The Yogi Pool, River Spey

Andrew Burrell: Architect and Property Developer

Having spent my working life as a developer dealing with the complexities, nuances and finances of urban form, my place to escape to, as a complete contrast, would be a Scottish river, preferably on a summer evening – listening to the sounds of the water and the wildlife, whilst generally getting into a muddle trying to catch a salmon or a sea trout in the fading light.  Not to kill, but to return the creature to its natural habitat with which it was presumably content before I disturbed it. I know, I can’t rationally explain it either.

As I write this I’m looking forward to a week on the Spey where I have the ‘honour’ of a pool being named after my exploits. Having hooked a fish in low water, with little expectation that it would be other than a ‘resident’, I drew it into the bank, which the lively silver salmon wasn’t pleased with.  Having tried to catch it by its tail twice I jumped into the river and attempted a rugby tackle, at which point the fish broke free, leapt onto my back and bounced into the river.  Game, set and match to the salmon and now that stretch of river is known as the Yogi pool (as in cartoon brown bear).  

I studied at the Architectural Association in London and the planning school at the University of Edinburgh. I now spend my working week between Whitechapel and Edinburgh’s Stockbridge, which provides me with an intriguing and lively form of contrast, enough to inspire anyone interested in urbanism, but I still dream about that pool on the Spey, which will forever be ‘My Place’.  

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