I've been very lucky to have lived in a nice little apartment just yards from a mile-long beach and the sea for the past 23 years. I've seen many things and people come and go in all that time, but the beach has remained just as it was . . . almost.
Very recently my friend Pauline returned to Scotland. For 14 years this area was her home and it still held its magic for her after a two year absence.
It was because of her love of the area that I "saw" Portobello again. Every day for 23 years I had stepped out of the apartment on my way somewhere, and most of the time would walk along the promenade with the golden sands of the beach and the sea beyond off to my right. But after 23 years you start to almost not notice it.
Occasionally a storm will kick up, creating breaking waves seven or eight feet high, and you notice it on those days. I have a window seat that I can sit and watch the waves crashing in, roaring as they do so.
Over the past 12 months the beach has changed in shape. Mistakenly two years ago the city council decided to redistribute the sand over the whole length as it had been tossed around and scattered during a particularly violent storm in 2009. The end result of the councils work however only made things worse. The beach now has very strange tidal flows, and in some places the erosion has increased. You would think by now we would know you can't tame the sea or mess with mother nature.
I actually quite like the new look of the beach. Just this morning as I wandered along I could see that the high tide hadn't come all the way up the beach, and had left behind a straggled line of drift wood and seaweed marking its furthest advance, creating a wild look. Hard to believe its all on the edge of the capital city of Scotland.
Long may my friend visit and remind me of the joys of this almost wild place.
I'm very lucky to live here. My beach home.