Tell us a bit about Northly Nice?
Me and Mark set up Northly Nice a few years ago as a place to share our travels, we were both guilty of capturing amazing shots and then just letting them sit in folders, it was time to carve a space to share them. The name came from a small frustration of people visiting places and not always giving a true review, we thought it was time someone gave true unbiased feedback on their visits and Northerners are known for being direct and sometimes blunt, hence the name Northly Nice. Mark is a full time freelance photographer and he travels around the country capturing creatives, breweries and makers, and I am a freelance textile designer. Northly was created as a shared passion for our time spent together, not working, and captures our love of exploring together and everything that comes with it. Wilma is a big part of our travels.
What inspires your work?
Nature, changing landscapes and also exploring new places and what they have to offer. Nothing inspires us more than finding an abandoned beach, wild woodland, or a tiny bar tucked down a side street. We love to plan a trip but then just see where the days take us, there is a lot to be said for just going with it when you are travelling, some of our happiest memories were accidental finds.
What’s your first memory of dogs being in your life?
Neither of us had dogs growing up but not through lack of trying! As soon as we bought our first home and were in a position to be around for a dog we started the search for a companion. We were failed fosterers and ended up adopting our first foster Minnie who was a Boston Terrier almost 6 years ago, her age was unknown when she arrived and it was clear from the get go that she had lived a cruel life. She landed on her feet with us though and lived the rest of her life tucked up between me and Mark, scaling mountains and sitting shotgun in our van before we lost her last year to terminal illness.
Tell us about Wilma and how she came into your life?
It could have been because Minnie had only been with us for 6 years or that it was our first dog but until you lose a pet there is no understanding how hard the silence they leave is, we knew almost immediately that we needed another dog in the house but wanted to be responsible with our choice and to not rush it. The reason we lost Minnie was down to illnesses caused by bad breeding, we knew if we wanted another Boston Terrier which we did (if you haven’t met one they are the most boisterous clown like little rabbit dogs!) so we spoke to recommended and reputable Boston breeders and got on the waiting list for a litter, I will forever be grateful to Wilma’s breeder who patiently let me ask for every test result in the book and every accompanying certificate but it was so important to us that she was coming from a loving breeder. Wilma arrived in Autumn 2021 and it has been a whirlwind ever since!
How does having a dog fit into your general working day?
We both work from home and have done for years so there is always one of us around. There is never a need to set an alarm as Wilma does a good job of waking us up at 7.30am every morning, all she wants is to cuddle under the duvet for half an hour whilst we drink our tea and it’s so cute we can’t say no. She will happily sleep in her bed or Marks knee till lunch then the puppy energy comes into play and we head out for a really good walk and run, nothing makes us happier than watching her zoom around a field, she may be small but is very speedy. She will crash then for the afternoon until she drops Penelope the flamingo at our feet for playtime around 6pm, dogs are intent on not letting you work into the evening which is great until you have a deadline! We love having a dog and the structure they bring to what can be a chaotic freelance life.
Where is your favourite place to go for a walk?
We are lucky to have the Yorkshire Sculpture Park down the road which we love, especially on long summer days when everyone else is working we go and escape under the trees and share snacks. We are so lucky to have a campervan so every opportunity we have to zip off we take full advantage of, which means we can pick our favourites spots. We love a beach or a woodland, and Bostons are much more athletic than they look and love scaling hillsides and mountains which we also love to do. Although don’t be fooled, they don’t like getting too wet so the sea is absolutely not an option.