Skip to main content

Just for the record

The two coal towers of Cockenzie Power Station will meet their end today.   At high noon.  Whoosh!  They will be there one minute, gone the next.  News of their demise has even featured in the national press.  It's an interesting article, and worth a read.

At 149 metres high, they have featured along the East Lothian coastline since 1967, when the power station opened,  It is fair to say they do dominate, but theirs is a presence I have developed a huge affection for.  I know I am not alone and it is hard to explain why.  Maybe it bears out the adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
A couple of years ago, I spent a day trying to draw the two chimneys, and the series of buildings around them, with part of the little harbour at Cockenzie in the foreground.  It's a crude attempt, but it's my own record.  As I sat there, an old fisherman shambled across to look over my shoulder.  He then started on his lament for the chimneys, which have guided him and his colleagues safely home from their fishing trips.  The harr, a cold sea fog which occasionally envelopes the Firth of Forth, can disorientate, but the chimneys have been their guiding landmark. So these two towers are an important part of the community too.

Slowly the complex is being demolished, laying the base of the chimneys bare.  You can see them from the coastal path.  Mr Gaucho and I went for a wander, to take photos, and record the chimneys, before they vanish from our skyline.  
The ever-present North Berwick Law in the distance.  At least they can't remove that!

They have a presence, which keeps drawing you in.  When I am driving into Edinburgh the power station sits off to the right of the A1.  I always look across, fleetingly, several times, as I pass.  
It's the same when I travel into town by train.  The chimneys are just there.  It is hard to ignore them, and equally difficult to imagine the landscape without them!  
After taking as many photographs as one could possibly want to take of two huge chimneys, we walked back to the car.  But I found myself looking back over my shoulder.  I noticed Mr Gaucho doing the same.  

So, here is their last sunset, yesterday.  I didn't really want to see the chimneys demolished today, but having read the Guardian article, it makes the point that it is not often one can witness a change in the landscape with the press of a button.  We have charge of our two youngest grandsons this morning, so assuming there is nothing young boys like better than a bit of destruction, I thought we would go and find a decent vantage point, and watch the execution.


Popular posts from this blog

Coastal walk from Gullane to North Berwick

By the time I have walked about four miles, my toes are screaming at me - it's the arthritis, you see.  One of the joys of being that little bit older than I was.  However, for a long time, I have been keen to walk along the beaches, and follow the coastal path, between Gullane and North Berwick. So, having worked out the tide times, I decided today was the day, and off we went.
Below is our starting point, the bay at Gullane.  It's a lovely beach, very popular with dog walkers. This is looking east, the direction Tilly and I were going to take.
Looking back, up the Forth, the unmistakable bulk of Arthur's Seat, and Edinburgh's skyline, just clear enough to see.
For most of the walk, there is the choice between wandering along a series of beaches, or following a path along the top of each.
There's no denying it, at heart I am a shell-seeker.  I have loads of shells at home.  We lived on one of the out islands in the Bahamas for a just over a year, a long time ago, and …

A vase on Bonfire Night Monday

I have another vase of wild flowers this week.  It wasn't my intention, but as I was out walking the dogs on Sunday afternoon I passed billowing masses of a delicate pink cruciferae (which I can't find a specific name for) growing next to a pile of logs.
Growing alongside were two or three plants of golden yellow corn sow-thistle.  It was a beautiful sight, and there was my vase!  The cruciferae, which has a flower just like rocket, also has the most fabulous seed pod.  It is positively exotic and reminds me of Aladdin's shoes, with very long pointy toes. The lovely sunny face in the photo below is a good old dandelion.  I love dandelions.  I love their rich yellow flowers and the complex and beautiful seed head.  Who hasn't blown a dandelion dock to find out what time it is?  And you can eat the leaves in a salad!

A vase on Monday

Hot colours in my vase this week, although very cold temperatures outside!  I am preparing this post in a sweltering 38 degrees C in Melbourne, and know that I will be travelling back to very chilly Scotland at the weekend!

I bought this bunch of Australian native flowers for my daughter-in-law as an early wedding anniversary treat.  I will be home by the time that celebration comes round next week.  The colours are hot, rich and lovely.  Kangaroo paw, wax flower, grevillea, leucadendron and (I think) a fine leaved gum.