Beach therapy, East Lothian

The relief of a sunny walk on a beach after a hard winter

The winter months are hard enough, but I think the constant doom and gloom in the news and social media tend to make things even more difficult. A walk on one of my favourite East Lothian beaches in the sunshine last week helped a lot. We saw a flock of ringed plovers, around 20 of them. Usually, you will just see one or two running along the foreshore. The dune grasses looked especially golden in the winter sunlight.

Someone (or multiple people) had stood up driftwood on the beach. I've seen this a few times before on other beaches but never witnessed anyone in the act of making them. I've no idea what they are supposed to be for. Shelter? Art? Wayfinding? Ritual? I don't know, but I enjoyed photographing them, anyway.

When I first knew we were moving to Edinburgh, I thought about the amazing city we'd live in, and how much easier it would be to travel to the Highlands and Islands for holidays. What I didn't anticipate was just how much I would love the coastlines within a couple of hours of the city centre. Some things have been hard since moving north; not helped at all by the pandemic. I gave up a job and a lifestyle I enjoyed for uncertainty and an uphill struggle in my career. But one of our most repeated conversations revolves around how much we enjoy the variety of walks and scenery around here, and being so close to the sea and hills. As a photographer of landscapes and the outdoors, it continues to inspire me and motivate me to leave the house and keep making pictures. Almost every time, I'm reminded of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful area.

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