Sometimes I feel as if my weather app is having a wee chuckle. Saturday’s forecast was for a ‘light breeze’, and given how warm and humid it’s been of late, the idea of a breezy coastal walk sounded pretty blissful when we arrived at Gullane. But the BBC weather app’s idea of breezy and mine are two different things: it was blowing a hoolie (translation: very, very windy) as we walked along the dunes, noting the kitesurfers flying across the water ahead of us as a sign of the wind conditions to come.
It looked like rain when we parked at Gullane, the clouds heavy and brooding out over the Forth, and the forecast was for thunder. We really didn’t want to risk that when out with the lads, particularly Bracken, but the rain looked like it was far enough away to chance it. We’d planned to walk east along the coast, towards Eyebroughy, on our usual weekend route, but by the time we’d crossed the dunes the first drops of rain were falling. And little wonder as we stood on the edge of the dunes, looking at the clouds stretching across the water. You could feel it in the air: the weight of the rain above us, and I ran down onto the beach to take a few photos before the heavens opened.
Sometimes I’ll be chatting to someone and they’ll say exactly what I’ve been thinking but haven’t really put into words. And this was the case when I posted the above photo on Instagram last week and my friend Mattijs commented with: “It’s still a bit post-apocalyptic there, isn’t it?”
These photos are from late on Friday, and a walk to Gullane Point to mark the end of the week. We were longing to be outside and by the water, but while it was cooler after the heat of earlier in the week, the humidity was high, so we chose an easy walk for the lads – for Bracken in particular – and one where we were likely to find a breeze. Winding along the clifftop path, the sound of the waves is amplified. Every time we walk here this strikes me: it’s like a gentle roar, and it’s a sound that never fails to calm the senses.
It feels unusual to be writing ‘after the heat’ in a title, but these few photos are from Wednesday evening’s walk at Yellowcraig, and a walk that felt incredibly good after the few days of heat that preceded it. It was a relief to be here in the quietness and the openness of this space after three days of being tucked inside, blinds down, fans on, trying to stay cool. Having DM convos with friends about climate change. Just to be here, standing below this big sky after being cooped up in one room, grateful for the breeze.
There’s always been something special about this place after the rain. In the old days, before Storm Arwen, the woodland felt heavy with rainwater, each individual pine needle of each individual pine branch holding a droplet, together making millions and millions of droplets of water gently held aloft by this wood. I always admired the way the tree trunks were blackened by the rain. It gave this woodland a different hue, a different mood; quiet and still and heavy and beautiful.