I often come away from a walk at Belhaven with a whole new perspective on the world, ready to take it on. It’s one of the very few places I know, apart from maybe Durham Cathedral and the Edinburgh Botanics, which washes my spirit clean. So it proved today. I was wrestling with some thoughts. A half hour at Belhaven later and the thoughts were hogtied and I had some answers into the bargain. Belhaven is my favourite place on the planet and today it felt like the only place to be. With sun, waves, wind and dreamy clouds, it was just glorious. Good thinking weather. It was warm but the wind stopped the sweat. Paradise, my dear reader, is just off the A1 and past West Barns. Never mind 90210, EH42 is where it’s at. Well, some of the time.
I was actually in the east to go go the Edinburgh International Book Festival but as on other days, getting of the capital for the good of my sanity was imperative. There were hints of train delays so I headed up to Waterloo Place for the one-week-old East Coast Buses 107 service to Dunbar. First, who ran the buses in East Lothian, pulled out recently after failing to realise that running a shite service doesn’t make folk want to use it, so Lothian Buses have picked up the slack. It was fine, just nice to coast across East Lothian in the sunshine, under the Lammermuirs to Haddington then by Traprain to East Linton and finally Dunbar. Or rather Belhaven where I alighted, figuring that starting my walk at Belhaven then working my way in was the best use of my limited time. So it proved.
As I walked along the Prom, I noticed some big kites flying high above Winterfield Park. It turned out the shows were on. I gave them a bye since birdsong, waves and vistas good enough for me. I’ve been along the Prom in all weathers and indeed at all times of day but it’s only in the sunshine that you see the coastline at its best, all the way over to Fife, the light and colours at their most vivid as sailboats flutter on the Forth. Rather stupidly, the only camera I had with me was my phone but it got good use all the same. I came up with some posts for the blog and walks for when I’m next there. Today was only my second visit this year but another needs to come. My relationship with Dunbar is evolving, it seems, from a place I avoided but needed to be in occasionally to a place I like just on different terms, special terms I have with nowhere else.
I gave the High Street a complete bodyswerve and headed down the Vennel to the East Beach instead. I lived around the corner from there so the building smell of massed seaweed was instantly familiar. It’s cute in summer, not so much in winter. Between the Coastguard Cottages and Woodbush are wooden dividers, which I understand are called groynes. On them were paintings, which I quite liked. Apparently they were part of a street art trail that had been happening yesterday. I will have to look into that – I’m sorry I missed it. Before heading for the train, I stood at the bottom of Woodbush and watched the waves for a bit, looking towards the Old Harbour and just being there. Again, I’ve been there in all weathers but not so much lately. It was the right time to part, for now at least.