Retirement is normally a time where people relax and put their feet up.
But for one former north-east art teacher, the 10 years since he quit the classroom have been spent exploring some of the remotest corners of the planet.
Bill Smith was principal of the art department at Ellon Academy for 36 years before he hung up his paintbrush a decade ago.
The 74-year-old had always been at home in icy temperatures, volunteering as a ski instructor and warden on Glenshee in his spare time.
It was a chance visit to Holland to teach first aid to people about to embark on a trip to the Arctic and Antarctica that led him to make his own journey to the bottom of the world.
Firstly he began working as a polar guide, working in, among other locations, Greenland, South Georgia and the Falklands.
After doing this for a number of years, Mr Smith – who is also the chieftain of the Assynt Highland Games, based near Lochinver – was asked to take a step up and train the guides.
Now he spends weeks at a time on large polar expedition vessels, training guides on how to take people out on small boats in the ice with polar bears, walruses and whales close by.
In the past four months, he has visited Antarctica three times and claims he has “the best job in the world”.
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“For lots of people making the trip is a once in a lifetime experience, I’ve done it three times since November,” he said.
“There’s an immense amount of satisfaction from helping to facilitate these kind of experiences for people.
“Being able to see the look on their faces when they are just feet away from a whale in a small boat is amazing.”
But seeing some of the world’s most untouched landscapes and exotic animals is an experience that has not dimmed for Mr Smith.
“There’s a place in Georgia where you land, called Salisbury Plain, which has 100,000 fur seals and elephant seals and behind them are 500,000 penguins – nothing prepares you for that.
“And no matter how many times I have done it I still tell myself it’s absolutely ridiculous that this is my job.”
Mr Smith, who is married to Kathryn, is well-known in Ellon as the organiser of the now defunct Ythan Raft Race – the largest of its kind in Europe at the time – and also the man who spearheaded some of the academy’s successful world record bids, such as building the longest sandcastle.