15th July 2022

I started this week, the first week of this new chapter, with a plan of blog posts, Instagram posts, and batches of photos to edit. But, as it turned out, my brain had other ideas. On Monday, an email popped in with a fantastic house, reminding me that on any other week of the last 20+ years I’d have been chasing it for this Sunday’s paper.¬†Emailing the PR, getting the photos in, getting the contact details for the owners, chatting to the owners, writing the feature. Each step in the process feeling familiar and normal.

And then, two days later, on Wednesday, another cracking house arrived by email, which I’d have chased for the following issue, and my editor and I would have joked about how the pages are never this organised and wondered what might go wrong at the 11th hour.

But this past week wasn’t that week. It was my first week of not having work – in a long time. The end of 28 years of working with Scotland on Sunday, and 24 years of being a freelance print journalist. The end of print deadlines. And it was a week to wonder, what comes next? A week that shifted from the excitement of new possibilities (that I can’t see yet) to being flat out worried about money. You know,¬†those conversations rolling around in your head.

And now that the first week is over, I finally feel like I can sit down and settle my mind to write here. So here are a few photos from a late walk at Yellowcraig, from Thursday July 7. I’d filed my final two pieces of copy to my editor, written my farewell email to colleagues, and then, by the evening, I felt that we should do something. Go somewhere. Mark the day.

So we headed down the coast as the light was fading from evening to night, and arrived at Yellowcraig to this lovely glow as the sun was setting; walking along the dunes as the low light was dancing through the grasses with the wind. I loved this moment above, standing on the beach as the waves were racing towards me, watching the light catching each wave as it curled and crashed. The sound of it, the feel of the wind; the vibrant yet grounding energy of this place that can settle and quieten all that mental churning.

It was exactly what was needed.

And below: the warm glow of the sunlight on the dunes. This tumble of gorse looks photogenic in this light, but it’s here because of erosion; the gorse that was once sitting on top having slid down the face of the dune as chunks of sand have been gulped away by the sea through successive storms. See the third photo below for the difference just further along the beach.

And then, the last photo below: the rich amber tones of the sunset as we made our way back. It was a simple way to make the end of something – a chapter, a career – and the start of something new.

Yellowcraig, East Lothian, July 2022.