The first time I visited Anstruther was when I was a kid. We went to the Fisheries Museum that sits by the harbour. I remember the boats and getting a copy of the guidebook but not so much else.
When I started going on day trips, I thought a lot about where to go each week. Anstruther became a favourite destination, a place I remembered from childhood, certainly, but mainly because of the view. Having grown up in East Lothian, across the Forth, I was familiar with the perspective looking towards Fife, the Isle of May and the Bass Rock a bit closer. From Anstruther, however, was the same view in reverse, North Berwick Law, the Isle of May looking like a beached whale and the Bass Rock like a rotting tooth, and from there and all along the Fife coast, I could be found transfixed looking across the Forth to my home county, gaining a broader perspective of it with the distance of 10 or 15 miles. Every time I go there, I’m the same way. I must have dozens of photographs in all seasons and weathers from Anstruther and Cellardyke, across stormy wintry seas and on sultry summer days.
This particular photograph is probably the best one I’ve ever taken. It used to sit on the wall of my old office. I now keep it right by my bed, just to my left as I write this. It was taken one summer day about six years ago, just east of the harbour, not far from the Fisheries Museum. Every time I look at it, it makes me feel just as serene and relaxed as the day I took it. I wonder what it must have been like to sail on that yacht and notice the tanker, perhaps at rest or carrying some serious cargo. Looking across the sea never stops me wondering, just as the distance from that sea from here is lessened by looking at this photo, feeling the breeze in my hair and letting my eyes widen as I remember and reflect.