The people behind the business – part 3

February 25, 2019
Dave O, Skyeskyns Team, Waternish

Our behind-the-scenes peek continues with Dave, one of our most experienced tour guides, a music aficionado (Dave is unbeatable at music trivia which he proves every year by coming up with a team quiz for our Christmas dinner), and is also known to be able to say “fluffy” in an incredible number of languages.

 

So how did you come to live on Skye?

I came on holiday to Skye with my wife Claire and loved it.  The holiday was in October, by the following March we’d moved here.  That was 6 years ago.

Two weeks before we moved to the island, I saw this job advertised and thought I could do that. I had my interview the morning we arrived on the island (which with hindsight was interesting timing) and I have been here ever since.

We opened a B&B after two years which has turned into a great success with great reviews.

Tell us a bit about you did before

I was born in a small town in Shropshire, in a small family business, and I worked there from really early on. I went right through the business from sweeping the floors to running it and managing it.

You got into the music industry after that, didn’t you?

At the age of 40, after my third midlife crisis, I was given the chance to work for a record company. It’s an opportunity I could not turn down. It only took me 12 months to realise how crooked the music industry can be. It took another 6 months to get out of the record company.  I then wrote to all the bands I worked with at the company, asking them whether they had any jobs going. And they did. So I worked as a roadie and Personal Assistant with various people including URIAH HEEP, Richie Blackmore, Asia, Jethro Tull, Focus, etc.

That must have been an experience?

It was. I travelled a lot, saw a lot, met a lot of people in a lot of strange places. Working with a band was one of my dream jobs when I was a child. The other was working in a record shop, which I did for a bit after the rock bands, when I worked for HMV. Whilst working there, I used to nip down to a guitar shop just down the hill from work.  I would spend my time ogling at guitars and amps.  One day, I walked in and the shop owner’s business partner had just left, the shop owner needed help and I said I’d do it. I worked there repairing and selling guitars before moving to Skye. Working with guitars was my third dream job as a child. I’ve done them all now.

 

How would you describe yourself?

I can talk to anyone about anything so this job is perfect for that. I don’t suffer from stress, I take life as it comes. I’m addicted to Pepsi Max, but I don’t drink coffee, ever, so I couldn’t work in the Yurt.  I had a tray of coffee spilt over my foot when I was four and I couldn’t wear my favourite slippers for days, hate it to this day….
Oh and biscuits make me happy! 

What’s your favourite thing about work?

I like the people I work with, they make my day. I have also become something of an expert in “fluffology”! [ED: Dave has a somewhat staggering knowledge of sheep and sheepskin trivia].

What are you looking forward to in 2019?

I’m going on holiday to Thailand this year.  The only catch is I don’t like the beach or sand! So it’s not quite what I had in mind! Claire, my wife, wanted to do something different. But we’re stopping four days in Bangkok to see the bright lights, buy clothes and enjoy the sensory overload, so I’m looking forward to that bit.