Saturday, 20 September 2014


North Berwick Law

north-berwick-law.jpg Distance: 1.36 miles
Ascent: 149 metres
Duration: 39 minutes

Live for the Moment

With the air suddenly clear we couldn't help ourselves: one last walk, one hill to climb as the sun set. It was the perfect decision.

North Berwick Law isn't a particularly high hill, but like Iona's Dun I its isolation in an otherwise expansive plain provides stunning views.

From the top we could see almost everywhere we've walked this week. To the east and south: the high cliffs of St Abb's Head, the nuclear power station at Torness, Barns Ness Lighthouse, Dunbar, Tantallon Castle, Bass Rock. To the west, Cockenzie power station, endless golf courses, Portabello and Leith. Other places we've come to know were visible too: the bulk of Arthur's Seat rising in Hollyrood Park, the latticework of the Forth Bridge. To the north we could make out Aberdour from where our coast walk will continue next year around the Kingdom of Fife.

Painted on the triangulation pillar at the summit is the phrase "Live for the Moment". Indeed. If you have time to do just one walk in East Lothian, make it North Berwick Law.

Posted by pab at 21:07 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!


Aberlady → Leith

edinburgh.jpg Distance: 16.71 miles
Ascent: 69 metres
Duration: 5 hours 6 minutes

To the future
« Tyninghame | Queensferry »

Today's walk has been slightly surreal. Almost dreamlike.

Some snapshots and two sketches:

furry-friend.jpgA weasel (or was it a stoat?) darting between two clusters of rock beside the path. He didn't stand still long enough for a good photograph.

A boat called "Mr Grumpy".

A disheveled man with a cigarette hanging limply from his mouth taking his monitor lizard for a walk.

yes-we-can.jpgGraffiti along the sea wall, some tongue-in-cheek ("Cameron no more, Osborne no more, Darling no more, Clegg no more"), some providing detailed exposition of economic policies.

A treatise posted on a bus shelter that described why Devo-Max proponents should vote Yes instead of No.

prestonpans.jpgThe sound of bagpipes drifted in the air was we passed Cockenzie power station. In the shadow of this behemoth Jacobite and Government troops gathered, ready to re-enact the Battle of Prestonpans, a key moment in the Uprising of 1745. The image is bursting with potential analogies: the referendum, the battle, the crumbling industrial past.

In 1994 I visited Portabello, Edinburgh's beach. On holiday by myself and about to graduate from university my head was full of possibility. I'd been reading about Windows programming and spent the evening looking at arcade games. I slept in the car and dreamt about my future. After telling Emma this story she said she'd have whispered into the ear of that 23 year old, "It's OK. Your life will work out."

So here we are. In Referendum Week we've walked from England to the seat of the Scottish Government. We've finished the 100th map of the walk so far and have less than 100 left to go.

We're feeling our way forwards into the future. Same as everyone.


Posted by pab at 20:50 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!