Our walks have felt so strange over the past month. I’ve missed Harris (as he’s been in recovery from an injury), and I’ve missed walking with Richard (as we’ve been taking turns to sit in the car with Harris while the other has a walk). And solo walks with Bracken are hard work. Harris wants to be out on an adventure. He lives for adventures. He trots on ahead, totally engaged with the experience, and always in sync with me, keeping an eye on where I am and what I’m doing. We’re a team.
Bracken, on the hand, would rather be home, tucked up in bed. He warms to adventures when we’re all together, when sharing sniffs with Harris and especially when running along the beach at Yellowcraig, but when solo with me, he’s an unwilling participant. Sometimes I wonder, is this simply age? As a teenager, he’s certainly allowed to slow down a bit. But then memories will pop up on Instagram from four, five years ago, and I’ll remember that actually, no, this is just who Bracken is. If Richard and Harris are there, great. If it’s just me, why bother?
And ‘why bother?’ was definitely on Bracken’s mind during this weekend walk to Gullane Point. The sea was calm and the sky was scattered with low clouds, creating a soft, mesmerising light as we walked along the clifftop. It was beautiful. I looked at these photos afterwards and thought, why didn’t I take some details? I needed to mix up this set with some detail shots.
But I was encouraging Bracken all the way, always keeping an eye on him to make sure that he was still following me and hadn’t simply decided that he’d had enough. I was too distracted for details, but I was also enjoying this calm; the calm of big skies and open water.
We walked to this point above, where the beach becomes the nature reserve – the point at which our canine companions are no longer welcome. This view always feels tantalising. It’s the forbidden coast, and I know it’s another beautiful stretch. Bracken and I paused here for the photo below before winding our way back along the shelly beach, back up the steep path to pass between the concrete WW2 sea defences, and on along the clifftop path as the light gently faded around us.
Gullane Point, East Lothian, May 2023.