8th April 2021

As I write this on Thursday afternoon, sitting at my desk with this week’s deadlines happily behind me while listening to the wind blustering around outside, I can definitely say that this is where I’d rather be. Yes, even on a stormy day! Always, basically. I realise that my previous post here was also from Yellowcraig, but we had a long weekend off over Easter, and the weather was kind to us. And last Friday’s walk here was beautiful – just so calm, and with this gentle light over the water as afternoon eased into evening. The kind of day we’ve longed for over the winter months.

This, for me, is the kind of walk that resets my mind. We were approaching high tide when we arrived and the beach was diminishing as we walked, to the point where we had to skirt round the waves as they were lapping a few feet from the base of the dunes. I prefer low tide, when you have a vast swathe of sand to walk along, but at high tide I find myself photographing waves, and looking for the textures that have been left behind – in this case, mounds of seaweed that glistened in the light.

I’ve walked along this beach for years, and taken countless photos of these views, but I never get bored of this place. This is true of all our local walks, even though we’ve been visiting the same places now for a year without adventuring further afield. I know I’m fortunate to be able to say that – these East Lothian beaches are beautiful – but also these scenes always feel different. The light is always different; the skies are always shifting.

And this beach is always shifting – literally, as having had work carried out here in 2019 to counteract the effects of coastal erosion, those defences have themselves been eroded over this winter. And this, below, if the most erosion we’ve seen here thanks to a storm last week when the coastline was being battered by a combination of high tides and fierce winds. The dunes at the far end of the beach were literally washed away back to their foundations.

I’m not sure what happens next here – is it a case of rebuilding the broken fence structure and waiting for the sand to slowly return? It’s always strange to see this destruction when walking here on a calm day, the waves gentle, without threat. So… a few more photos of waves as the light was setting, and as we walked back along the beach with no one else around.

Yellowcraig, East Lothian.