Life’s a beach

And since it was very sunny and warm again I joined Gordon who was taking his dog Bruce for a walk down the beach at Dirleston. Understandably it was pretty busy as this was one of the first proper days of summer. We had a relaxing walk through the woods near the sea. We went through them just a couple of weeks ago (when I posted the stormy pictures below). The forest was dead and still except for the cawing of crows. Now, only two weeks later and it is bursting into life once more as the wheel turns round. Much as I love the simple, skeletal elegance of winter trees, there is something quite magical about watching them return to life in the spring. Green is absolutely everywhere – a hundred shades of green, from lime and opaline to deep emerald. If the Inuits have a hundred words for snow the people of our rainy Isles must have a hundred for the green of leaves. Funny how something as simple as the changing of the seasons can be so magical and enchanting.

The beach which stretches all the way round to North Berwick is a wonderfully wide stretch of golden sand. The sea was clear and the offshore breeze kept things from becoming uncomfortable. A gentle buzzing was heard and a small micro light flew over us just a couple of hundred feet up, moving almost lazily. A few minutes later we heard a light aircraft flying down the coast. As it got closer we realised it was an old biplane! How cool!!! As I watched the pilot let of smoke a few times as if practising for an air show. Then suddenly the plane went into a vertical climb. Now you can only do this for a short space of time with a piston engine before gravity starves it fuel and it stalls. The only reason to do this manoeuvre is if you are planning to do an Immelman. Named after the WWI flying ace this was an extreme early combat move where the pilot surges up vertically at 90 degrees then loops right over on itself before the stall. It practically falls over on its axis – it’s very dangerous and pretty damned spectacular. Heading back to the car a few hours later and we found a gleaming Jaguar Mk. II, lovingly restored, Inspector Morse special – effortlessly cool.

All of this and we had ice cream too! Ice cream from Equi’s, one of the best Italian ice-cream maker’s in the whole of Scotland. Yummy. Life can often be crummy, but there’s always a yummy ice cream cone on the beach…