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Life in Fife, 2023

Another year in the Kingdom

Contains 1957 photos, the last of which were added 6 months, 21 days, 10 hours, 11 minutes, and 7 seconds ago.

Cold and fresh. Visits to Maud and Jess.

One clear day. A visit with tiny Maud.

Up early to catch the bus to Edinburgh. Cake in Lovecrumbs, lunch at Sora Lella with Co-op colleagues. Dave gave me a lift home, and I treated him to a farewell dinner at Koku Shi on the way home.

Way overworked this week, so I took friday afternoon off. K and I stopped in town as we usually do, but there was no market and we felt like a change of scene. So we went on a grand adventure to Burntisland (the second-to-next town around the coast), had a nice lunch and ice cream on the beach. What exciting lives we lead. But it was very needed forced laptop-away time.

A mostly cold and clear week, with braw sunrises that I got to see with Mum visiting. Also a walk to Wemyss with Mum and Max - rockfall at the fossil rock! Mostly all buried now. Not sure how stable it is.

A good week for the sunrise. Back in the habit of going out now, whatever the weather. It's still gorgeous to start the day in solitude by the sea, even when it's overcast or drizzling.

Beach walk and a sit on Ravenscraig rock for sunset.

Cool clear mornings with vibrant clouds this week.

Rich sunrises with artistic clouds. A long beach walk with Max. The weather remains surprisingly warm.

Good sunrises every day this week, in defiance of the clouds. A walk with Max on Thursday, although he was playing deaf and not being a Good Boy at all. He was better on Saturday.

Hazy sunrises and still seas... perfect for a swim.

A weekend visit from Sandy and Louie (and their humans, L&S). We wandered around Dysart and Kirkcaldy, and went to The Old Barn Cafe for some dog and human treats.

This morning started grey and drizzly, but by early afternoon it had cleared up and the sun was out. I walked back from Community Kitchen by the scenic route, and encountered the highest tide I've ever seen. The beaches at Dysart and Ravenscraig were completely underwater, in some places all the way to the Ravenscraig Castle walls. It was relatively calm. I sat for a while and listened to the waves lap, and imagined that it just keeps rising, and swallows the world.

More cracking sunrises (and another swim). A visit with Maud and Jess (and K).

H came to visit and we had sunrise coffee together and went for a swim/walk/kayak to Wemyss and back on a very braw still day.

A great many braw spring days.

Extremely nice to be home. Beautiful spring day walkies with Max.

Sunrise, sunset.

Just a regular sunrise, nothing to see here.

Then an evening with lovely people in Bustle & Buzz listening to experimental banjo folk from Jacken Elswyth.

More gorgeous sunrises. Rainbow. Big moon.

J and family came to visit. We had lunch in Merchant's House, then walked from Path Head to Dysart along the beach and coastal path, looking for sea glass and pretty rocks. When it was time to go home, E did not want to leave.

Cleaned the beach near Wemyss. Heard a rumour about a fire in Dysart and then walked past the end of it being put out on the way home.

Mixed days this week; mostly braw, but some chill winds and banks of cloud with substantive raindrops passing through. A nice day of big crashy waves. Pictures from sunrises and walks with Max.

Dave and H at the beach at East Wemyss, after a spontaneous visit to the caves.

Home at last! And the sunrises are braw (if a bit brisk this week) and the bluebells are out everywhere.

Up at 5 to walk to the Auld Kirk to climb the tower in time for sunrise. A tradition to welcome spring. Then a nice breakfast provided by the Auld Kirk Trust volunteers, and a glorious walk back home.

A visit with Maud..

An adventure to Cambo Gardens with K and Tara, featuring a nice lunch. Tara was an excellent beach gremlin.

A braw week of sunrises and sunsets in Fife, around a trip to Manchester.

An adventure to Falkland Open Gardens with K, JB and E. We ate many good snacks, bought plants, saw lovely gardens, and also went to Pillars of Hercules for lunch. On the way home we stopped at B&Q. What a day!

Summer can't quite make up its mind if it's here yet, but when the sky is blue, it's hot! Some big tides.

Good mornings.

Took an afternoon bus to Kincardine with R and Max and the tent, and began the first segment of the Fife Coastal Path. It wasn't really very coastal. We poked around Culross when we arrived, and debated marching on for another few hours, or hanging around to visit the palace in the morning. We decided to stay. So we passed the evening with some unnecessary miles around the perimeter of Preston Island, and camped in the woods. Culross is very cute. So far this part of the rest of the coastal path has been uninspiring though.

I woke up with a screaming headache, so walked out of the woods to High Valleyfield, the nearest small and dreary town, to find the Co-op open before 7am. They IDed me for ibuprofen and a bottle of water, looking and feeling like absolute shit, still in the clothes I'd slept in straight from the woods. Haha. They sold me the ibuprofen anyway.

We had to hang around until Culross Palace was open. Mostly we chilled in a park nearby, and visited the gardens for a bit.

The palace was great actually. They even had a dog-volunteer (another dog) who Max could wait with while we followed the guide around inside. It's interesting how much history has been preserved here due to sheer neglect over the centuries.

We delayed further by having cake in the cafe.

We finally commenced walking. Most of the route was along roads and quite rubbish. At Newmills we met some people scavenging a door from a skip. We were about 18 hours behind our original schedule at this point, but managed to chat for over an hour about .. the environment, state of the world, reuse and recycling, litter, etc...

We took a detour towards Charlestown off the official path, because it looked like a nicer woody trail rather than a main track. So glad we did! There was a lovely stream, some interesting caves, and... We found so much chicken of the woods. We harvested it, and continued to the town. It wasn't going to survive a night in the tent and another day of walking, so we decided to just call it and get the bus home.

We went to see the lime kilns, and continue to the town of Limekilns. I wanted to press on to Inverkeithing or at least Ferrytoll, but the buses were scarce, my feet were hurting, and most of that stretch of the route was along road. So we just got the bus home from Limekilns.

So there's a stretch of the Coastal Path between Limekilns and Inverkeithing that I've never walked... I'll have to get back to that.

Some exceedingly braw sunrises this week. Mostly hot clear days. First half of the week starting the day with a bit of haar, so had to wait for the sun to rise past it. Beautiful blue afternoons, with enough sea breeze to offset the summer heat. Idyllic, really.

More celestial masterpieces on my doorstep.

I sometimes still just can't believe I live here.

Also that my body cooperates in sitting me bolt upright wide awake at 4am so I can witness this every day.

An incredible, gentle solstice. I walked, alone, to the beach at West Wemyss before dawn, and harvested dewy rose petals for a couple of hours.

A week of braw sunrises, calm seas, still evenings.

R came to visit, after years of being so-close-but-so-far!

Sunrises; wanders into town (too much sushi); Greener Kirkcaldy volunteer celebration in Ravenscraig Walled Gardens.

Brunch with T at Roots & Seeds. Joined by K, M and Lowenna, for Fife Pride. On the High St, the Saturday market was blowing away as the winds got up and we had to emergency hold down some awnings just as the parade was coming round the corner. Excellent energy all day. I bumped into most people I know at some point. Hung out at the queercaldy maker fare in Century. Home for beach walkies, tea, and dozing.

A moody dawn to end the week.

Various, Dysart and Kirkcaldy.

Max injured his foot, probably on some glass. So his camping trip was cancelled, and he spent the weekend convalescing with me instead. We kept walkies to a minimum, and lounged around a lot, which is Max's least favourite activity. He was very sweet and loving once he got used to the idea though, especially when I was re-bandaging his foot.

He got really good at sitting quietly on the beach with me at dawn, and not trying to dash into the sea, managing to constrain himself to gazing intensely and longingly at it instead.

Some sun, some rain, some excellent skies.

Mornings on the beach. A couple of trips to town. Walkies with Max.

Warm mornings.

Cloudy pink sunrises.

Walked from Kirkcaldy to Kinghorn for an 80th birthday celebration in a field. This was after a visit to an antiques sale and the garden center with K, what a wild day!

Braw sunrises. A seagull terrorises Kirkcaldy high street.

Exceedingly braw..

Big sun, big moon.

Sunrises, Max time.

Home sweet home.

A new cat appeared on the steps by the garden. It seemed very lost. Some local kids took it upon themselves to visit, feed and cuddle it every day, until its home was found. Heartwarming.

Exploring the post-storm beach. Some stunning skies.

You can't tell from these, but it rained a lot this week. My windows leaked.

One night and one day in London for coop work. Fancy Mildred's dinner with TR.

Garden catchup. Lowenna visit for beach walkies.

I met T in town, and we drove to North Queensferry, then walked over the bridge to South Queensferry. I've always wanted to walk around South Queensferry and somehow never managed to; it's very charming. We had a mid-afternoon meal in a pub, then walked back.

After storm babet battered us for a few days, the beach was entirelly remodelled. The bank next to my steps was washed away, as well as all along the beach, we lost a few meters. Rocks had been moved to such an extent that the drop from the bottom step was nearly two meters down, instead of the small hop it had been. The tide never normally gets that high, so we don't hold much hope of the sea putting the rocks back. Neighbours and I started moving enough to make the steps accessible again.

The storm was over, but the waves were still far bigger than normally, so R wanted to surf. I had to hold onto Max and continually tell him to stay as we watched from the beach. He cried the whole time, poor bean. I'm never sure if, when he's seeing a human in the sea, he's upset because he wants to rescue them or because he's missing out on the excitement.

Against all the odds, high tides and big waves this week restored the beach to more or less how it had been pre-babet. Obviously the bank that washed away was never coming back, but the steps down to the beach are accessible again!

Dave and H came back briefly on their way home from China, leaving a trail of teas and tiny pandas in their wake >.>

The November Sea is back in all its luminescent glory.

Astonishing sunrise skies. A trip to Burntisland.

Went to see Luna the moth (with a telescope) on the prom, but the clouds covered the moon before our turn to look came.

Adventure in Pittenweem with K, R, K&M and Lowenna. A swim in the sea pool, followed by lots of food and hot chocolate at Cacoa Tree, as usual.

After a frantic day of trying to get to work meetings in Kangus between running back and forth to town, I sat down at 9pm to write some more. If I could write 1000 words an hour, I'd make it. No way, I thought. Not a chance. So I wrote a thousand words, and it was 45 minutes later. Alright, I thought. Just do that again.

So I did.

Felt a bit like I was in some kind of alternate reality. Like I was watching myself from outside. I don't know, it didn't seem very real. It was well past my bed time.

Then I did it again.

I celebrated briefly, then since it was only 23:30 I wrote another 500 before midnight.

WTF! I got so far behind, I did not expect this.

It's a new month, and I have a novel I didn't have 30 days ago.

A jaunt to Glasgow and Helensburgh to visit F & J and co. Had a nice time at the Helensburgh winter festival.

Max came to stay with me for a while, and immediately took over my life (and sofas).

Walkies through the Wemyss woods. No oyster mushrooms except old ones.

Max models the sunrise.

Nacreous clouds at sunset! Far more vivid than my camera could capture, in the colours of the trans flag. Max and I watched them from the beach until they turned bright orange and dissipated..

More walkies, more nacreous clouds!

And a visit to the market for the first time in a while.

More walkies. Max has a great time with giant sticks. I'm glad he can entertain himself while I sit and contemplate the waves.

Xmas eve Tiffin delivery.

Lucky to have some more gorgeous clear days for beach walkies. And also to have a Max to snuggle on the sofa on the rainy days. Such a cuddly Max.

No-particular-occasion vegan feast with K, A and D on the 25th.

The days alternated between extremely braw and miserable AF this week. There was snow but it didn't settle. A lot of wind and generally dampness. But clear days and still seas were enough to see me through.

I went to see the Kirkcaldy panto with K. It was a lot. (I didn't realise I haven't been to a panto before..)