As I write this on Thursday afternoon, sitting at my desk with this week’s deadlines happily behind me while listening to the wind blustering around outside, I can definitely say that this is where I’d rather be. Yes, even on a stormy day! Always, basically. I realise that my previous post here was also from Yellowcraig, but we had a long weekend off over Easter, and the weather was kind to us. And last Friday’s walk here was beautiful – just so calm, and with this gentle light over the water as afternoon eased into evening. The kind of day we’ve longed for over the winter months.
A strange title for a blog post, you may be thinking, but I really was waiting five long months for last weekend, when the clocks shifted and we moved back into our longer daylight hours. I don’t mind winter – I prefer cold weather and relish those frozen winter walks when there are few people around. Summer can be a challenge. Ironically, I find myself spending more time indoors as it’s often too hot, or too sunny for those of us with sun-sensitive skin. (And yes, I realise I’m in the minority with this thinking!) For me, winter is the time to get outdoors as much as possible, and particularly to counter the effect of the abbreviated days and low light.
I shared these photos in a recent Steller story called ‘pink‘, and as I’m sitting at my desk on this last Friday of January, listening to the rain, on a day that has been endlessly grey, I thought I’d share these pink-toned skies and dramatic clouds here too. Just as a reminder that skies aren’t alway grey.
So, it’s a new year, and, let’s be honest, it’s been quite the first week in terms of news. But here we are, we made it through 2020 and it is a new year. While possibilities may feel a little lean as I write this on January 8 with the UK in another lockdown, my default mode tends to be focussed on the many things to be grateful for. I realise that’s easy to write and harder to live, but our worlds will open again, even if we have more months to wait to see the impact of the vaccine rollout. It feels hard to wrap your head round the scale of this process at the moment, right? So I’m personally taking 2021 a week at a time and trying not to think too far ahead, and I wanted to start this new year with a simple post: a walk down the coast – at North Berwick – in some lovely light, which perhaps looks like nothing much, but, in these locked down days, it feels like a lot.
There’s no denying the shift in the seasons at the moment. Last week, you could feel the evenings slip away as it seemed to be getting darker day by day. To be honest, I’m ready for autumn; I’m ready for cool weather and bracing beach walks, but I’m never ready to lose evening light. And this year, we’ve appreciated our evenings even more. Lockdown shifted perspective, right? We’ve appreciated just being outdoors, whether keeping it local with walks at the ash lagoons or along the sea front, or those nights of just getting in the car and escaping down the coast.
Weekends have been the strangest days for me during these lockdown weeks. Mondays to Fridays still have a familiar routine: I’m still mostly at my desk, looking for work, doing work, and then getting stuck in the creative things that I love, like Steller. But weekends are different. Weekends have always been about being outdoors; about getting in the car and escaping somewhere. What places are on your list to escape to once lockdown eases? I’m not talking about big trips or far flung adventures at this point; I’m looking some weeks ahead to phase 2 of our COVID-19 route map in Scotland when we can drive to places that are local. For me, staying in East Lothian, my top three would be John Muir Country Park, Yellowcraig at low tide, and this place, Ravensheugh Sands, near Tyninghame.