a trip to Fife and I’m in love, going back for Christmas.

St Andrews is of course quite special

scott

Firstly the beach, which goes on and on out past the golf course and round the corner towards the Eden estuary.

stagrains

Enough visual stuff to keep one happy for a month

kiefer

A lovely little secondhand bookshop where I found lots of poetry

stabeach

Including a little pamphlet style book, Situations Theoretical and Contemporary, printed in 86, poems by Tom Leonard which contains this sadly ironic gem;

Scotland has become an independent socialist republic.

At last.

 

Eh?

You pinch yourself.

Jesus Christ. You’ve slept in again!

leafbeach

And it is now the home of my daughter and her husband, he’s running Waterstones and she’s teaching film at the university and little Em is happy to be running on the beach, eating kelp and sleeping the rest of the day in a quiet house right on the western edge of the town.

we had a trip up to Killiecrankie, past Pitlochry in Perthshire

below

It stopped raining about when we got out of the car, but the cloud and mist stayed around

treeriver

Dramatically steep valley sides all clad in trees

thrashing

More leaves, I did pick a bagfull of sessile oak leaves off the forest floor.

forest

All the lichened tree trunks and wind-soughing branches

1tree

And impressive tall pines

cloudmountain

Clouds sunk down between the ridges

cloudtrees

Impossibly romantic and Caspar David Friedrich-esque

blacktrees

Tangling branches, trees black with rain

sign

And very historical of course, plus bungee jumpers diving off that terrifyingly high bridge.

shell

Next day was sunshine and Tentsmuir forest and beach.

foam

A bit like Wells beach in Norfolk but without the miles of sand, instead the Tay estuary just around the corner.

ball

The dogs found a ball amongst the kelp and driftwood

emmet

The dunes aren’t as big as ours but there isn’t as much sand on the beach, so …..

pineedles

Lots of pine needles. Some wind fallen green clumps found their way home with me too.

treetops

Friends, family and a special country are going to keep me coming back.