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.
And so here we are, in January, and a new year lies ahead. I hope your New Year was a mellow one, and I certainly hope it was a healthy one (said as I’m on day 14 of a lurgy that’s only now getting better – and very slowly). We had a few things planned for this break that didn’t happen thanks to LurgyFest, and also thanks to the rain fest that came our way just after Christmas, but by that stage, when I was choked with the cold, I was glad of a few days where I had an excuse not to leave the sofa.
For years, Christmas brought stress. What to buy, who to buy for, how much to spend, how to afford any of it. What to do on the day. It’s easy to get caught up in the expectations. A few years ago, we decided to step aside from all of those expectations and have the Christmas that we really wanted: quiet, just the four of us, without the pressure of cards or gifts (we donate to animal rescue charities instead), and with a walk as the focus on our day. And for the last few years, that walk has been here, at John Muir Country Park. This has become our tradition.
Where to begin when writing a blog post about peaceful scenes and the beauty of nature when faced with the trauma in our world at the moment. The brutality and horrifying inhumanity of the war in Ukraine. Watching hundreds of thousands of (primarily) women and children leave the security of the lives they’ve known; their homes, their jobs, their families; their husbands, partners, fathers, brothers, sons; leaving behind their identities, for a displaced life as refugees. As I’m writing this, there are two million people, refugees, who have left Ukraine. It’s unthinkable.
Every so often, after days of sunshine, I feel like I need to rewind to some moody skies and scenes that suggest a cool breeze, which is exactly what I’m doing here with these photos from the end of May and a walk at Gullane Point. When I was first considering how to evolve the content here, I imagined that we’d be visiting more places when our worlds eased open. I expected to be sharing walks from Fife and Perthshire and Northumberland, and maybe a trip up north and and and… But the reality is, as we’ve moved into summer, we’ve been staying close to home. Sure, we’ve had a few day trips and I still intend to share those here, but most of our walks are in East Lothian as it’s been too warm and humid to travel far with the lads, and weekends feel too busy. That’s fundamental: places feel too busy at weekends. And we aren’t doing ‘busy’.
When I first considered sharing these walks here, I held back for months as it felt too personal – which seems silly, I know, as it’s my blog so why shouldn’t the content be personal? But after years of blogging about design, it seemed strange to share these moments from our lives. And now, within a few months, it feels instinctive. Like the most natural thing to do. Even if I’m aware that most people who land on this site, having followed a link from somewhere, are looking for design-related content. Hopefully, in time, that will change.
So, on that note, I wanted to share this walk from Sunday at Yellowcraig.