8th January 2021

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.

Our Christmas and New Year break was basically about lots of walks, albeit not always with this beautiful light. This time of the year is always about getting outdoors and recharging a bit, and while this would usually involve a few trips slightly further afield to Fife or Perthshire, this year we were grateful to be able to spend this time close to home in East Lothian.

I started a weekly ‘shots of the week’ photo series on Steller at the beginning of January last year, intending to record every week of the year, and obviously at that stage none of us could have imagined how 2020 was going to evolve. But looking back on this series has reminded me of all the things I enjoyed: being outdoors, taking photos, recording the subtleties of the changing seasons week by week. Interior design didn’t motivate me through 2020, even though it’s something I’ve written about now for almost 23 years. Taking photos and being outdoors did. One hundred percent. So 2021 feels like the time to gently shrug off the things that don’t inspire you, and fully embrace the things that do. Which isn’t to say I won’t be writing about design here and elsewhere, but there’ll be other things too. Here’s to a healthy start to 2021, and wherever you’re reading this from, take care.

North Berwick beach, looking towards the islands of Fidra, The Lamb, and Craigleith.