A splendid Bank Holiday. Carl and I took the train to Drem, in East Lothian. The countryside was very fresh and the gardens extremely pretty.
The hawthorn trees and hedges were in flower. The sky was clear, the sun out, but there was a chilly east wind blowing off the sea.
We cycled to East Linton and then to Binning Wood. A notice said Memorial Wood, and also that a funeral was taking place. As we went along the path a man in a baggy black suit stopped us and asked us to take another route. The funerals here are “green” - people are buried in grass coffins so they can rot and turn back into earth. We could see people in dark or drab clothes standing among the trees in a cluster. We diverted round the cars parked there and returned to the path. It’s a fine wood of oak, sycamore and Scots pine and the rhododendrons were out. They are a terrible pest, of course, displacing other plants and making poor habitats for birds or mammals but they do look spectacular in flower.
We then went through another wood, by the edge of the sea, and it was full of fortifications from the second world war. These blocks of concrete are everywhere on the coast.
After stumbling along a narrow path with our cycles we finally got to a great sandy beach with a view of the Bass Rock, and could ride along the hard sand - salt and sand are the worst things for a bicycle but it was irresistible, with the tide coming in.
We then pushed our way through the dunes, got back to the road, then cycled to North Berwick and on to Longniddry, where we caught a train home.