GUEST BLOG: JONATHON-LEE BROOKES | A WINDOW INTO THE LIFE OF JLB
A Window into the life of JLB!
Good Day! For those who don’t know me, my name is Jonathon-lee Brookes or JLB for short. I have been chosen by Holland’s to provide you with interesting topics and independent reviews of products that they bring you! I will be joining Emma Foot on the writing team. However, whilst Emma focuses on the Agriculture and woman’s Lifestyle - I will be focusing on sporting, equestrian and Men’s lifestyle. For those who do know me, hello again and I hope you enjoy following my line of articles for Holland Country Clothing! You’re already aware of my honest and clear reviews of products and how the usual format of articles follows.
A few weeks ago, I was approached by Sarah, she is the lovely director of Holland Country Clothing. The enquiry was regarding the writing of content. This is something that I’ve done and do for numerous brands and publications. It’s interesting when negotiating opens, as each company wants something slightly different. some people contact me because they aren’t too great at writing; some want someone in the field to write informed articles and others don’t really know what they want. So, it’s usually my job to help create a brief from all the ideas on the table. I’m pleased to say that you’ll be able to look forward to two articles a month from me, one being a topical article (lifestyle, shooting, menswear etc) and the other a product review. The first article requested was an introduction for myself - let you know the happenings, passions and nitty gritty of my life.
I often find writing these types of articles the most difficult, I don’t know about you but surprisingly I find it really difficult to write about myself. I know others who love writing about themselves but me, I struggle. Where to start is always tricky...do I give you an entire life story or do I start at the present and go back...I mean it’s not a Spielberg film. I think starting at the beginning will just have to do. Despite my tweed clad exterior, my original path wasn’t always on the moorland, the countryside has always been a passion for me, don’t get me wrong but I was pursuing my second love...Music. From a young age I was a Chorister at Blackburn Cathedral, performing all across the globe with some of the finest classical musicians. Upon leaving 6th form I was awarded a choral scholarship at St David’s Cathedral in Wales. If you’ve never been I would strongly recommend visiting as it is the smallest city in the UK (population of a village) but so beautiful. One of the highlights of my Gap Year was performing in St Peters Basilica in the Vatican City, Rome. Not many can say they’ve done that.
After my Gap year I moved to York to read music in my first degree, York stole my heart, this ancient city had so much to offer. Most importantly this is where my media empire was founded, and my Champagne addiction started. Being a photographer in York had many avenues, I was blessed with the gift of the gab. Over my 3 years in York I managed to secure photography work at every bar and nightclub in the city, you see these attractive photos of terribly drunk people well I was the one taking them. The beauty about working in nearly every drinking establishment in York is that you make a lot of friends and a lot of friends equals a lot of free nights out!! York is very nicely situated near some of the most pristine countryside and some of the finest shoots in the country. When I wasn’t out photographing or partying, you could find me out in the wilds of Yorkshire somewhere - My girlfriend at the time was actually a bumpkin like me and it was said the two of us together looked like something straight from country life.
After York I made the long trip north, north of the wall to Aberdeen. To undergo my master’s degree in Music - specialising in Conducting (not a bus conductor). It was essentially advanced wizardry especially in the setting of the ancient Kings College, which was built in 1495. I was the assistant conductor of the world-renowned University Chamber Choir (conducted by the Royal Composer - Paul Mealor) and Kings College Chapel Choir (in aberdeen). It was at this time that I embarked on an ambitious project which was to conduct the youngest professional orchestra. Music was a major part of my life but it’s also in aberdeen where my pastimes really took off. Upon moving to aberdeen I joined the Universities Shooting team and Polo team competing all over the UK. I formed my blog officially and ‘JLB in the Glen’ was born (the first incarnation of what is now JLB in the North). Now I don’t know what you know about Aberdeen, but my honest opinion is that the city is grey from floor to sky, it has massive human eating seagulls and its cold...HOWEVER, that being said, it boasts some of the most amazing countryside I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. It has fairytale castles, mountains and lochs, ancient scottish games and more distilleries that’s you can shake a stick at.
It was in Aberdeen that my passion for the countryside really became what you see today. I spent many nights in castles, sitting by fires with a good whisky. If you want to see just what I got up to then you need to head over to my website and read about some of the most amazing things Aberdeenshire has to offer. Unfortunately though, I became seriously ill and it has impacted my life heavily...It meant that I was unable to continue with my music and instead I fell back on my passion for the countryside. Since then I have been able to write articles on all aspects of countrylife, I’ve been able to help educate people in the means and necessities of conservation and most importantly I’ve been able to forge some strong relationships with prominent companies in the sector. I’ve gone from not wanting to take anything, on to being the busiest I’ve ever been. I have been honored to be press, affiliated with shows like The Game Fair, Lycetts Festival of hunting, Great Yorkshire Show, Landrover Burghley International Horse Trials and many more.
I hope this gives you a brief introduction into who I am and what I do! Hopefully over the however many articles you’ll get a grasp of my personality and maybe in the future we will be able to meet for a glass of something nice! Until then!