sandhouse Hotel, Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Santa is still coming to me bless him and me 35yrs old! I must be a VERY good boy ;) - Donegal, Ireland

Santa is still coming to me bless him and me 35yrs old! I must be a VERY good boy 😉 – Donegal, Ireland

My 96yr old Grandmother Eileen Black, Co. Sligo, Ireland

My 96yr old Grandmother Eileen Black, Co. Sligo, Ireland

Visiting old family friend Tommy Keirans, Co. Sligo, Ireland

Visiting a fine old family friend Tommy Keirans and chatting about his days farming, showing him photos and films of our brother Alasdair’s New Zealand farming practices, Co. Sligo, Ireland

Passing through the annual Boxing Day Hunt 2014 at Enniscrone, Co. Sligo, Ireland - I'm not pro hunting but I am highly intrigued by the traditions associated with hunting in terms of dress etc.

Passing through the annual Boxing Day Hunt 2014 at Enniscrone, Co. Sligo, Ireland – I’m not pro hunting but I am highly intrigued by the traditions associated with hunting in terms of dress etc.

New Year's Eve Fireworks all around the world bringing us from one year to another....I wish you health and happiness in 2015!

New Year’s Eve Fireworks all around the world bringing us from one year to another….I wish you health and happiness in 2015!

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My good friends at The Beehive Cafe in Riverstown, Sligo, Ireland

John in action at The Beehive ©gavinfreeborn

John in action at The Beehive ©gavinfreeborn

On the 14th of January 2013 I wrote a long and detailed blog post all about my friendship with the Tenacious JHCG (John Henry Coe Graham). I explained a little of how our lives have unfolded since we studied together at Greenmount Agriculture College in Northern Ireland, now part of Cafre (College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise) from 1996-1999 (last century!).

The Beehive ©gavinfreeborn

John serves me my first delicious coffee with handmade chocolate brownie at The Beehive ©gavinfreeborn

John went on to work as an agricultural policy advisor in Dublin, whilst managing farming in Sligo at the same time. He found the woman of his dreams Brid McNulty on a night out in Dublin. They bought a beautiful Sligo farm and house, married where Brid studied Trinity College Dublin and John had her picked up from the hotel for the wedding in an gigantic brand new Claas Tractor (which I had the honour of photographing!). They had their beautiful baby Judith and opened a fantastic new cafe called The Beehive, in Sligo Folk Park.

The Beehive Cappuccino  ©gavinfreeborn

The Beehive Cappuccino ©gavinfreeborn

Me photographing The Beehive © John Graham

                                  Me photographing The Beehive © John Graham

It was fantastic to see my old friend and we had a good laugh explaining to his local customers how we knew each other. It was hard for folk to believe that I, the gentleman photographer swinging the Canon 7D camera, dressed in tweed jacket & silk cravat, once studied agriculture with John almost 20 years ago! Two of John’s lovely customers Margaret and John, who farm sheep, suckler cows and the beautiful Connemara ponies in the Sligo mountains even posed for a quick portrait.

Sligo Farmers Margaret Finan & John Duignan at The Beehive ©gavinfreeborn

Sligo Farmers Margaret Finan & John Duignan at The Beehive ©gavinfreeborn

John was in full flow as gracious host deftly moving from kitchen to front of house, hand making fresh scones and all sorts of delicious delights which I was lucky enough to taste test. The chocolate brownie is some of the best I’ve tasted on my travels as are the scones. Both have been created and baked to perfection resulting in a crunchy bite, followed by a soft centre of utter succulence!

The Beehive Handmade Chocolate Brownies ©gavinfreeborn

The Beehive Handmade Chocolate Brownies ©gavinfreeborn

The Beehive handmade scones ©gavinfreeborn

The Beehive Handmade Scones ©gavinfreeborn

Their macaroons and christmas mince pies look so enticing too…

The Beehive Macaroons ©gavinfreeborn

The Beehive Macaroons ©gavinfreeborn

The Beehive Christmas Mince Pies ©gavinfreeborn

The Beehive Christmas Mince Pies ©gavinfreeborn

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