A day at the beach

The tide coming in at the beach at Elie
The tide about to turn at the beach on Elie, East Neuk of Fife, not far from Cellardyke.

Jane and I had a lovely night away at our cottage in Cellardyke. It’s amazing, time seems to pass more slowly there as we are hidden away from the usual demands of everyday life. We can’t be disturbed by telephone, and don’t have the information superhighway to whisk us off somewhere else at the speed of light (well, okay, 10Mbps).

I spent the evening sitting on the sofa reading a screenplay that my American cousin Zack had emailed me — it was really good, a page-turner — while Jane watched CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: NY on TV. We meant to take the Freeview digibox over to try, but I’m glad we didn’t. It was nice just to live more simply for 24 hours.

We slept soundly too and have returned to Edinburgh relaxed and thankful for our 24 hours of escape. We just needed the space, and were thankfully afforded it. On our way back we stopped at Elie — where Jane’s folks had a holiday cottage for years — and took a walk along a very windy beach, just as the tide was about to turn and go out again. It was beautiful. Here are a few pics:

Gareth dressed in coat and hat on the beach at Elie

(Above) That’s me in the traditional dress for visiting a Scottish beach at any time of the year: coat, scarf and hat! You’ll notice that I’m not actually standing still, that’s because I was being blown around by the wind

A lone sandal on the beach at Elie

(Above) Further along the beach we stumbled upon a sandal that had lost its owner.

A bench commemorating the Queen's Silver Jubilee

(Above) A bench with a plaque that reads


which is nice. Except that the Queen’s Silver Jubilee happened in 1977!

A plaque on the wall, commemorating the Donkey Man

(Above) Not far from the bench is a silver plaque on the wall of a house that reads:

1921 – 1967

I’m hoping that “The Donkey Man” wasn’t just a bloke that gave kids rides up and down the sands on the back of an ass (Equus asinus). I’m imagining that he was some kind of local hero who would turn into half-man-half-donkey and fight crime in the East Neuk of Fife. Or that he was like the Elephant Man, only hairier.

But I’m likely wrong. I’ve been wrong on this sort of thing before.

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

5 thoughts on “A day at the beach”

  1. Perhaps the bench commemorates the actual silver Jubilee rather than the inaugoration… what a great jubilee it was too! They should commemorate it every year

  2. Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the British throne happened the day that her father, King George VI, died on 6 February 1952. Her coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953.

    Given that a Silver Jubilee is a 25th anniversary that would mean 1977 and 1978 respectively. However, the official Silver Jubilee of HM Elizabeth II took place in 1977, to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of her accession, not her coronation (her crowning) — she was the monarch the moment that her father died, since:

    Upon the death of a Sovereign, his or her heir immediately and automatically succeeds, without any need for confirmation or further ceremony. (Wikipedia)

    So, in conclusion, the bench plaque I would say is wrong. If it is to mark the 25th anniversary of her coronation then it should say that and not her Silver Jubilee, which marked 25 years since her accession to the throne.

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