I went for a drive on Saturday, leaving the confines of Edinburgh for the first time in four months to take my daughter to the beach. It had been so long since I’d filled up the car that I’d forgotten how to open the fuel door. With that embarrassing hurdle cleared, we headed out to the bypass and drove twice as fast as we had done in, again, four months, stopping only for the inevitable traffic jam at every roundabout and exit on the way to North Berwick. We didn’t exit there, but headed on to Dunbar, to have a look at John Muir Country Park. The entrance is right next to East Links Family Park, which was heaving with people.
Even the Country Park carpark was almost full, but we found a spot and walked along a path behind the dunes to Whitesands Beach, a vast expanse at low tide, where even the high numbers of visitors were swallowed up by the space. It was virtually impossible to do anything except socially distance, so as far as infection risk went, it felt safer than doing the shopping or walking along our street. While my daughter ran in and out of the waves and buried herself in sand, I took a few photos, which look even emptier than the place did in person—the opposite of all those newspaper telephoto shots designed to make Britain’s beaches look packed. Here they are.
14 July 2020
Merchiston, Edinburgh, 22 June 2020.
5 July 2020
It was a pretty miserable weekend, so here are some sunnier pictures from the garden this month, with the roses out and the raspberries ripening. I picked some of the latter for dessert last week; might see if there are enough tomorrow to make jam.
30 June 2020
Another spectacular sunset for the summer solstice on Saturday night. Click for bigger.
23 June 2020
When everything kicked off in March, I wondered if I should set up a dead man’s switch to post an explanation of where I’d gone if I hadn’t blogged here for a month (viz: to the Eternal 404 in the Sky). It felt too paranoid an idea to implement, though, so I figured I’d just keep to a schedule of posting every weekend, until… I couldn’t.
21 June 2020 · 1 Comment
It’s been hard to disentangle my thoughts about the week from the events of the country and the wider world, and even harder to get through the work I’m supposed to be doing instead of writing posts here. Trying to keep on top of a full-time job from home, with two school-age kids and a partner also working full-time and all the other constraints and tensions of lockdown, is like trying to juggle the contents of the computer cable drawer while walking calmly across the room. You’re lucky to get a few feet before stepping on a three-pronged plug.
31 May 2020
Good sunset last night. Click for bigger.
25 May 2020
Posting new pictures from the garden seems to be my way of postponing writing about the miserable state of Coronavirus Britain, or about the stuff I’ve been watching and listening to lately, but I’ll try to get onto those once the latest batch of marking is out of the way. In the meantime, the tulips have lost their petals, the trees have gained their leaves, and spring is about to give way to summer…
13 May 2020 · 1 Comment
The rain yesterday morning meant that the conditions were ideal to hunt for earthworms with my daughter for an outdoor learning project. We found this one as soon as we started digging. After a good look we let it loose, then watched it take ten minutes to burrow its way out of sight.
1 May 2020
The flowers are blooming, the sun is coming out, and we’ve been spending more time in the garden.
29 April 2020