Take One


12th May 2023

One of the things that’s brought me back to writing here – probably the key thing – has been unexpected:¬†location. Where I’m writing. Harris has been resting following an unspecified injury (being a dachshund and worrying that it could be spinal, we’re being very cautious and he hasn’t been having walks for a few weeks) so, after the first week of rest, where we didn’t go on any of our usual walks – at which point we were all climbing the walls – we’ve taken a different approach this week: we drive down the coast, as usual, and then Richard and I take turns to have a walk, one of us with Bracken, while the other stays in the car with Harris.

I’ve been taking my laptop and a flask of tea, so that I can sit in the car, have a cuppa, and… do something. There’s just enough reception to use my phone as a hotspot, and it’s felt like a good time to write. I’m typing this while sitting in the car park at John Muir Country Park, Harris dozing beside me, the window down just enough to feel the coolness of the evening air – particularly this evening as the woodland is shrouded in haar. I can hear the dull roar of the sea in the distance. There’s occasional birdsong. It’s so peaceful, particularly after having had a walk here, soaking in this place that always feels so grounding, that it’s become, unexpectedly, a good place to write. Sometimes, it seems, you just need a change of scene from a desk (and home), even if that change of scene is a car, as the light is fading around you.

And this photo? Unrelated, I know, but I was in Edinburgh earlier and had ten minutes before meeting a friend and her husband in St Andrew Square, so I popped into the Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street to take a few photos. There was sparkling sunshine outside and I thought there might be a few nice light moments inside, and sure enough, there were. I was standing on this main staircase, looking at the shadows from the windows reflected on the floor when the light suddenly shifted, softening, and I grabbed this moment before it passed.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, May 2023.