Thursday, October 21, 2010

North Berwick

As you can see from the picture above, Mr Life and I had an afternoon out yesterday. Having visited various charity shops with things from my aunt's house and some from ours (please congratulate me for disposing of the flowery teaset and the fruity coffee cups and ramekins and various other items I never use) we set out for North Berwick, about twenty miles down the coast.

(Incidentally, I discovered that we had no less than FIVE butter knives. I have never in my life used one of them, let alone five. I also had two rolling pins, two of those bottle openers with the waggly bits, three cheese knives, innumerable non-matching teaspoons... well, I won't go on. Gone!)

We drove along the coast road. Look at that blue sky! A lovely summer's day? Wrong. It was FREEZING. There was frost on the windscreen before we set out and the wind - well, whetted knives would have nothing on it.

Evidence, if evidence were needed, that the Scots are a hardy race. No, I didn't actually ask them if they were Scottish. Possibly they're tourists from Finland but I didn't see the warming sauna anywhere near.

North Berwick is a pretty little town.

It has a harbour. The ropes (probably not the right word - halyards, Mr Life suggests) were banging against the masts in the icy blast.

That is not a tempting sea. Trust me.

Yes, it looks tranquil enough in this photo.

But it wasn't. Crashing breakers, that's what these are.

We met an enormous dog. She's sitting down in this photo; standing up, she was like a small horse. A short but extremely chunky one. She's a Newfoundland and her name is Panda. Actually, I suppose this is because she's more like a panda than a horse. Rachel of Slow Lane Life (, I suggest one of these as your next pet adoptee. You'd need to be careful where she sat down, though. Tosca could disappear and you'd never know where she went till the panda dog stood up and you saw Tosca adhering to its rear end.

Tea and cake - we needed it to keep the cold out.
We had a nice time, though.


  1. I've always thought Scotland would be damned near perfect as a country if you could just turn the thermostat up several degrees!

    I've visited North Berwick several times during visits to my grandparents in Dunbar...and I do recall it being a little...chilly.

  2. Well, it's nearly winter! And it's much milder today.

  3. You're hysterical Isabelle. I love the way you deliver your humor with a straight face. I almost fell off my cozy perch on the couch when I read "adhering to its rear end."

    I had to go look to see where North Berwick is -- darn it, we wanted to go out there but never made it. It looks lovely. Beautiful, beautiful pictures -- one would never know it's that cold there!

  4. Anonymous3:02 am

    Vicky/East Texas...Wow! Isabelle. So cold. It's still in the 80's here. We had a little cold snap in the 60's for a few days. But, nothing like North Berwick! COLD! But, I will say, the pictures are beautiful. Thanks to your wonderful blog..I'm getting to see a lot of Scotland and am learning a lot about Scotland. Thanks for sharing your trips with your readers. By the way, I hope that your aunt does well in her new surroundings.

  5. Ah yes, East coast seaside life = constant need for warm vests and mittens...... I lived in nearby Gullane for a time, and remember it with the same mixed feelings - pretty but freezing! I blame the Scandiwegians... or maybe the SIberians....

    Tosca thanks you, but asks me to reassure you that after years of practice she is adept at not being squashed by dogs (or cats).

  6. I love seeing the photographs in your posts. Also enjoy reading. I'm sure you will understand that I haven't been about much lately to comment, but just want to say I'm still here reading.

  7. Looks chilly, but beautiful. I shall never cease to be amazed at Scots still running around in shorts and a T-Shirt when I am already wearing my winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves.

  8. Good grief, those people swimming aren't even wearing wetsuits, just normal bathers! Mad.

  9. Wonderful photos, Isabelle - I can almost feel the sharp wind!
    Great dog - we've always had huge dogs in the past, but I'm quite glad not to have one at present. I'd quite like to be able to play with someone else's though..

  10. Well done on the charity drops, Isabelle - I couldn't quite manage to get rid of the flowery tea set so now I can do afternoon tea for 25. Always provided they could fit in my tiny flat, of course. But if I'm being grown up about SIL then I'm allowed a little bit of sentiment, surely? Hadn't realised the cats wouldn't like living in your mother's flat - that rules that one out completely then, no question. Beautiful photos, very deceiving :)

  11. When the heat of summer is getting me down, I shall return to these images;)

  12. Isabelle ... ahhh les surreptitious shredding ... we know it well. Shhhh.

    Les Cats of Black Street,
    Oliver, BleetNess & Virgil

  13. How I envy you, being bold enough to just discard stuff so bravely, and being so close to the sea.

  14. What lovely fresh, clear photos. I can smell that great air.

  15. We have a Berwick near Melbourne. But it isn't as pretty as your North Berwick (apologies to anyone living in the Aussie Berwick)..
    What did we do before op/charity shops? Such a great way to dispose of unwanted household goods, that will be eagerly pounced upon by needy people. Or not-so-needy people that just like other people's old stuff.

  16. Lovely photographs, but I am slightly disappointed that you didn't go the whole "Scots trip to the seaside in a gale" hog, and have ice cream too!

  17. It seems hard to believe that blue sky hides somewhat freezing temperatures and biting winds.
    I love seeing your photos of your travels. To me, they are quite exotic!

  18. We are going to the Oregon coast in February, weather should be much the same. Can't wait.

  19. What a lovely way to spend the day. I do miss the ocean.
    I can feel the chill in the air...much like here. Our weather is positively wintry today. Last mid-week was balmy indian summer and perfect for gardening. Alas, not so this week.
    Don't you wonder about people who like to swim in freezing weather? How can that possibly be enjoyable?

    Good for you getting things sorted out and given away...a miserable job at best, but it's such a satisfying feeling when it's done! I need to do it again. Blagh!