I don’t like saying that the nights are drawing in… but they are. I think having evening walks on the coast, and always timing them to enjoy the last light, means that you recognise this shift very clearly. Rather than walks ending at 10pm, as the light is fading, now we’re seeing that light fade by half 8. Now, we’re having a flask of tea in the car in the gloaming, and driving home in darkness. August is the month where you can feel the light slipping more quickly. Still summer, but with that first hint of the darker evenings ahead.
Tuesday 18 July | I’ve started this post in my head so many times, but never quite figured out how to put the words down. And before you think, what’s happened?? Don’t worry, we’re okay. We’re okay now.
But June was awful, and I don’t want to write it all here. If you follow the lads on Instagram you’ll already know that Harris was very ill indeed, and I wrote about this in such detail there that I don’t want to go into this journey again here. But those days, between Wednesday 7 June, when the large mass was first discovered in Harris’s chest, and Sunday 11 June, when he had major surgery, and Friday 16 June, when he came home from the Dick Vet hospital, were the most traumatic days of our lives. I don’t say that lightly. They were.
As I’m writing this, it’s the most glorious evening at John Muir Country Park, the kind of evening you dream about all winter. Sunny and warm with sparkling light; an evening where you want to be outdoors. I’m observing this from the car, in the car park, as Richard and I are taking turns for our solo walks. Rather than being out for a few hours, enjoying this weather, we’ll probably have an hour’s walking at most, as there’s only so long that anyone (including the lads) wants to sit in the car – especially when it’s warm. So, clearly not an ideal set up, but, as I mentioned in a previous post, this has turned into my writing time. I’m sitting with the door open, listening to the birds, and there are worse ways to spend an hour on a sunny evening.
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.
There are evenings when the light just catches your breath. This was one of those evenings. We’d timed this walk at Yellowcraig for low tide – something I’d always advise if you’re visiting for the first time as this beach is so wide and expansive at low tide, while the tide line is high at a very high tide. They’re two entirely different beach walks.
It’s been a while since I’ve shared one of these photos. I started the #seawallscapes series during lockdown as the ash lagoons at Levenhall Links became a regular walk for us. I remember the lagoons from my childhood when it was an industrial site. At that time, the lagoons were still filled with water, but were slowly being filled up with ash deposits from the former Cockenzie Power Station. I remember walking round the individual lagoons, but really nothing else. I don’t recall gazing over the sea wall, for example, although I must have.